The third day of the NFL Combine has come to a close, and what a day it was. It seemed like each of the previous days featured great performances, but Saturday’s testing surpassed them all. We got to see record-setting workouts from multiple position groups, including one that might be the second-best ever according to composite RAS behind only legendary WR Calvin Johnson.
Saturday’s workouts featured several positions of significant need for the Falcons, including EDGE, DT, and LB. These are some of the deepest groups in the class, and they proved it with some incredible testing and on-field work.
I tend to emphasize the winners from these sorts of events as opposed to the losers, and I’ll continue to focus on the positives today. Here are my observations from the second day of the 2022 NFL Combine.
We knew going in to the NFL Combine that this EDGE class was perhaps the deepest of any position group in the draft, and several players were expected to test extremely well. Most of the top prospects participated in the full gauntlet of drills, although some chose not to do 40s and agility testing (like Penn State’s Arnold Ebiketie and Western Kentucky’s Deangelo Malone).
There were some incredible performances, so let’s jump right in.
- While pretty much all the top names tested very well, Georgia’s Travon Walker stole the show with an incredible workout that put him at a 9.98u RAS. At 6’5, 272, Walker ran an absurd 4.51 40 with a 1.62 10-yard split and a 6.89 3-cone. He looked smooth and fluid in the on-field drills and may have legitimately worked himself into the top-10 conversation.
- While Minnesota EDGE Boye Mafe technically tested with the linebackers—and would’ve been the most athletic LB of all time, per RAS—he’s actually an EDGE. That slightly lowered his RAS to 9.88u, but it’s still an incredible day of testing. Mafe was a big winner at the Senior Bowl and is quickly climbing draft boards due to his traits and motor.
- FSU EDGE Jermaine Johnson—my biggest winner from any position at the Senior Bowl—had a terrific performance in both the athletic testing and on-field drills. Johnson chose to work out with the linebackers, presumably to show off his athleticism and comfort dropping in coverage, and he did a great job. Johnson finished with a 9.57u RAS and is one of my favorite picks at 8 for the Falcons.
- Speaking of the top guys, Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson—currently the consensus EDGE1 on most boards—certainly did not disappoint with his testing. Hutchinson posted an elite 9.86u RAS, with a 4.74 40, 1.62u 10-yard split, and absurd 6.79 3-cone at nearly 6’7, 260.
- The other potential EDGE1 on most boards, Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux, also had a great workout—although he did skip the jumps and agility drills for his Pro Day. Thibodeaux finished with a 9.67u RAS after a 4.58 40 and 1.59u 10-yard split at 6’4, 254.
- In a bit of a surprise, Virginia Tech EDGE Amare Barno set the all-time fastest 40 for a defensive lineman OR linebacker, coming in at a blazing-fast 4.36 and 1.54u 10-yard split. His jumps were also exceptional at nearly 6’5, 246. Other than Deion Jones—who reportedly ran a 4.35 at his Pro Day—I can’t think of another LB/EDGE even close to Barno’s speed. He’s a Day 3 pick right now, but those traits are worth a look.
- Ole Miss EDGE Sam Williams was one of the biggest winners of the Senior Bowl. He came on strong towards the end of the week and showed off his dominance as a pass rusher. His workout at the Combine will only increase his stock, as Williams finished with an impressive 9.55u RAS.
There were a ton of notable workouts at EDGE—enough that I could probably write a single article about them all. But for the sake of time and your attention span, I’ll just list off some of the other ones here:
Oklahoma EDGE Nik Bonitto: 9.5u
Michigan EDGE David Ojabo: 9.19u
Kentucky EDGE Josh Paschal: 9.09u
Cincinnati EDGE Myjai Sanders: 9.04u
Purdue EDGE George Karlaftis: 8.7u
South Carolina EDGE Kingsley Enagbare: 6.49u
This defensive tackle group is maybe one of the most athletic I’ve ever seen, even without the runaway star of the show: Georgia’s Jordan Davis. While this group lacks the ridiculous depth of EDGE, there’s no denying the star power at the top—and those stars shined bright during Saturday’s workouts. There were a few top players that opted out of some of the on-field workouts, so we won’t have complete data until their Pro Days: Oklahoma’s Perrion Winfrey and Alabama’s Phidarian Mathis.
Here are some of the biggest standouts.
- In case you haven’t already heard, Georgia’s Jordan Davis broke the Combine by posting the best testing ever for a defensive tackle. We all knew Davis was a great athlete, but I didn’t realize how truly unique he is as a player. Davis finished with a 10u RAS—which means he’s the 100th percentile, or best ever athlete at the position—after posting an absurd 4.78 40, 1.68 10-yard split, and tremendous jumps at over 6’6, 340. Davis could easily go in the top-10 at this point.
- Another Georgia DT, Devonte Wyatt, also had an exceptional day of testing. While he couldn’t quite match Davis, Wyatt still finished with an elite 9.58u RAS and cemented himself as a first-round pick.
- One of the more versatile prospects in the class and a winner from the Senior Bowl, Houston’s Logan Hall tested very well as an interior player. Hall finished with a 9.83u RAS at 6’6, 283. He’ll need a versatile inside/outside role at the NFL level, but a creative, multiple defense could get a potential steal on Day 2.
- With Davis blowing up the Combine, UConn NT Travis Jones seems like a bit of a forgotten man despite his terrific play at the Senior Bowl. While he couldn’t match Davis in size or athleticism, Jones still tested out as an elite athlete with a 9.65u RAS at 6’4, 325. If the Falcons pass on Davis at the top but still want an impact NT with pass-rushing upside, Jones is a good Day 2 target.
Here are some of the other notable workouts from the DTs at the Combine:
The linebackers had a very tough show to follow, with Jordan Davis headlining a stellar DT class and a ton of star power at EDGE. Not to be outdone, this group also came in and blew the doors off the athletic testing—and could possibly stake a claim as the most athletic LB group in Combine history. We had some terrific testing from some of the projected top players, but also surprisingly good workouts from some unheralded names.
There were a few notable players that opted out of some or all of the athletic testing: Georgia’s Nakobe Dean and Cincinnati’s Darrian Beavers.
Here are some of the biggest standouts at LB.
- Penn State LB Brandon Smith was expected to be the best tester at the position this year, and he did not disappoint. Smith put together one of the best ever workouts at LB, finishing with an incredible 9.99u RAS. At 6’3, 250, Smith ran a 4.52 40 and had some elite jumps. Smith didn’t take the step forward on tape this season many were hoping for, but the upside is undeniable.
- Another linebacker posted a 9.99u RAS this year, and I doubt it was a name many were expecting. Wisconsin LB Leo Chenal had a very similar day of testing to Smith, coming in with a 4.53 40 and even better jumps but at a slightly-smaller 6’2, 250. Chenal is likely to see his stock rise into the Day 2 range after proving his incredible athleticism.
- One of the most unique players in the draft and arguably the most versatile, Montana State LB Troy Andersen—who also spent time at RB and QB—also tested out as an elite athlete with a 9.98u RAS. At 6’3, 243, Andersen ran a blazing-fast 4.42 40 and had some tremendous jumps to go along with it. He’s still a work-in-progress at LB due to playing several different positions, but he’s one of my favorite early-Day 3 targets.
- In the battle of the Georgia linebackers, it was actually Channing Tindall that came out on top. Tindall finished at a 9.82u RAS, with a terrific 4.47 40 and elite jumps. Tindall is likely to last into Day 3 as the least-heralded of the UGA LBs, but he’s still got starting upside.
- Speaking of Georgia LBs, Quay Walker also had an exceptional day of testing. He finished with an elite 9.66u RAS at nearly 6’4, 241. Walker is likely to go on Day 2 due to his size and upside.
- Utah LB Devin Lloyd sort of got lost in the absolutely incredible testing of the rest of the linebacker class, but he still put up an elite day himself with a 9.33u RAS. Lloyd is still in contention for LB1 and I love his upside as a versatile LB/EDGE hybrid.
I could literally write about five more of these blurbs for other prospects I love, but I have to stop somewhere as the length of this recap is getting out of hand. Suffice it to say, this was an incredible day of testing for the position and quite possibly a historic one. Here are some of the other notable workouts from the linebackers:
Wyoming LB Chad Muma: 9.79u
LSU LB Damone Clark: 9.74u
Alabama LB Christian Harris: 8.81u
Oklahoma LB Brian Asamoah: 8.42u
Appalachian State LB D’Marco Jackson: 8.41u
Florida LB Jeremiah Moon: 8.36u
Nebraska LB JoJo Domann: 7.66u
We’ve still got one final day of testing on Sunday as the defense and special teams wrap things up. Today’s workouts include cornerbacks, safeties, and special teamers. Look for our continued coverage today and our final recap on Monday!