Joe Marino’s Scouting Combine Notes: Defensive Line and Linebackers

Written by Joe Marino on February 28, 2016


You can see all the testing results on our Combine Results Tracker. The focus of this recap article will be to analyze highlights/lowlights that you cannot simply read off the chart.

Defensive Lineman

  • UCLA DT Kenny Clark was nimble on his feet, changed directions with ease and maintained excellent leverage through drills.
  • Boise State EDGE Kamalei Correa is an explosive football player and the same can be said for the way he went Correa Insidethrough drills. Everything he does is 100MPH and that’s the type of mentality you want at 3-4 outside linebacker. His intensity was unmatched today.
  • Maryland DL Quinton Jefferson had a good day in drills. He looked balanced and natural navigating through bags and changing directions.
  • Nebraska DT Maliek Collins had a difficult time maintaining leverage through drills.
  • Michigan DT Willie Henry truly emphasized displaying violence in his hands. Everytime he had the chance to show heavy punch into the bag, he did so with violence.
  • Baylor DT Andrew Billings is explosive and moves exceptionally well for 311 pound man. He was intense and balanced working through drills.
  • Ohio State DE Joey Bosa is arguably the best football player in the draft but he wasn’t the best player in spandex today. His workout in drills was average. With that said, his technique and ability to impact football games is exceptional. Not to mention his 3-cone and short-shuttle times were excellent.
  • Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins was smooth and fluid in drills today. He had no issues changing directions and flipping his hips. He is going to make a major impact as an interior pass rusher.
  • I’ve underestimated Oklahoma DL Charles Tapper’s athletic ability. This guy can fly around with ease and is nimble on his feet. He had a tremendous day.
  • Clemson DT DJ Reader moves incredibly well for a 327 pound man. I was extremely impressed by his ability to move laterally, work through bags and burst.
  • Maryland EDGE Yannik Ngakoue has excellent burst and bend when dipping around the corner and that showed up in drills today. Those are valuable traits in an NFL edge rusher.
  • Illinois DL Jihad Ward’s power in his punch is incredible. If he can put together all of his raw ability then he will be an outstanding pro.
  • Everything that Clemson DE Shaw Lawson was asked to do today he did it and did it well. An impressive showing for a guy I view as a top-10 player in this draft.
  • Three guys who tested far better than I expected:  Penn State’s Carl Nassib, Oklahoma’s Charles Tapper and Oklahoma State’s Emmanuel Ogbah.

Linebackers

  • Ohio State LB Darron Lee is an exceptional athlete and it showed today. He is an easy mover that can change directions with top-end quickness. Lee also tested extremely well.
  • Utah LB Gionni Paul had a rough Combine. He is small, slow and was clunky in drills.
  • Ohio State LB Joshua Perry is a large man but went through drills and tested very well. He exceeded my expectations.
  • The best player in linebacker drills was Wisconsin LB Joe Schobert. He looked natural, fluid and was textbook with his technique.
  • I thought Arizona LB Scooby Wright played very much out of control on tape and the same can be said about his performance in drills. I like the intensity but he needs a ton of refinement.
  • Washington LB Travis Feeney has a great frame and was fast and fluid in drills today. A bit unfamiliar with him entering the Combine, he is a player that I am excited to get into their tape.
  • Utah State LB Kyler Fackrell is a guy that I love on tape that can do everything and had a great performance today. He showed fluidity and the ability to quickly cover ground in drills despite his strength being setting the edge and rushing the passer.

Joe Marino

Joe Marino is a Senior Scouting Consultant for NDT Scouting and co-host of the Locked of NFL Draft Podcast. Marino began his career as the Assistant Editor for USA Today Digital Properties Draft Sites Network in 2011. In 2014, Joe joined the highly regarded Draft Breakdown staff as a Senior NFL Draft Analyst where he received high praise for his coverage of the Senior Bowl, NFL Scouting Combine and prospect evaluation. Joe has been a featured NFL Draft Analyst on local ESPN Radio, national NBC and CBS Sports Radio, and numerous local radio shows and podcasts. Marino also contributes a weekly column to USA Today's Draft Wire.

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