Last week we did a preview about a handful of defensive lineman to keep an eye on at the combine and we explained why the Jacksonville should be paying attention to them. You can view the post here.
So how did these players perform in Indianapolis? Who were the biggest winners and losers?
Nkemdiche did not blow the roof off the place and have a generational combine performance like many thought he had the chance of doing, but there is a good reason for that. Nkemdiche, who arrived at Ole Miss as a defensive end and seemingly played at a lighter weight for a defensive tackle in 2015, showed up to the Combine with added size. Many thought there were chances of him coming into Indy in the 280's but he weighed 296 pounds.
With that said, Nkemdiche still had a great day and was probably the top performer among the defensive tackles. Here is how he stacked up against past combine performances per Marcus Armstrong (@mockdraftable).
Buckner had to answer a lot of questions about his athleticism and overall ceiling as a player in Indy, and he did a fairly solid job in doing so.
Buckner has a unique frame with his height and length and Oregon's scheme also did no favors in exposing his athletic potential so it was unclear what the true expectations for Buckner was but he had a good day no matter how you look at it. One area he was particularly impressive in was his jumps (Vertical and Broad Jump) which can help determine explosiveness, which was one area that was a big question for Buckner.
(A tip for looking at Buckner's spider graph on www.mockdraftable.com -- Change the format so his numbers are compared to defensive tackles instead of defensive ends.)
Compared to the expectations for Butler coming into the combine, he was a bit of a disappointment.
He came in a good blend of size and length (over 35-inch arms!) but when it came to on-the-field drills and measurements, he was unable to make any true impressive mark anywhere. His agility drills in particular were surprising. With that said, he was still a productive college player who showed a lot of good things on the field, his ceiling may just be capped to a degree.
Jones is another guy who was thought to have the potential to blow up the combine that didn't quite work out like that. But with that said, he didn't have a bad workout. He had a pretty good one, just not a freak athlete caliber one.
That makes Jones a good representation for the 2016 Class' combine as a whole. There were some really solid performances, but were there any Vic Beasleys, Khalil Macks, Sammie Coates? No. There are some good football players and some good athletes in this class, but nothing too crazy.
Maddy was unable to perform at the combine so we can not really determine how it impacted his stock. We will have to wait to see if he is good to go for Virginia Tech's pro day.
Charles Tapp and Jonathan Bullard both had big days. Tapp had the most impressive combine of any non-DT and Bullard exceeded expectations greatly.
I could tell you how poorly Adolphus Washington performed, but I will just show you this instead.
Again, a big thank you to Marcus Armstrong and his work at www.mockdraftable.com.