2023 NFL Scouting Combine stock up/stock down, Day 1: Nolan Smith displays electric athleticism
INDIANAPOLIS — The first night of practice at the 2023 NFL Scouting Unity is already scheduled, with quarterbacks and linebackers taking center stage Thursday.
While several prospects chose not to take all the athleticism tests, many of those who competed at Lucas Oil Stadium impressed scouts with their speed in the 40-yard snatch, their agility in shuttle exercises, and their explosive power in the wide and vertical throws. jumping. Some have exceeded expectations, increasing their design margin as a result; others demonstrated deficiencies in their speed and/or athleticism (or chose not to compete), which reduced their chances of being selected on Day 1 or Day 2 when the Kansas City, Missouri Draft begins (April 27-29).
Below, I list five former college stars who have undoubtedly impressed league decision makers with their test scores and performance on the field. I’m also listing five players who could go to great lengths on their school’s pro day to make the best possible impression before the draft.
Adebavor looked very athletic for a 282-pound lineman, running 40 yards in 4.49 seconds and recording a 37.5-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-5 long jump. Adebavor’s quick feet were on display during practice sessions on the pitch, as he jumped over and around the bags like a stand-up player and worked hard throwing himself into space in linebacker routines. Although he is under 6’2″ tall, the former Wildcat has a good length (arm 33 7/8″).
Unknown as a great athlete in this event, the 249-pound 6-4 5/8 jumped 37 1/2 inches in the vertical and 10-7 in the long jump, completing a 10-yard split in 1.59 seconds. Campbell was as agile and quick as any bigger player to take the field on Thursday, posting a 6.74-second three-cone effort. Teams are likely to consider him a next-level starter when they consider these results along with the instinct and resilience Campbell has shown on tape during his Iowa career.
Kansey was listed at 6 feet tall on the Pittsburgh Panthers roster. Web site, but he scored 6-1, 281 in Indianapolis. His arm was 30 5/8 inches long. It’s not typical for a defensive tackle, but it’s a win. His time of 4.6740 was exactly what he needed, recording the fastest time to defend at the event since 2003, according to Next Gen Stats. He surpassed Aaron Donald’s time of 4.68 in 2014. Kangxi fell short of Donald’s hand size (30 5/8 vs. 32 5/8) and did not participate in practice on the pitch, but his film clearly shows his quickness and ability to get up and swim past defenders with a flick.
Smith was unable to complete his final season with the Bulldogs due to a chest injury, but he definitely showed up in Indianapolis Thursday. The 6-2 edge rusher is relatively light at 238 pounds and has a less than ideal arm length (32 5/8 inches), but its blazing 4.39 40 (1.52 seconds, 10 yard split), 41.5 inches vertically and 10 feet. -8 long jump opened some eyes. Smith did not participate in the field exercises, but had already done more than enough to help himself.
Young shone as a pass rush star for the Volunteers in their 11-2 campaign last fall and may have secured a spot on Day 2 with his performance in Indianapolis. He looked like a promising winger with a 38-inch vertical, 11-foot long jump and a brilliant 4.43 40. Young showed his agility on the open field, and his solid upper body and heavy arms made the vertical bags pop. in a drill.
Carter pushed ahead as a junior with the cadets, scoring 15.5 sacks to get into the scouts’ spotlight. However, his performance dropped in 2022 and his Indy performance was underwhelming. Carter is over 6 feet 6 inches tall, but his arm length (33 3/8 inches) is not elite. He did not run for 40 yards and had a poor jump record for cornerback (30 inches high, 9 feet 1 long jump). He must excel in his professional day to be considered a Day 2 prospect.
Morris was selected to the All-Big Ten First Team as a standing rusher for the Wolverines in 2022, but his 4.95-second rush for 40 yards at 275 pounds didn’t scream “elite cornerback.” Also, he didn’t help himself with a 28.5″ vertical jump and a 9’2 long jump. Morris fell several times during field training, as his tight hips made it difficult to change direction and turn a corner. a lot of movies to judge if he can play an A in the NFL, so right now he looks like a man without a clear position.
Roy arrived in Indianapolis as a potential pick on the second day. However, he did not run the 40 yards on Thursday night and struggled in the tests he competed in (5.0 seconds on the 20-yard shuttle, 8.01 seconds on the three-cone exercise) at 305 pounds. During field practice, his movements were more like a nose grab than a quick three-hand technique that could be a factor in speeding up passing. Roy would play a role in protecting the NFL, but his combined efforts didn’t get him promoted to draft boards.
Considered one of the most athletic linebackers in this year’s class, Sanders chose not to participate in any Tests on Thursday. Although the former Arkansas linebacker is 6’4 3/8″, his 235-pound build and 32 1/8″ average arm length are unlikely to impress teams. He looked fast moving in a straight line during positional exercises as expected with his lean physique, but he is not elite when it comes to changing direction. Sanders got the hype in the first round, but on Thursday he reminded me more of Day 2 2022 elections like Troy Andersen and Chad Muma.
Young weighed 294 pounds but didn’t move as well in positional exercises as some players who were 10 or 20 pounds heavier than him. He was upright and moved relatively slowly during short agility exercises. Young did not run 40, and his vertical (26 inches) and long jump (nine feet) were no match for the rest of the group. He has shown versatility playing in various places on the line for Alabama, but his lack of speed as a 300-pound player will probably not endear him to NFL teams.