Offensive linemen, running backs, and special teamers(!) took to the turf in Indy for day two of athletic testing at the NFL Combine and we have all the takes you need right here! With Washington looking like it will have to deal offensive tackle Trent Williams and the New York Giants in a similar boat with Nate Solder, I had a close eye on the big men today.
Before you poo-poo athletic testing for offensive linemen, Hayden Winks of Rotoworld has data telling us that the 40-yard dash, broad jump, and short shuttle correlate well with success in the league. So, unless we have the next Orlando Brown on our hands, it might matter more than we think.
Mekhi Becton, OT - Louisville
Imagine a 6’7” man weighing 364 pounds. Now imagine that man running a 5.10 40-yard dash. That’s .15 faster than anybody in the history of the Combine weighing over 350 pounds. Becton, a potential top five pick, is a manimal with shocking movement skills.
“Folks this big aren’t supposed to move this well. He’s so fluid for a big man and as a result he’ll gear down and pick off scraping LBs with ease. Have seen him work cutoff on a 1T from the backside — which is insane.” - Kyle Crabbs, The Draft Network
The side-by-side comparison for Becton used by NFL Network was Trent Brown, who was a mammoth as well at 6’8”, 355 with a 5.29 40-yard dash. Peter Schrager added on to the hype during the broadcast...
“I got a text from an NFL coach talking about Becton, he said, ‘the entire suite is now watching it one of their phones, watching it over and over again, the forty-yard dash’ and he said ‘Big Ticket’ which is his nickname, ‘Big Ticket made a lot of big money’.”
Big Ticket Becton is going off the board quick, folks, and he may very well land in the NFC East with the New York Giants.
Tristan Wirfs, OT - Iowa
Of course you’re going to end up in the “Winners” when you set a record. Wirf’s absurd 36.5” vertical jump is the best ever among offensive linemen, and his 10’1” broad jump tied Kolton Miller for the best since they started tracking it in 2003. At near 6’5” and 320 pounds, that’s some serious hops! Add to that a 4.85 official 40-yard dash with a bonkers 1.69 10-yard split; buddy was movin’!
One take that help up well is Joe Marino of The Draft Network dubbing Wirfs an “athletic unicorn on the gridiron” - and that was before the testing - which bodes well for his projection as a first round selection.
Ezra Cleveland, OT - Boise State
Not going to lie, I knew nothing about this guy coming into this week and I still know nothing, but I will soon because of this...
Boise State OT Ezra Cleveland just had an all-time kinda combine. Best 3-cone (7.26) and shuttle (4.46) of any OL in attendance— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) February 29, 2020
Cesar Ruiz, iOL - Michigan
With both center and guard experience, the tape shows Ruiz is a versatile, nasty and powerful fellow. He’s also pretty doggone athletic. His 33” vert, 9’5” broad, and 1.77 10-yard split are all solid numbers for the 307-pounder.
Ruiz’s stock entering the week was flirting with mid-to-late second round and he did himself some favors with a good day at the office.
Jonathan Taylor, RB - Wisconsin
Over 7,000 yards from scrimmage, 55 total touchdowns, and now a 4.41 40-yard dash at 226 pounds. Taylor’s track background definitely paid off in this enviroment, but his play speed shows it translates to the field too. In the battle to be the first running back taken off the board, Taylor is sitting pretty after confirming what anybody with eyes knew about his jets.
Duce Staley, Assistant Head Coach - Philadelphia
He has his own drill! The Duce Staley Drill! A drill that Cam Akers from FSU crushed, by the way.
Zack Moss, RB - Utah
I love Moss’ contact balance, but a 40-yard dash of 4.70 did him zero favors. It was a question many had, as Moss was known more of a punisher in college as he racked up three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. His 33” vertical jump didn’t help, as it’s looking like Moss could lack the functional burst required in the NFL.
Lamical Perine, RB - Florida
Bad jumps, bad run, bad day. The thought was Perine might exit Indy as a low-mile option to throw in a committee, but his workout cast a shadow of doubt over that outlook. His 4.62 40-yard dash could still be saved if his 10-yard split is solid, and the 35” vert isn’t disastrous, but the broad jump of sub-10’ suggests explosion isn’t his forte.
It’s not the worst day, but Perine failed to exploit a prime opportunity to make a name for himself.
Benny LeMay, RB - Charlotte
LeMay is another I knew nothing about pre-Combine, and here’s the thing, I probably won’t expand on that knowledge base. When you run 4.75 and fart out a 28.5” vert, I’ll probably be out forever. Maybe he’s just a bad tester? Maybe, but when you come out of Charlotte, passing this part of the test is fairly important.
Trey Adams, OT - Washington
Once upon a time, Adams was considered a first round name to watch. That never materialized, mostly due to a back injury and torn ACL. Fast forward to the present and if you look at the bottom performance from just about all the tests, Adams is hanging out at the bottom. Adam’s luck has been rough enough so I’ll leave it at that before this gets excessive.