The talk all week had been about how well the edge rushers and defensive linemen would test on Saturday. Once the dust settled, the talk was understated and that group actually exceeded expectations. For NFL teams in need at those positions, it is good year to address it. Here are some of the winners and losers from a night to remember in Indianapolis:
Jordan Davis (Georgia)
Travis Jones (UCONN)
Josh Paschal (Kentucky)
Travon Walker (Georgia)
Devonte Wyatt (Georgia)
Jordan Davis, Georgia: Davis ruined the night for everyone else. His 32" vertical jump is tied (along with Kenrick Ellis) for the best by a 340+ pounds DE/DT in Combine history. His 10-foot-3 broad jump is the best by a 340+ pounds DE/DT in Combine history...by 15 inches. His 4.78 seconds 40-yard dash would have been the fastest by any prospect weighing 310+ pounds and he is carrying an extra 31. It was a 100th-percentile testing all day long.
Travis Jones, UCONN: Jones probably would have been a highlight of the night had he not gotten overshadowed by Davis. He measured 6-foot-4 3/8, 325 pounds and ran a 4.92 seconds 40-yard dash. All of his other testing was at the very least average and most often great. Although he could slip into the first round, it is more likely that he goes early Day 2.
Josh Paschal, Kentucky: Paschal is a hard-working edge rusher that will fight down the line to make backside tackles. He has been the heart of that Kentucky defense since returning from a battle with cancer. While his work ethic has always been praised, few would have expected him to stack up athletically with some of the others in this class. In addition to a 4.77 seconds 40-yard dash, he tested well in the jumps and looked good through on-field drills with the exception being that his eyes were all over the place in a drop drill. Paschal is not going to be asked to drop much at the next level. While his performance was not a 1:1 comparison to other elite athletes, Paschal was a winner relative to expectation.
Travon Walker, Georgia: Walker tested like an elite athlete. After impressing during the weigh-in at 6-foot-5, 272 pounds with an 84 1/4" wingspan, the Georgia product ran a 4.51 seconds 40-yard dash and had a very good 6.89 seconds 3-cone drill. His explosiveness and agility tested off the charts all night. His movement skills were smooth through the on-field portion of the night. Given his size and athleticism, I could understand why a team would be inclined to take a chance on him over Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson or any other edge rusher in this class.
Devante Wyatt, Georgia: Standing at 6-foot-4, 304 pounds, Wyatt delivered one of the best performances of the night that could only be overshadowed by his Georgia teammates. Wyatt ran a 4.77 seconds 40-yard dash with a 1.66 second 10-yard split. Coming into the year, only three defensive linemen in Combine history weighing 300+ pounds have ran faster than 4.77. Most were projecting him within the first round coming into the week and that should become even more common now. Minnesota's Boye Mafe also deserves a mention for the way he performed. Florida State's Jermaine Johnson II helped solidify his stock.
Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina: Enagbare doesn't stack up well against the other uber athletes in this class and unfortunately that showed in Indianapolis. His 4.87 seconds 40-yard dash was one of the four worst. His vertical jump was a bit above average but his broad jump was below average. His tape shows more of a quick twitch natured player than one with linear speed and that checked out. He is still part of a deep edge rusher group but his place in the pecking order probably slid.
DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M: Leal is less of a case of not performing well than it is not performing as well as the competition. Hailed as one of the more athletic difference makers among the defensive tackle group, the Texas A&M product was average to below average in every testing metric. He measured in at 6-foot-3 7/8, 283 pounds so that leaves questions about where he is as an every down player. Without the speed to play on the edge consistently, he would have to play inside and it is easy to see the difference between he and the defensive tackles mentioned earlier.
Myjai Sanders, Cincinnati: NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported that Sanders competed despite "battling an illness the last few days." If he needed to prove that he was tough and just wanted to compete, then I could understand pushing through the adversity but Sanders is the exact opposite. There are no questions about his competitive spirit. His weight was down to 228 pounds and he ran a 4.67 seconds 40-yard dash. Honestly, he could and probably should have just set this one out to let his body get right. If he turns it around at his Pro Day, which I expect he will, then it will have little overall impact on his stock.