Whine or Shine – Notable Good & Bad at the 2020 NFL Combine – Days 3 & 4

By Ha Kung Wong

Twitter: @FBGarbagetime

Day 3 – Saturday

February 29

Defensive Linemen and Linebackers

GOOD

  • Isaiah Simmons – Linebacker, Clemson

Isaiah Simmons blew the doors off Day 3.  He led all linebackers in the 40-yard dash (4.39 seconds) (which was also in the top 10% for all linebackers in Combine history), was 2nd in the Broad Jump (132.0”) and was tied for 3rd in the Vertical Jump (39.0).  He’s a big linebacker (6’ 4” and 238 lbs.) but showed plenty of agility at the Combine and actually also played plenty of safety, corner and defensive end at Clemson.  With these measurable and versatility, he’s rising up draft boards quick.

  • Shaun Bradley – Linebacker, Temple

Temple had a great front seven this season and Shaun Bradley was part of that.  In 2019, Bradley led the Owls with 86 tackles tacking on 8 tackles for loss.  He was a force to be reckoned with and continued his impressive run at the Combine running two fast 40-yard dash times (landing at 5th among linebackers at 4.51) and tacking on a 20 yard shuttle of 4.24 seconds (good for 4th among linebackers).  On top of all that he had a great set of on-field drills, further cementing his status as someone to watch in the draft.

BAD

  • Michael Divinity – Linebacker, LSU

For a guy who led LSU in sacks in 2018, and was on track for another big year in 2019 prior to missing 6 games due to disciplinary action, I expected a lot more.  He just couldn’t afford to run a 4.85 in the 40 Yard Dash (good for 28th among linebackers) after all the questions surrounding his season.  He then went on to put up 14 reps on the Bench Press (tied for 24th among linebackers), 31” on the Vertical Jump (tied for 27th among linebackers) and 115” Broad Jump (tied for 27th among linebackers).  In short, not great.  There were already questions about his athleticism, pass-rush talent and character, so this sub-par performance definitely didn’t do him any favors.

Day 4 – Sunday

March 1

Defensive Backs and Safeties

GOOD

  • Kyle Duggar – Safety, Lenoir-Rhyne University

Lenoir-Rhyne University hasn’t had any player drafted since 2000.  Perhaps Kyle Duggar will be the guy to break that streak.  In 2019, Duggar was second-team All-American and first-team All-South Atlantic honors as a defensive back (31 tackles, one for loss, two interceptions, four pass breakups) and punt return specialist (12 returns, 175 yards, 14.6 average, two touchdowns) while only starting seven games due to a hand injury.

He managed to “jump off the page” compared to other safeties by logging the highest Vertical Jump among all Defensive Backs and Safeties (42”) and the 2nd longest Broadest Jump of any Safety (134”).  On top of that, he added a 4.49 40 Yard Dash, good for 6th fastest among Safeties.  He already had plenty of hype with his combo of size, speed and production, but there’s still some question about how he’ll translate to tougher competition.  If nothing else, though, the measurable and on field drills at the Combine will definitely put him higher on most team draft radars.

  • Jeff Okudah – Cornerback, Ohio State

And now we turn to the polar opposite of Lenoir-Rhyne University, which is Ohio State.  Since 1999, Ohio State has sent 10 Defensive Backs to the first round of the NFL Draft, and that’s just Defensive Backs.  Jeff Okudah might be the next one.  Okudah started all 14 games in 2019 at Ohio State and received first-team Associated Press All-American, first-team All-Big Ten, and Jim Thorpe Award finalist honors.  He led the Buckeyes with 3 interceptions and 9 pass breakups as a junior, also posting 35 tackles and two forced fumbles.

At 6’ 1” and 201 lbs., Okudah is built like a solid cornerback and looked good until hitting his head and neck area on the ground during an on field drill.  But he got back out there and managed to dominate on measurable drills, including his Vertical Jump (41” tied for 1st among Defensive Backs) and Broad Jump (135” was 1st among Defensive Backs).  His 4.48 40 Yard Dash was a little disappointing, but wasn’t too bad compared to the 4.46 average put up an All-Pro NFL cornerback, so we can probably give that a pass.  Together with the agility he demonstrated in on field drills, he’s going to be one of the top, if not the top, Corner off the board.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.