2019 COMBINE Surprises

By | March 4, 2019

To my knowledge, just about every Draftnik throws out a list of the most obvious exclusions from the annual Combine, and certainly, it’s pretty easy to identify a handful of prospects, who are personal favorites, that don’t get invited to Indy. It is also true, just about every year, that a few of the invitees that we question, turn in some praise worthy performances.

So, below are guys who posted some measurements and workout numbers that got my attention, and/or they looked very solid in on-field drills in Lucas Oil Stadium.

MILES BOYKIN WR NOTRE DAME 6’036/220 4.42/40 9 7/8″H/331/2″A 43 1/2″V
Boykin has seldom in his career in South Bend, posted receiving numbers that would measure up to most of the numbers above. Some NFL team will clearly see the numbers and decide he’s worth the gamble on greatness on Day 3.

SEAN BUNTING CB CENTRAL MICHIGAN 6’003/195 9 5/8″H/313/4″A 41.5″V
The Chippewas had a pretty dismal 2018 season, and much of it was due to a woeful Offense. BUNTING did some major talking upon arrival in Indy, and to some degree, he lived up to his own hype. He posted a 4.42/40-time that was the 5th best amongst the CB’s. He also displayed fluidity and body control in drills.

JAMAL DAVIS ER/OB AKRON 6’031/243 4.60/40 91/4″H/34 1/4″A 39″V
This PITT transfer performed like a workout warrior. He also showed good fluidity in field drills, and better/softer hands than some of the DB group. His game tape may not be as impressive as these numbers, but they could force some teams to go back to game tape.

JAMEL DEAN CB AUBURN 6’1/206 4.30/40 9 1/8″H/31 3/4″A 41″V
His numbers clearly indicate a very good athlete, with ideal size for the Corner. He looked fluid in the drill work, and looks like he has soft hands. Only issue could be his medical report. Originally a Buckeye, he has had 3 knee injuries over his college career.

EMANUEL HALL WR MISSOURI 6’017/201 4.39/40 9 3/4″H/33 1/4″A 43 1/2″V
HALL pulled out of the Senior Bowl with an unspecified physical issue, which even his QB DREW LOCK was unaware of in Mobile. Turns out, that his medical in Indy revealed a sports hernia. Despite the health issue, which will require a surgical procedure, his workout numbers are pretty darn good. In fact, they deserve a WOW and an atta-boy, IMO.

TRYSTEN HILL DT UCF 5.04/40 10/1/4″H/33 3/8″A 35″V 28 reps/BP
Hill clearly did not hit it off with his new coaches, when Scott Frost left for Nebraska. There is no other way to explain his “one game started” in the 2018 season, after watching him prance around the Indy field, holding his own in the most talented position group for the next Draft. That may also explain why he declared for the Draft. This guy deserves an early Day 3 Draft selection, based on talent and size.

GARY JOHNSON IB TEXAS 5’117/226 4.43/40 10 1/4″H/31 1/4″A 33.5″V/10’1″BJ
This almost 6-footer led Texas in tackles last season. His 4.43/40 was the 3rd fastest in the LB group, trailing on the DEVIN Duo. His height should not be a huge issue, given his speed and mobility. His Combine work should earn him 4th Round consideration. Before the Combine, he wasn’t even in my Top 300 list.

BOBBY OKEREKE LB STANFORD 6’013/239 4.58/40 10 1/8″H/341/2″A 33 1/2″V/10’2″BJ
OKEREKE has been a productive member of that stout Stanford Defense his entire career in Palo Alto. His length (arms), and pursuit speed, combined with overall athleticism shown in field drills, have certainly gotten my attention. I knew of this guy, but clearly not enough.

IOSUA OPETA OG WEBER STATE 6’042/301 5.02/40 9 7/8″H/331/4″A 33″V
39 BP Reps
OPETA was a guy that I was totally unfamiliar with until I saw what he did with the Bench Press, then the numbers kept rolling in and they were all impressive. He also displayed good flexibility and mobility. He’s a strong kid with pro potential on the interior OL. I will be finding a spot for him in my Top 250 prospects next week.

KAHALE WARRING TE SAN DIEGO STATE 6’051/252 4.67/40 9 3/4″H/32 3/4″A
I had no idea who this guy was when I saw the Combine list. I could not have told you where he played his college ball. I know him now and I was impressed by his workout numbers. I also thought he looked fluid and natural in on-field drills. He catches well with those big hands, and if he played for Rocky Long’s Aztecs, you know he can block. I think he got buried in a small role on a run-oriented team, without a big time QB to catch balls from. He should get some serious additional attention from pro scouts at his Pro Day. He looked draftable in Indy last weekend.

ZEDRICK WOODS S OLE MISS 5’11/205 4.29/40 91/8″H/31 5/8″A 34.5″V
Meet the man with the fastest 40-time at this year’s Combine. He’s fast and fluid. His only major drawback may be his lack of elite ball skills. He has NOT had a Pick in the last two seasons, but I can guarantee you his speed alone will have pro scouts calling game tape and entice a major turnout at his Pro Day.

That’s my initial list of surprises from Indy. I can guarantee that most of these guys were likely, specifically, requested for inclusion in the Combine, based on curiosity to see more live, of what some attentive personnel people felt they saw on tape.

I’ll have more Combine conversation for you in the next couple of weeks.