INDIANAPOLIS – Speed is not just for the playmakers these days. Linemen can run, too.
The top tackles in the nation took turns one-upping each other in the 40-yard dash. The tight ends did, too, shortly after. Meanwhile, inside of the Lucas Oil Stadium work room, we heard from the likes of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and some of the nation’s top wideouts and quarterbacks.
Here’s what we heard on day 3 of the NFL Scouting Combine…
Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson ran a 4.92, 40-yard dash. The potential top-10 draft pick, however, was outdone by Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan and his 4.87, 40. Lewan and Robinson finished 1-2 as the top linemen sprinters at the 2014 combine.
South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney measured in at 6-foot-5 and 1/4 inch and 266 pounds. He also was measured with 34 and 1/2 inch arms and an 83-inch wingspan. Clowney will be long gone before the 49ers draft at pick No. 30, but the South Carolina prospect does fit the bill of the long-levered prospects that GM Trent Baalke covets.
Tennessee State tight end A.C. Leonard turned in the top 40-yard dash among his position group with a 4.5 mark. Right behind him were Eric Ebron of North Carolina (4.6) and Colt Lyerla of Oregon (4.61). Jace Amaro of Texas Tech also produced a 4.7, 40-yard dash and 27 bench press reps at 225 pounds, tops among all tight ends.
Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton is answering weight questions at the combine. Some teams want him to lose it; some want him to keep it. The two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year winner specifically said the Green Bay Packers want him to stay at 320 pounds in their 3-4 defensive system. Sutton played at 320 during his senior year, but did not enjoy the same production as a junior where he weighed 280 pounds. Sutton, however, has the goal of weighing 295 at his pro day and hopes his nutrition habits will help his draft stock this offseason.
Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans is a big fan of his quarterback Johnny Manziel. “I’d go to war with him any day,” said Evans, an All-SEC and first-team All-American receiver. The Texas A&M redshirt sophomore figures to be a first-round pick and is hopeful he’ll face some of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. Evans specifically said he’d like to compete against Seattle Seahawks All-Pro cornerback, Richard Sherman. “That would be fun,” Evans said. “I’d go at him.”
Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins oozes swagger. The potential top-10 draft pick spoke confidently during his media session. “I can make plays all over the field,” the first-team All-American receiver said. “What I love is dominating defenses. When I come to the NFL, I think I can get that done.”
Stanford inside linebacker Shayne Skov believes he’s a fit as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defensive scheme. He can also play all three linebacker spots in a 4-3 defense. Skov played for 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio for one year in college. Skov could be an option if San Francisco wants to add linebacker depth while
NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport had a noteworthy report on Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio. "I’m told several teams have failed him on his physical. Arthritic knee from failed surgery," the network insider tweeted.
LSU quartebrack Zach Mettenberger is back to running and throwing again after tearing his ACL in December. The SEC prospect expects to be ready for NFL training camp.
Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has met already with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Oakland Raiders, owners of the No. 2 and No. 5 draft picks, respectively. Bridgewater still has his sights set on being the No. 1 overall pick. Bridgewater also earned some props for using a classic name-drop when asked which NFL quarterback he’d most want to be. “Johnny Unitas,” the young passer said. Bridgewater won’t throw at the combine, but he did stress that he’s the top quarterback available in this year’s crop.