The TDN scouting staff is on the ground in Indianapolis, Indiana for the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine. This week will be filled with player interviews, testing, and, most importantly, rising and falling draft stocks.
The 2022 IDL class has plenty of beef. Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt get a ton of attention, but there are some high-quality players expected to go all throughout the draft. Where should you focus your attention?
Before the interior defensive linemen begin their testing, here are the IDLs with the most to gain, most to lose, and the tests that actually matter at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.
IDL With Most To Gain
Keith Sanchez: DeMarvin Leal entered the season as a projected top-10 pick but has continually fallen and is now considered by some as a second-round pick. If Leal can show well in testing at his size, I believe he will recapture the attention of NFL personnel and be able to re-generate momentum around his name to place him back in the first round.
Drae Harris: This is someone who is considered a bit of a “tweener” who was ranked in the top 10 on some draft boards early in the season. He is now projected to be selected in the second round. The biggest question is how will his numbers stack up against the rest of his peers. Many are unsure where he is best suited: DT or DE. Showing well in pass-rush drills and having some explosive numbers should answer a few of these questions.
Joe Marino: By his own admission and through candid remarks from Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, Jordan Davis has a history of weight management and conditioning issues. Davis will need to answer those questions in team meetings, but how he measures and tests at the weight he is at will be revealing. His preparation for the combine will be revealed in how he looks and measures.
Kyle Crabbs: This man promised us a “big bench” and a “low 40.” The rest of the IDL class better hope not. Devonte Wyatt is someone who, as our crosschecks dug into the Georgia defensive prospects, our group here at TDN has come to love. He’s currently our top defensive tackle eligible for the 2022 NFL Draft and living up to the hype he’s set for himself will only further the gap between him and the field in the IDL class.
IDL Who Could Surprise
Keith Sanchez: Travis Jones is tucked away in the northeast portion of the country at UConn and not many NFL fans know about him. But I’ve seen him in person and this is a big, strong, and athletic interior defensive lineman that should test well and start getting some national recognition.
Drae Harris: Perrion Winfrey is another player that was in the first-round conversation early in the year. For one reason or another, he slid and is currently ranked as our No. 35 player. He has performed well this spring and could cap it off by testing well in Indianapolis. If he does, he should be back in contention to be selected in the latter part of Round 1.
Joe Marino: Devonte Wyatt is going to put on a show. I don’t think it’s understood just how athletic he is and that will be on full display in Indianapolis. Expect him to come away with plenty of hype. It’s easy to get lost on that Georgia defense with so many talented players, but the spotlight will firmly be on him to showcase his exceptional athletic profile.
Kyle Crabbs: Noah Elliss is a fun bowling-ball presence on the line who isn’t going to challenge any 40-time records or anything of the sort, but for a big, stubby nose tackle, he’s got more quicks and better balance than you’d initially anticipate. This is a late-round prospect who is going to make some team happy in their search for a developmental nose tackle.
I’m Worried About…
Drae Harris: Jordan Davis has slid on our board some as there are legitimate questions he has to answer. Hopefully, he arrives in good shape at the combine and shows that he’s committed to playing at a weight that benefits him. I’m worried but hopeful that he will move better than expected for a 360-pound man. He didn’t play a lot of snaps at Georgia, so proving that he has true three-down value will be critical for him.
Joe Marino: Phidarian Mathis is a prospect that I like, but I am often left wanting more. I wonder if part of his restrictions are rooted in modest athletic ability. We’ll find out soon enough.
Kyle Crabbs: DeMarvin Leal is a player who entered the 2021 season with super high expectations but I’m not sure he’s taken the steps forward in his game that we all would have liked to see here at TDN. And so he enters into a week where the likes of Devonte Wyatt, Perrion Winfrey, Travis Jones, and others are bearing down his neck in the IDL rankings (assuming they haven’t already passed him) and I just don’t like the trend lines for his projection. That said, I think he oozes with potential and can develop into an impact starter—and he’ll need this week to help keep the interest high in the early portions of the draft.
Test I’m Most Looking Forward To
JORDAN DAVIS’ 40-TIME
Keith Sanchez: This has to be Jordan Davis, right? It should be fun to see one of the biggest NFL prospects get moving and run the 40-yard dash.
ANYTHING PERRION WINFREY DOES
Joe Marino: I can’t wait to watch Perrion Winfrey! He is an explosive dude with terrific size. He dominated the Senior Bowl and a strong combine will continue helping him climb the board. I’ll be glued to everything Winfrey does.
TRAVIS JONES’ BENCH PRESS
Kyle Crabbs: Travis Jones is a brick house in the middle of the line and you can see his raw power when he’s charged with pressing and extending on blocks to clear himself from contact. I think his raw power is going to translate to big numbers on the bench—although even if they don’t, we can rest easy knowing it translates to the field regardless.
Drae Harris: I’m most looking forward to agility drills with this group to get a better idea about overall athleticism.
Wish You Were Here
Keith Sanchez: I’m going with a small school guy from the University of Louisiana Lafayette, Tayland Humphrey. Humphrey played well against his level of competition and I would have like to see him compete athletically against some of the best college football has to offer.
Joe Marino: Eric Johnson popped at the Senior Bowl. After a strong showing in Mobile, I was hoping to gain another in-person exposure to his skill set at the combine. His pro day should be intriguing as we continue searching for day-three prospects at defensive tackle.
Kyle Crabbs: Eric Johnson was a fun addition to the Senior Bowl this year and flashed some fun disruptive tendencies. But there was no combine invite in Johnson’s cards, so we will need to wait for the pro day circuit to get our eyes on him once again.
- Mar 11, 2022
- Mar 11, 2022