The second half of the NFL Combine has been wrapped up following the workouts from defensive players. Much like the first half with the offensive players (find our winners and losers here), some players helped themselves and others didn’t. Some players boosted themselves into conversations they weren’t in, while others have left themselves out of conversations all together. Who were the winners and losers of the second half of the combine?
Bradley Chubb, DE N.C. State
Chubb was considered a top 5 pick before the draft. His combine performance showed us exactly why. He showed explosiveness, quickness, and power. He showed why he’s going to a be a disruptive pass rusher in the NFL. In most drafts, Chubb could be the number one pick. The only reason he likely won’t be in this draft is because of need. Top 5 pick for sure.
Shaquem Griffin, LB UCF
Do we really need to talk more about why Shaquem Griffin is a winner at the combine? This guy crushed it on the bench, in the 40-yard dash, and in pretty much everything without a left hand. He ran a 4.38 weighing 225lbs. When so many people doubted him, he blew them all away. I don’t know where he’ll get drafted, but he’ll definitely get drafted.
Taven Bryan, DT Florida
When you get compared to J.J. Watt, you’re winning the combine. Bryan showed off his athleticism. He’s an elite athlete. For his size, being that athletic is impressive. Bryan still needs to grow with his football moves, but his pure athleticism is what teams will look for. You can’t teach that, but you can teach skills. Taven Bryan showed off his potential and likely secured himself a spot in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Derwin James, S Florida State
Derwin James proved why there’s hype surrounding him. He’s an athletic freak. He ran a 4.47 40-yard dash, had a 40 inch vertical, and an 11 foot broad jump. He showed great movement and did well in just about all his drills. During the combine James was asked about playing for the Dallas Cowboys. He said they’d have to trade up to get him. After this performance, a lot of teams are going to have to trade up to get him.
Jaire Alexander, CB Louisville
Alexander blazed his way to a 4.38 40-yard dash. He moved well in position drills, showing good footwork. He has good size, great speed, and great ball skills. Alexander wasn’t considered a first round prospect before the draft by many people, but after his combine performance he’s definitely in the first round conversation.
Tim Settle, DT Virginia Tech
Settle disappointed in his workouts. He was slow in the 40-yard dash, running a 5.37. He also didn’t show power in his legs, posting a 23.5 inch vertical and an 8 foot broad jump. He didn’t move well on top of that. It was all around disappointment for Settle. He wasn’t going to be a super high draft pick, but how teams view him now is lowering his stock.
Josh Jackson, CB Iowa
Jackson was expected to run much faster than his 4.56 40-yard dash time. He seemed slow while going through drills also. He didn’t show good change of direction or good footwork. Scouts will go back to the tape on Jackson to see if they can see these flaws. He had the chance to establish himself as the top corner in the draft, but he didn’t take advantage of it.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB Alabama
Minkah Fitzpatrick isn’t a loser because he had a bad performance. He’s a loser because Derwin James had a better performance than him. They had very similar 40-yard dash times, but Fitzpatrick didn’t perform as well in the broad or vertical jumps. James looked like a freak, while Fitzpatrick did not. These two guys are in competition for the top safety or defensive back drafted. Right now Derwin James is winning.
Tavarus McFadden, CB Florida State
There have been concerns about McFadden’s speed, and the combine showed us why teams had those concerns. After running a 4.67 40-yard dash, teams are going to shy away from him because he won’t be able to keep up with all these speedy receivers. What happens when he gets beat? He has no make up speed. His potential might be there, but speed is a big attention getter at the combine, which McFadden does not have.