The 2019 NFL Scouting Combine wrapped on Monday. A few Tide players stood out. Others did a solid job. And then there are those who are choosing to take the harder path.
The oddest trend in this year’s Combine is the large number of DNP, also known as “Did Not Participate”. For whatever reasons, 19 of 45 linebackers sat out of this year’s 40. It’s unclear if it is the athletes making these choices or the agents or mama or gold-digging “mentors” (more on that later). Unless a person is physically unable to perform an event, skipping one is a big mistake.
Understand that this is the one best chance prospects have to show off their wares close up and personal in front of all 32 Head Coaches, all 32 GMs, and hundreds of assistants and scouts. It’s all fine and well if a guy wants to run at his Pro Day where he can sleep in his own bed and perform on his “home turf”, but there will be a significantly decreased number of eyeballs on him in that instance. Additionally, the Combine is about more than just numbers. The observers want to see competitiveness, attitude, grit, and personality.
Deionte Thompson suffered a torn ligament in his wrist and had surgery last week, which is unfortunate. He understandably could not participate in the bench press. But what is stopping him from doing a broad jump or a vertical leap? The numbers probably would’ve sucked, but the press would’ve gone bananas with how tough and competitive Thompson is and it would’ve put the former Tide safety on every team’s radar. Even more so if the results did not suck. Beyond Thompson and his obvious injury, there were so many unexplained DNP from others that surely must make scouts leery.
GRADING THE TIDE
Below is a run-down with my post-Combine non-Gump draft projections.
Official 40 time for Quinnen Williams: 4.83.— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) March 3, 2019
Looks like that’s the fastest combine 40 time for a 300+ pound guy since 2013. pic.twitter.com/dljEMjdFv1
DL Quinnen Williams absolutely blew everyone away with his athleticism, strength, speed, and his attitude. After running a blazing 4.87 on his first 40 attempt, he was told that it was good enough and would not need to bother with a second try. His response was “it’s not good enough for me,” and promptly ran a 4.83 which was faster than the times of five quarterbacks at this very same Combine. His 10-yard split was 1.67 which NFL experts noted was up there with Aaron Donald (1.63) and Fletcher Cox (1.66). To a pass rusher, this is a much more important stat. His was the fastest Combine 40 time for a 300+ pound guy since 2013. Of all the interior linemen, he won the day.
Pre-Combine: Top 5; Post-Combine: Top 3, if Arizona doesn’t do something devastatingly stupid, Q could be #1.
OL Jonah Williams did not have to do much to prove he is worth the hype. His number weren’t mind-blowing but he had some nice workouts and looked great in the drills. Add that to his smarts and game film and you have a first-rounder.
Pre-Combine: Top 15 - One of the top OL of the class; Post-Combine: same as before but depending on who needs OL, he could go much higher.
Irv Smith Jr. going through the gauntlet drill with ease @AlabamaFTBL— NFL (@NFL) March 2, 2019
: #NFLCombine on @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/JfcsVd5Abq
TE Irv Smith Jr. did not post the size or numbers of other tight ends but was a shining star in specialized drills. He caught every ball that came his way and showed nimbleness of a wide receiver. Some tight ends still have that lumbering look to them but not Irv. Even so, Noah Fant was out-of-this-world good and cemented his place as the first TE to likely go off the board. But someone could just fall in love with Smith and pick him up earlier than expected.
Pre-Combine: 2nd Round; Post-Combine: Still 2nd Round.
RB Damien Harris - No one running back really stood out from anyone else. Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill had the best numbers going but injured his hamstring and couldn’t finish his workout. Harris’s numbers were right in the middle of the pack, but put forth great effort and tested well off the field. Still, it is unclear why he chose to skip the valuable 3-cone drill. He neither hurt nor helped his draft stock.
Pre-Combine: late 2nd or 3rd; Post-Combine: same.
OL Ross Pierschbacher did not put up good numbers but interviewed well and has the pedigree. His versatility to play either center or guard will prove valuable to a team looking to rebuild their O-line.
Pre-Combine: 4th; Post-Combine: same, possibly higher depending on needs and who goes ahead of him.
RB Josh Jacobs could not compete in any of the events due to a groin injury and what a shame that is. He likely would’ve done a really good job. A reputation of injuries could be damaging his stock.
Pre-Combine: Top 10 - NFL Ready. Teams with a running back need that pass on him will be kicking themselves; Post-Combine: late first round.
LB Christian Miller DNP in many events while recovering from a hamstring injury. He did, however, have the fourth best vertical.
Pre-Combine: 4th - I fear that his injuries might put some doubts in GMs’ heads; Post-Combine: same. He didn’t turn any heads.
DB Deionte Thompson was another DNP because of a wrist injury. If you read my rant above, you probably know how I feel about his DNP. If you are wondering, he is sporting a half-cast below the elbow that should not have completely sidelined him.
Pre-Combine: 2nd or early 3rd - Perhaps the top safety in a weak class but he struggled down the stretch and now he has the injury; Post-Combine: because of the weak class, I will say his status is the same, but he could have helped himself greatly with a little effort..
DL Isaiah Buggs numbers were not good at all. He had the lowest number of bench reps at 20, which is disappointing and surprising, as well as the worst broad jump and vertical among DL who attempted. That said, he has a good attitude and a motor that won’t quit. Someone will take a chance on him.
Pre-Combine: 4th or 5th; Post-Combine: 5th or 6th.
DB Saivion Smith really needed a good showing to take that bad taste out of everyone’s mouths. Only 11 bench reps, mediocre in the broad, and on the lower ends of both the 3-cone and vertical. But worst of all, he skipped the 40 and sounded really lame in his excuse, blaming his injury from TWO MONTHS AGO. He did not win any fans on Monday.
Pre-Combine: 7th or FA; Post-Combine: same.
LB Mack Wilson. Wow. This story just keeps turning more and more tragic. By now, you have heard the whole story about this godfather/mentor who bragged about telling Saban off. Now this past week, Wilson opted to pass up a chance to participate in the 40, the bench, shuttle run, and the 3-cone - all vital events for linebackers - for no believable reason. We here at RBR have no proof of this mentor’s level of membership on Team Mack but it sure stinks of this shady character. WE NEED YOUR HELP! If you or someone you know personally has Mack’s ear, PLEASE tell him to watch Trent Richardson’s E60 and get him far far away from this golddigger.
Pre-Combine: late 2nd or 3rd - Whoever drafts him probably doesn’t want him at Mike LB. Will and Sam LBs don’t get picked early; Post-Combine: 4th at best.
* Alabama’s main Pro Day will be March 19 and likely covered by the SEC Network. The make-up Pro Day is on April 2. This second date will be for those players like Thompson who will not be healed in time for the first one as well as any other special requests that might come from NFL scouts.
Where will Mack Wilson be drafted?
This poll is closed
6th or later