If you’re one of the people who believes good offensive line play is proven on tape and that the Combine doesn’t matter, I hear you. I’m mostly with you. I think certain players can test themselves out of consideration in specific areas of the board, but I’m way more concerned with what they are doing in games.
However, athleticism is a good thing to have at every position on the field, and obviously not preferable to lack either. It can be overcome more easily at some positions (this one included) than most, but it is still something to consider, especially for those who shined in Indy during Friday’s workouts.
These guys were outstanding athletes on tape, and simply confirmed that with their Combine performances. Their stock shouldn’t rise unless you haven’t yet seen their tape, but by confirming their elite traits, they are clear winners of the Combine.
Garrett Bradbury, IOL, N.C. State
What a day for Bradbury. Already IOL1 and the sixth overall player on my board, the Wolfpack center tore up the Combine, running a 4.92 40, hitting 34 reps on the bench and registering a ridiculous 7.41 3-cone result. According to Mock Draftable, Bradbury’s 3-cone is tied for the 13th-highest of all time (recorded history) amongst interior offensive linemen.
And to make it better? His tape is also awesome.
Erik McCoy, IOL, Texas A&M
I was a big McCoy fan on tape, and it didn’t take long to see he was clearly an impressive athlete. The things he can do in space are awesome, showing movement skills on the field that transitioned beautifully to Combine drills. McCoy’s 3-cone wasn’t great, but he ran a 4.89 40, repped 29 on the bench and his jumps showed the lower body explosiveness you saw on tape when McCoy was squaring off with the best defensive linemen in the class every week.
Andre Dillard, OT, Washington
Already billed as one of the finest athletes at his position in the class, Dillard proceeded to affirm all of the praise for his mobility by wrecking every drill at the Combine. Dillard posted the 4th-best 40, the best broad jump, the 2nd-best 3-cone and the best short shuttle. Again, this shouldn’t move him up or down the board - he’s still a prospect with plenty to work on technically that we knew was a great athlete already - but it does affirm the elite traits and upside that are already apparent on his tape.
These guys struggled on Friday, while also happening to all have significant concerns on their tape as well.
Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
Owner of the second-worst 40 and the third-worst vertical jump, Little didn't impress in most of the drills he did do at the Combine, but it may have been the on-field workout where he looked the most concerning. He moves well on tape, but his movements are unorthodox and his footwork can look different on a rep-to-rep basis. I like Little as a developmental prospect that needs significant technical improvements, however understanding what he is right now as a player will be important for teams.
Nate Herbig, IOL, Stanford
Herbig declared early despite rocky tape at Stanford, and all early indications are that might not have been the best call. While the value of the Combine for his position can be argued, Herbig did nothing to suggest he isn’t an athletic liability as an interior offensive lineman. His vertical was the second worst, broad the third-worst, 3-cone the fifth-worst and 20-yard shuttle the third-worst amongst all offensive linemen. All that after having the worst 40 at his position as well. Not ideal.
David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin
The converted tight end was supposed to show high-end athleticism and upside with his Combine performance, and instead the opposite happened. Edwards didn’t stand out in a single drill, posting below-average results across the board and failing to show great footwork in positional workouts as well.
Iosua Opeta, IOL, Weber State
I’ll be honest, Opeta is one of eight guys I had never heard of when the Combine rosters were announced, but he made that look foolish quickly. A 5.02 40, 39 bench reps, a 33-inch vertical, a 9’3” broad and decent agilities made for an excellent day for the FCS standout.
Chris Lindstrom, IOL, Boston College
All of us here at TDN have been on the Lindstrom train for awhile now, but it doesn’t seem like he has gotten the same level of love on a larger scale in the draft world. That might change after a great Combine, which seems silly when Lindstrom has so much good tape out there. I knew Lindstrom was a solid athlete, but the Combine revealed he may be closer to elite territory than I first believed. A 4.91 40, 25 bench reps, 30.5 vertical, a 9’9” broad and terrific results in the agility drills capped off an outstanding Combine for one of the best interior offensive linemen in the class.
Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington
McGary’s tape is rough, but his work ethic and high-end athleticism were proven in Indy, as he posted mostly impressive results across the board. He is huge, chiseled and mean, but the reality is that he’ll need a lot of work to start in the NFL. Some teams will want to move him inside, but being over 6-7 could make that tough.