INDIANAPOLIS — Although the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine is well underway, Friday’s action was the first to include significant on-field workouts, as well as skill players talking to the media. What were the top takeaways from the Day?
BIG FELLAS LEAD IT OFF
While the special teamers got in their on-field workouts on Thursday, Friday’s workouts were all about the offensive linemen and the running backs.
The O-linemen led it off, and four of them — Texas A&M’s Erik McCoy (4.89), Boston College’s Chris Lindstrom (4.91), N.C. State’s Garrett Bradbury (4.92) and Washington State’s Andre Dillard (4.96) — clocked sub-five-second 40-yard dashes.
McCoy’s time of 4.89 seconds unofficially ties him with Jason Kelce (2011) for the 13th-fastest 40-yard dash by an offensive lineman in the Combine since at least 2000. Terron Armstead ran an OL-record 4.71 40-yard dash back in 2013 (right behind him that year was Lane Johnson, at 4.72 seconds).
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah was especially impressed with Bradbury, however, who has been projected as a possible second-round pick along the interior of the offensive line, but might’ve pushed himself into first-round territory with his workout this week, which included 34 bench press reps, a 31-inch vertical, and a 3-cone drill time of 7.41 seconds.
"He's just a unique player because of his quickness and his ability to get things done laterally. I call him the Grim Reacher," Jeremiah said, via NFL.com. "As you get closer to the draft, I just say, what's wrong with this guy? You're picking in the 20s, you need a center, this guy's going to man that position for you for the next 10 years."
HAND IT TO THE BACKS
Penn State seems to have another gem at the running back position.
Last year, of course, it was Saquon Barkley, who eventually went to the New York Giants with the No. 2-overall pick.
This year, it’s Miles Sanders, who turned plenty of heads during Friday’s workouts. Sanders clocked a 4.49-second 40-yard dash and looked smooth as silk out during other drills.
His 20 reps on the bench press didn’t hurt, either.
"I'm in. I'm all aboard the Miles Sanders express train," Jeremiah said. "He's smooth and he's explosive. ... Caught the ball extremely well. You can't have a better day than what Miles Sanders did today. ... Best in show today for my money at the running back position. ... Couldn't help himself more than he did."
As a group, however, the running backs on Friday didn’t exactly show off blazing speed. Only Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill (4.40) came close to breaking into the 4.3 range.
Hill, by the way, is quite the athlete. He not only led in the 40-yard dash, but his 40-inch vertical led all backs, while he also threw up 21 reps on the bench press, which is quite respectable for a player at his position.
Here is a look at the wide receivers talking to the media at the 2019 NFL Combine.
SKILL PLAYERS TALK TO MEDIA
There was plenty of buzz in the media area on Friday, as it was the quartebacks’, wide receivers’ and tight ends’ turns to get in front of the cameras.
The biggest scrum was for quarterback Kyler Murray, who revealed that he’ll only be taking part in team interviews at the Combine — so, in other words, don’t expect to see him working out on the field with the other QBs on Saturday.
Murray was considered a big winner on Thursday after measuring in at 5-foot-10, but recent successes by others at the position in the NFL who might lack “prototypical” height are clear indicators that if you have the arm talent and the mental capacity, you can win games at the highest of levels, no matter how tall you are.
The Colts, meanwhile, are looking for another “dog” at the wide receiver position opposite T.Y. Hilton, and Ole Miss’ A.J. Brown believes he can be that type of player.
Check out Colts.com’s Jake Arthur’s analysis of Brown’s skillset by clicking here.
Jake also has taken interest in another playmaking pass catcher, but at the tight end position: Noah Fant.
Fant and T.J. Hockenson are two of the top prospects at tight end this year, and both happened to play together at Iowa. Like the Colts’ Eric Ebron, who exploded for 13 touchdowns in 2018, Fant is projected to be a possible mismatch nightmare at the next level, Arthur writes.
Saturday will undoubtedly be the most-watched day of workouts, as the quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends get a chance to show what they can do on the Lucas Oil Stadium turf.
Defensive linemen and linebackers get their turns talking to the media, meanwhile.