We now have three days of combine coverage in the books, and the thing that was made clear on Sunday is that this is a defensive draft. From the guys in the mix to go No. 1 like Ohio State edge rusher Nick Bosa and Kentucky's Josh Allen to freak athletes like Mississippi State edge rusher Montez Sweat, Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams and LSU linebacker Devin White, it's clear this is a great year to be looking for a playmaker for the front seven if you have a top 15 pick.
But those weren't the only guys to stand out on Sunday. Michigan's Devin Bush solidified his status as a Round 1 linebacker, while his teammate Rashan Gary also did a great job running through drills. We'll have more on each position group below.
How to watch the combine
Coverage of the combine events will begin at 9 a.m. ET on Monday.
- TV: NFL Network
- Streaming: NFL.com, NFL Mobile app, fuboTV (try for free)
Edge rusher takeaways
Montez Sweat ran the best relative 40-yard dash of this year's combine, officially clocking a ridiculous 4.41 seconds at 260 pounds. It was the single best 40 time for a defensive lineman since 2003. And he didn't take the rest of the day off either, showing great footwork in the stack-and-shed drill and good power turning the corner with his swim move. He could be a top-10 pick after this weekend, and I wouldn't be shocked if he lands in the top five depending on how the QBs shake out.
If it wasn't for Sweat, we would be freaking out more about Michigan's Rashan Gary running a 4.58-second 40 at 277 pounds. He looked smooth through the wave drill and exhibited great footwork in the four-bag. He did have some weirdness on the change-of-direction drill, spinning the wrong way and then slipping around the corner, but for the most part he impressed. For evaluators, it'll be squaring his lack of production at Michigan with his undeniable athleticism.
Ohio State's Nick Bosa didn't do anything to hurt his status as the top player in the draft. After running a 4.79-second 40-yard dash at 266 pounds, he looked like a prototype running through drills, and he might be even better in space than we thought, as he looked great in the wave drill and changing direction, though he did miss a bag while running the stack and shed.
Clemson's Clelin Ferrell didn't run the 40, so his only chance to impress on the field was running drills. He showed well initially changing direction in the wave drill, but seemed to stumble a bit around the corner on his swim move. He's going to make his money rushing the passer, but he looks like he can play in space on occasion if asked as well.
Florida State's Brian Burns had the second-best 40 at his position with a 4.53, a great time after he measured in at a heavier-than-expected 249 pounds. He was solid running through early drills but really came on toward the end, showing great change of direction and the ability to turn the corner to chase down ball-carriers. He looked like a natural out in space and tracking the ball. The team that drafts him will want to utilize all his skills and potentially have him in a Bruce Irvin-type role where he can rush the passer but also cover the field.
Florida's Jachai Polite ran a 4.84 40 on his first try but sustained a hamstring injury and had to call it a day. Disappointing to not be able to compare him to other potential first-rounders in the drills.
Once you get past the bigger names, the guy who jumped off the screen the most was Michigan's Chase Winovich. He wasn't expected to be one of the fastest guys on the day but he was just that, ranking fourth behind Sweat, Burns and Gary with a 4.59 40 at 256 pounds. He then did a strong job in virtually every drill, looking fluid doing work in the trenches, efficient turning the corner and better than anticipated doing linebacker-type work out in space. I think he's a sleeper for the end of the first round.
Defensive lineman takeaways
Alabama's Quinnen Williams is an absolute beast. He blew the doors off the 40 with an unofficial 4.87 in his first 40, then topped it on his second run. His official time: 4.83 seconds. At 303 pounds, that's more impressive than what we saw from D.K. Metcalf on Saturday. Williams slipped a few times during a few of his drills, but he showed great technique throughout and proved why he's a top-three overall pick.
Clemson's Christian Wilkins might not have leapt off the screen like some other players, but his 5.04 40 at 315 pounds is still excellent, and he looked great running through drills, a natural at his size. If the class didn't include Williams, he'd likely be getting more buzz.
Wilkins' Clemson teammate Dexter Lawrence impressed running a 5.05 40 at 342 pounds, but he suffered a quad injury on his first attempt and had to pull out of the rest of the day. Unfortunate for a guy that many people were excited to see at the combine, hopefully he'll be all good for his pro day.
Notre Dame's Jerry Tillery is a physical specimen. After delivering one of the best 40 times of the day at 4.93, he looked great running through drills, showing his smoothness on the four-bag and the ability to change direction and exhibit excellent burst throughout the day. Could be a great find at the end of Round 1.
Ohio State's Dre'Mont Jones "only" had a 5.12 40 time at 281 pounds, but he showed his stuff in the drills, exhibiting some great burst and really doing a good job in the stack-and-shed drill. He'll be in the mix for Day 1 but should be a top-50 pick either way.
UCF's Trysten Hill was fun to watch. After putting up a 5.04 on the 40 at 308 pounds, he gave max effort on every drill while displaying twitchiness, burst and bendiness, which while typically isn't a big deal for a defensive tackle shows you his athleticism. Hill is someone who made a great impression with his work today.
Kentucky's Josh Allen ran with the linebackers for some reason, though he's going to be an edge player at the pro level at 262 pounds. When compared to the best of the LBs, his 4.63 40 doesn't look all that great, but put it up next to Bosa's 4.79 at 266 pounds and you see how strong it is. In drills, Josh Allen showed great change of direction and good hands, which those teams with 3-4 defenses picking high will love to see.
LSU's Devin White showed why he's the top true linebacker in the class, following up a position-best 4.42 40-yard dash by looking smooth through every drill. In particular he showed great burst at the end of drills when other guys might be looking to wind down. Speaks to his ability to finish plays. I don't think he makes it out of the top 15.
Michigan's Devin Bush had the first big 40 time of the position with a 4.43, then he got cheated on the drills a bit as most of them happened during the commercial break. In one we did see, he stumbled a bit while running the wave drill. He then looked crisp getting around the corner in the pass rush drill. A good day overall for him.
Getting past the big names, Texas's Gary Johnson really jumped off the screen. It wasn't a surprise the former track star was able to run a 4.43 in the 40, but after getting caught guessing a bit in the first drill, he really settled in, looking fluid in the four-bag, smooth changing direction and great hands in hauling in picks. There are questions about his ability to work in space, but he's a heck of an athlete who could be a real find with the right coaching.
Washington's Ben Burr-Kirven is a favorite of our Chris Trapasso, and watching on Sunday it was easy to see why. His 4.56 40 was faster than many expected, and he continued to impress in the drills, doing a good job of getting his hips turned when changing direction and showing nice hands when going after picks. He's not going to be a high pick but he could really outpace his draft slot.
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