IRVING, Texas -- The eyes of the NFCL Scouting Combine were focused on Jadeveon Clowney and what kind of numbers he might throw done on the field at Lucus Oil Stadium, and he did not disappoint with his effort on the 40-yard dash -- running an official 4.53 and a vertical jump of 37.5".
What was interesting after his 40 was that Clowney chose not to take part in the onfield work with the other defensive linemen -- instead waiting to handle those drills as part of his pro day in Columbia, S.C.
With so many questions about the player and his makeup, to not take part in those drills, I believe was a mistake. The hardest part of his day was going to be running those 40s, and he did that with little or no effort -- but he should have shown teams that he could be a leader, set the tone and close this book on whether he should have been the first overall selection in this draft.
With this strange choice, scouts are walking back to their hotel rooms talking about another strange twist in who many believe is the best player in the draft.
Of the other players that worked in Group 7, I really like what I saw from Scott Crichton, Aaron Donald, Jackson Jeffcoat, Timmy Jernigan and Eathyn Manumaleuna. I have encouraged folks that listen to the Draft Show on DallasCowboys.com to take a look at Crichton and his work at end.
On Monday, I thought he showed the quickness in the drills, along with the movement skills that you see on tape. With a group of ends that is not full of talent potentially in the first round, he is one of those players that could slide to a 4-3 team there at the end of the round.
People seem to be surprised by the 4.66 time that Donald showed in the 40 but again, if you really watch him play on tape, that should have not come as a surprise. If Dominique Easley had not injured himself in 2013, it would have been interesting to see who the first three technique there would be off the board.
Right now, Donald has that advantage over Easley because we are seeing him work. What we have to remember about both Donald and Easley, because of their size, is that they are not for everyone which is something that we all need to remember.
Watching Donald work through the drills, you did see the quickness and smoothness. There was little wasted effort or motion as he went from drill to drill. All the drills seemed very easy and he executed them all well.
Even though I was not excited about the Jackson Jeffcoat tape, he did show much more speed and quickness in the drills than he did in those games -- which I studied. Still at 247 pounds, he is a light player and there were days where he played that way. He did manage to put up 18 reps at 225, but he is going to have to get a lot stronger, and that is where you are betting on the player. Like Donald, the drills looked very easy for him. He was smooth and fluid with each rep having some purpose to them.
If my club needed a one-technique to plug in and play, Timmy Jurnigan would be my man. After listening to Jerry Jones speak over the weekend from Indianapolis and Stephen Jones talk last Wednesday, I do not believe they are going to invest a first round selection on a player that can only play the one.
But in the drafting process, you have to grade the player and give him his due. Jurnigan in the workout showed impressive speed, but more importantly, he showed impressive strength.
When you watched him go through the bags with his feet and smacking them with his hands, there was shock in his punch. His 27 reps at 225 really don't tell the complete story. There is power in both his upper and lower body. What I like about Jeringan as well is that he looks like he might be a little off center in his personality and would play with an edge.
Eathyn Manumaleuna could be a guy that would most likely be taken on the third day in that fourth round. When you watch him on tape, he is a relentless guy when it comes to chasing the ball, but that is not all he can do. I feel like he has a little Tyrone Crawford in him, maybe not as quick but at the point of attack, he is not going to give up much.
His 40 was 5.15 and his bench was 29, which made him one of the stronger defensive linemen at the Combine. I thought he did a much better job with his overall movement than what you see him on tape. My feeling is that he could be one of those rotational players that can line up at a couple of different spots.
In Group 8, the players that caught my eye were Kareem Martin, Chris Smith, Marcus Smith and Will Sutton. I might be totally foolish, but I believe that someone is going to get an outstanding player in Kareem Martin. His strength numbers are not great with only 22 reps at 225 but he is a 35.5" vertical jump and 10'9" broad jump guy.
He might not have the upper body strength now, and there are games where you see this -- but there is something about his body type that tells me that he can develop that strength. He has 35" arms and he weighs 272 pounds. As he was going through the drills, you can see the quickness that at times, he can play with.
I really believe in a group that doesn't have a large number of top flight ends, you can take this guy and hit on a player.
I have not been much of a Chris Smith fan, but on Monday, he showed up during the workout. I am caught where you would play him at 6-1, 266 pounds with his 4.71 speed. I didn't always see an explosive player off the edge, nor did I see one that handled blocks well.
He had 28 reps at 225 with a 37" vertical jump and 10'1" broad jump. He might be a better athlete than he is a football player, and if you did play him, I believe he would have to be a situational rusher. In all of his drills, he showed explosive, quickness. It was a productive day for him. [embedded_ad]
If you gave me a choice off tape only, I would have taken Marcus Smith over Chris Smith. I just believe there are more things that you can do with Marcus over Chris, scheme-wise. Marcus is most likely better-suited to play as a linebacker and rush him off the edge as a nickel rusher.
Marcus did not have the physical numbers that Chris put up, but watching him work, he was very smooth and relaxed in all his drills. He was effortless in the way he worked.
I know that Will Sutton didn't have an outstanding 40 time, but that's not going to be his strong point and we saw that in his work on Monday. Where Sutton is at his best is the drills that require quickness and mobility. I was happy to see him get his weight down to 303, and he needs to continue to try and get it in the low 290s by the time of his pro day. I thought he moved much better from what we had seen during his time at the Senior Bowl.
I didn't have a great feeling from the Missouri kids during the workouts. Neither Kony Ealy nor Michael Sam ran all that well. These are players that you are really going to have to study their tape hard to see if you really want them.
I have a chance to be really wrong about Ealy, and I am not sure where I would play Sam -- much like I talked about with Chris Smith -- but at least Smith but up some positive numbers. It was also disappointing not to see Dee Ford, Edward Stinson, Stephon Tuitt and Chris Whaley not work as well.