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2019 NFL Combine Takeaways: Defensive Line

The 2019 NFL Combine was just another reminder than defensive linemen are some of the greatest athletes on the planet. People this big are not supposed to move this fluid or fast, but every year at the combine they do just that.

Below are my notes on this year’s defensive tackle class and the standouts from the 2019 NFL Combine.

Notes

    • Having questions about Rashan Gary’s (Michigan) film is understandable when determining whether he is a first or second round player, but there’s no question he has first round type athletic attributes after his performance at the combine. A 4.58 40 yard dash at 277 pounds is impressive enough, but Gary’s vertical jump was also elite at his size.
    • Montez Sweat (Florida State) ran a 4.42 40 yard dash at 260 pounds. What else needs to be said?
    • Quinnen Williams (Alabama) might just be the best player in this entire draft class. Williams, who weighed in at 303 pounds and 6’3″ tall, ran a 4.83 40 yard dash, fourth fastest for someone his size since 2003. Williams is clearly the top defensive tackle in this draft class, and put himself in the conversation with elite tackles in previous draft classes as well.
    • Jerry Tillery (Notre Dame) is a late first round talent, and he continued to prove that at the 2019 NFL Combine. Tillery was top 5 among defensive tackles in 40 yard dash, vertical jump, and broad jump, proving he is more than athletic enough to play in this league. Tillery has first round film as a defensive tackle, and now tested like a top 50 player.
    • Jachai Polite (Florida) would have been better off just not showing up to the combine. Polite was disappointing in the drills he participated in before backing out with an injury. According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, scouts are questioning the validity of Polite’s injury, though. Polite also claimed the interviews with teams went poorly because the teams were just “bashing” him and his play. USA Today went as far as to call Polite’s performance one of the worst combine showings of all time. On the bright side he’s a good football player on tape. On the not-so-bright side, it sounds like he’s going to drop all the way out of the first round.

  • Daylon Mack (Texas A&M) is a personal favorite of mine, but after the combine, his spider chart is ugly. Mack’s weight and bench press were both impressive, but the rest of his testing left much to be desired. Mack is a run stuffing defensive tackle, but with his height and athleticism constraints there are certainly reasons to believe he will never grow into anything more as a player. Still, Mack’s tape his good enough to warrant an early day three pick as a 1-technique, which is exactly where he should fall.

What do you think?

Kevin Brady

Written by Kevin Brady

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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