Category Archives: Draft preview

2023 NFL Combine, Day 2: Defensive backs flipping the script

The NFL Combine’s defensive backs featured a group of sprinters that should please NFL secondary coaches. Several defenders in the group stood out in the field portion of the workout.

Cornerbacks/Nickel backs

Moss (No. 33 pictured) finished his Hawkeyes career with 11 interceptions (3 TDs).

Riley Moss 6’0 193 CB-Iowa

As we talked about earlier this year, Moss was one of the centerpieces of the nation’s second-ranked defense. The former state champion hurdler was expected to test well (4.4 40-yd, 39″ VJ, 10’7″ BJ), but the explosion out of his zone turns during field work impressed the most. Coming off a fine Senior Bowl week and solid game day performance, Moss simply added to a thorough career. If there was a surprise from Moss’ workout, it was that he simply didn’t catch every ball that hit his hands. Using his arms more when backpedaling could lengthen his stride when in reverse.

Emmanuel Forbes 6’1 166 CB-Mississippi State

It did not all go well for Forbes, as he started the weekend off by weighing 166 pounds. This after getting bigger and stronger during pre-draft workouts. His ball skills lived up to the billing, and he seemed like he took just 15 steps to finish the 40-yard dash in a blazing time of 4.35 seconds (third-fastest time for corners). Most of his workout was smooth until he stood up transitioning out of a zone turn late in the workout. He should spend the rest of the time leading up to the draft putting on as much “positive” weight as possible. At his weight, could Forbes simply be a ‘one-of-one’ player at his position?

Brian Branch 6’0 190 Nickel-Alabama

Branch’s 40-yard dash time (4.58) drew attention, but he has a chance for a re-do on his Pro Day after skipping the short-area change of direction drills (3-cone, 20-yard SS). There was some discomfort flipping his hips during transition drills, particularly when breaking at 45-degree angles after opening into his zone turns. He was much better breaking forward in the W-drill or at 90 degrees out of the backpedal. Of the defensive backs in attendance, Branch may have been the cleanest attacking the ball in the gauntlet drill. His hands stood out during the workout. At 190 pounds, can his style of play (blitzing and playing close to the box) be used on first and second down?

Clark Phillips III 5’9 184 CB/Nickel-Utah

Focusing on the 40-yard dash time would be a disservice to Phillips III. His transition was sparkling in the field drills in terms of fast-twitch fibers on plant-and-drives. The rigidity in his movement gets covered up by typing 60 words a minute with his feet on the keyboard. The ball skills that he showed during the regular season were on display in Indianapolis. Some players want to show off in the drill work, and Phillips III clearly had that focus in Indianapolis.

Jaylon Jones 6’2 200 CB-Texas A&M

One of the bigger corners in attendance, Jones’ ball skills looked fine for most of the afternoon. The former Aggie did slip a couple of times transitioning at sharp angles in position drills, but showed fine feet in the W-drill. He was measured flipping his hips in line drills. His 40-yard dash time (4.57) was acceptable if not noteworthy. He flashed short speed (1.48 10-yard split) but did not hold it for the duration of the 40 yards. On top of that, he blazed an outstanding 6.88-second time in the three-cone drill. It was one of the better times of the entire NFL Combine. Plenty of NFL teams were interested as to how he would test prior to attending the event. Could Jones become a coverage matchup option versus elite tight ends?

Christian Gonzalez 6’1 197 CB/Nickel-Oregon, Colorado

While Gonzalez’s 40-yard dash time (4.38) and vertical jump (41 1/2″) deserve mention, it was the footwork during drills that shined brightest. Much like at Oregon, he changed directions well in short-area drills that required him to backpedal, break at 90 degrees and stop to re-direct back down the line. The clean footwork is a big reason why Oregon often used him inside at nickel. Gonzalez gives NFL teams options if opposing teams put their top receivers in the slot. If he’s not a Day 1 starter in base packages, there is no doubt the All-Pac-12 corner will get every opportunity to play as a rookie in nickel defenses.


Jordan Battle 6’1 209 S-Alabama

Battle displayed some upper body stiffness in the line drill, but that was to be somewhat expected after weighing in at 210 pounds. His backpedal was fine on the pedal, transition and speed turn drill, but he lost balance slightly for a step on the speed turn. The All-SEC defender was comfortable finding the ball late in the drill. Teams still need to see how Battle performs in the three-cone drill, 20-yard short shuttle and jumps (vertical, broad) on Alabama’s Pro Day.

Chamarri Conner 6’0 202 S-Virginia Tech

Conner looked strong and even bigger than his listed weight of 202 pounds. During the field portion of the workout, his backpedal stride length was adequate and performed many of his turn-and-runs without a hitch. After failing to record an interception in 2022, Conner flashed wide receiver-like ball skills flying through the defensive backs gauntlet drill with confidence.

Sydney Brown 5’10 211 S-Illinois

Brown’s impressive week at the Senior Bowl didn’t need a jumper cable, but he provided it a boost with a stellar NFL Combine (4.47 40-yd, 40 1/2″ VJ, 10’10” BJ). He ventured slightly off course on the final portion of the line drill and finished with a drop. Later, during a drill that asked him to change directions suddenly after a 90-degree break, he sank his frame explosively in the opposite direction. Defensive backs have check off boxes during the postseason and Brown has certainly done that.

Anthony Johnson 6’0 207 S-Iowa State

Johnson flashed explosion in the vertical (37 1/2″) and broad (10’2″) jumps at . His arms were not active in his pedal during the line drill and he attempted to anticipate when flipping to turn. This remained true when he measured his backpedal in a drill that required the former corner to transition out of his zone turn at 45 degrees. The biggest NFL Combine number for one of this class’ best tacklers involved three numbers though…4.54 (40-yard dash).

Tyreque Jones 6’2 195 S/Nickel-Boise State

Tyreque Jones S-Nickel/Boise State
Former Boise State defensive back Tyreque Jones impressed at the 2023 NFL Combine with his movement skills and 81-inch wingspan.

Jones, a nickel back for the Broncos, looked like a tall corner flipping his hips in the line drill. The honorable mention All-Mountain West conference safety often played an important Robin role to teammate JL Skinner’s Batman routines. Jones, however, often drew the toughest assignments. Jones’ explosion numbers (32″ VJ, 9’11” BJ) look average until you factor in his tackle-like width (81 1/8″ wingspan).

Brandon Joseph 6’0 202 S-Notre Dame, Northwestern

Joseph had an up-and-down combine and may decide to re-do some of his field work again on Notre Dame’s Pro Day. He generated minimal depth in his backpedal and lost his balance on the first repetition of the line drill. This was not, however, the case working on the backpedal and transition drill, when he tracked the ball effortlessly from the inside-out and high-pointed the football cleanly. It was not a surprise. Joseph finished his career with 10 interceptions (one TD) and averaged 13.3 yards per punt return. His times in the three-cone drill (7.08) and 20-yard short shuttle (4.23) were among the best of the defensive backs in attendance.

Jason Taylor II 6’0 204 S-Oklahoma State

Taylor II’s testing numbers were phenomenal (43″ VJ, 10’9″ BJ). The body control during the field work can be described as adequate. His backpedal was smooth but he did not accelerate into his turn-and-run on the backpedal and transition drill. As expected, he tracked and high-pointed the ball due to his steady hand-eye coordination. Taylor II was calm in the upper body and relied more on his feet than hips to change directions in the workout.

2023 NFL Combine Day 2 (DBs, Specialists)
Defensive backs
Ht/Wt/WingHandsArmsBP40-yd10 ydVJ BJ3-Cone20-yd SS60-yd LS
Alex Austin | CB | Oregon State6'1 1958 1/2" 31 7/8”4.551.5433”10’2"4.33
Deonte Banks | CB | Maryland6’0 1979 3/8" 31 3/8”4.351.4942”11’4”
Jordan Battle | S | Alabama6'1 2098 1/2" 32”174.551.56
Jakorian Bennett | CB | Maryland5'11 1889 1/8" 31 7/8”134.31.4840 1/2”11’1”
Mekhi Blackmon | CB | USC5’11 1789 1/4" 31”114.471.5436”10’5"
Lance Boykin | CB | Coastal Carolina6'2 2009 3/4" 32 3/8”1310’4”
Brian Branch | S | Alabama6’0 190 9 1/2”30 3/4” 144.581.5634 1/2”10’5"
Julius Brents | S | Kansas State6'3 198 9 5/8" 34”4.531.5741 1/2”11’6”6.634.05
Myles Brooks | CB | Louisiana Tech6'1 2019 1/2" 30 3/4”
Cameron Brown | CB | Ohio State6’0 199 9”31”
Ji'Ayir Brown | S | Penn State5’11 20310 1/8" 31 1/4”184.651.5632 1/2”9’11”
Sydney Brown | S | Illinois5'10 21110 1/4”31 1/2”234.471.5140 1/2”10’10"
Arquon Bush | CB | Cincinnati6’0 1879 1/4" 29 7/8”4.541.5533 1/2”9’7"
Kei'Trel Clark | CB | Louisville5'10 1818 1/4” 29 5/8”4.421.4934 1/2”10’2"4.21
Chamarri Conner | S | Virginia Tech6'0 2029" 31 3/8”204.511.5640 1/2”10’5"
Trey Dean | S | Florida6'2 2009 1/4" 31 3/4”254.751.636 1/2”10’4"
Emmanuel Forbes | CB | Mississippi State6’1 166 8 1/2" 32 1/4”4.351.4837 1/2”10’4"
Mekhi Garner | CB | LSU6'2 21210 1/8”32 1/4”4.551.5438”10’8"
Christian Gonzalez | CB | Oregon6’1 1979 1/2”32”144.381.5441 1/2”11’1”
DeMarcco Hellams | S | Alabama6'1 2039”31”4.571.5731”10’1"
Ronnie Hickman Jr. | S | Ohio State6'0 1/2" 2039 3/8" 33”
Brandon Hill | S | Pittsburgh5’10 1939 1/2" 30 3/4”154.431.535 1/2”10’3”
Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson | CB | TCU5’8 1788 5/8”29”124.411.539”11’0
Jordan Howden | S | Minnesota6’0 2039 1/2”32 1/4”144.491.5533 1/2”9’11”
Anthony Johnson | S | Iowa State6’0 2078 3/4" 31 1/4”4.541.5537 1/2”10’5"
Anthony Johnson Jr. | CB | Virginia6'2 2058 5/8" 32 5/8”154.631.5930 1/2”9’8”
Antonio Johnson | S | Texas A&M6'2 1989 3/4" 32 1/8”84.521.5731”9’10”
Jaylon Jones | CB | Texas A&M6'2 2009”30 3/4”144.571.4838”10’2"6.884.3
Nic Jones | CB | Ball State6’0 189 10" 32 3/8”4.511.5734 1/2”10’2"4.34
Tyreque Jones | S | Boise State6'2 1959 5/8" 33 3/4”4.521.6132”9’11”4.48
Brandon Joseph | S | Notre Dame6’0 202 9" 30 7/8”174.621.5630 1/2”9’10”7.084.23
Kyu Blu Kelly | CB | Stanford6’0 191 9 3/4" 32”4.521.4936”10’11”
Darrell Luter Jr. | CB | South Alabama6’0 189 10 3/8" 32 3/8”4.461.5740 1/2”10’3"6.94.43
Jartavius Martin | S | Illinois5’11 1949 5/8" 31 1/8”154.431.4744”11’1”
Kaevon Merriweather | S | Iowa6’0 2059 1/4”31 7/8”4.621.5835 1/2”9’10”
Cameron Mitchell | CB | Northwestern5’11 1919 3/4" 31 3/8”154.471.4835”
Riley Moss | CB | Iowa6'1 1939 1/2" 30”4.451.4839”10’7"
Gervarrius Owens | S | Houston6'0 1959 1/2”32”1537 1/2”10’5"
Clark Phillips III | CB | Utah5’9 184 9 1/8" 29 1/8”184.511.5133”4.32
Joey Porter Jr. | CB | Penn State6'2 1/2” 19310” 34”174.461.535”10’9”
Eli Ricks | CB | Alabama6'2 1888 7/8”32 3/8”
Kelee Ringo | CB | Georgia6'2 2078 1/2” 31 1/4”4.361.5433 1/2”10’2"
Jammie Robinson | S | Florida State5'11 1918 3/4” 29 5/8”234.591.5833 1/2”9’8”
Darius Rush | CB | South Carolina6'2 1989 1/2" 33 3/8”4.361.5135”10’1”
Daniel Scott | S | California6'1 20810” 30 1/4”224.451.5539 1/2”10’8”6.754.17
JL Skinner III | S | Boise State6'4 2098 1/4" 32”
Cam Smith | CB | South Carolina6'1 1809 1/8”31 5/8”4.431.4938”11’2”
Christopher Smith II | S | Georgia5’11 1929 5/8" 31 1/8”154.621.5633”9’8”
Terell Smith | CB | Minnesota6’0 1/2" 2049" 32 7/8”144.411.5634”10’07.024.3
Tyrique Stevenson | CB | Miami6’0 1989 5/8”32 3/8”4.451.5138 1/2”10’5"7.094.41
Jason Taylor II | S | Oklahoma State6’0 20410”32”144.51.5243”10’9"
Rashad Torrence II | S | Florida6'0 19310”32”204.721.5933 1/2”9’11”
Cory Trice Jr. | CB | Purdue6'3 2069 3/4" 32 3/8”174.471.5635 1/2”11’0
DJ Turner II | CB | Michigan5’11 1789 5/8" 30 3/4”4.261.4738 1/2”10’11”
Carrington Valentine | CB | Kentucky6'0 1939 1/4" 32 1/4”939”10’8"
Jay Ward | S | LSU6’1 1888 1/4”32 1/2”164.551.5334 1/2”11’0
Garrett Williams | CB | Syracuse5'10 1929 1/4" 31”
Devon Witherspoon | CB | Illinois5’11 1/2” 1818 7/8” 31 1/4”
Rejzohn Wright | CB | Oregon State6’2 1939 5/8" 32 1/2"
Ht/Wt/WingHandsArmsBP40-yd (B-off)10 ydVJ BJZQW220-yd SS60-yd LS
Anders Carlson | K | Auburn6'5 2189 1/2”31 5/8”
Christopher Dunn | K | NC State5'8 1758 1/2”29 5/8”
Jake Moody | K | Michigan6'1 2099 1/2”30 7/8”
Jack Podlesny | K | Georgia6'0 1949 1/8”29 5/8”
B.T. Potter | K | Clemson5'10 1858 7/8" 30 3/8”
Chad Ryland | K | Maryland6'0 1909 3/8”30 1/8”
Alex Ward | LS | UCF6'4 2409 5/8" 30 3/8”125.061.830”9’6"4.46
Bryce Baringer | P | Michigan State6'2 2169”30 1/2”
Paxton Brooks | P | Tennessee6'5 2019 3/4”31 1/2”
Adam Korsak | P | Rutgers6'1 1878 3/4" 29 3/8”
Brad Robbins | P | Michigan6'0 1/2" 1999” 30 3/8”
Michael Turk | P | Oklahoma6'0 22710 1/8”30 1/2”4.831.6534”9’1”

2023 NFL Combine, Day 1 (DL, LB): Six for six

The 2023 NFL Combine‘s opening act was highly-anticipated due to the bevy of talented defensive linemen, edge rushers and linebackers in this year’s draft. We highlight the movement of six prospects from Day 1 of this year’s combine.

Moving on up

Adetomiwa Adebawore 6’2 282 DL-Northwestern

Adebawore (No. 99 pictured) impressed onlookers at the 2023 Senior Bowl with his combination of strength and quickness.

Adebawore impressed at the 2023 Senior Bowl with his combination of energy, first-step explosiveness and overall strength. It was not a surprise to see the 280-plus pound defender excel in the jumps (37 1/2″ VJ, 10’5″ BJ), but he also flashed fine movement in positional drills. The versatile defensive lineman has shown the ability to lift through offensive guards as an interior defender in short yardage situations (1st QTR/5:51, Ohio State ’22) or throw around tight ends when on the edge (same quarter, Ohio State). His stack-and-shed capability (27 bench press reps at 225 pounds) complements the quickness. Running under 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash (4.49) only helps the former Wildcat’s cause.

Keeanu Benton 6’4 309 DT-Wisconsin

Benton, another 2023 Senior Bowl standout, used the NFL Combine to further enhance his burgeoning draft stock. Like Adebawore, he contains positional flexibility. Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing in the 310-pound range, he improved this past season from a footwork perspective against defenders attempting to reach or scoop block him (see Iowa ’22). That improvement was represented in the short-area change of direction testing, as he stood out in the three-cone drill with an excellent time (7.34 seconds) and also posted a respectable 4.65-second clocking in the all-important 20-yard short shuttle. Benton put up 25 bench press repetitions at 225 pounds.

Anfernee Orji 6’1 230 LB-Vanderbilt

The former safety represents the trend for today’s NFL linebacker. He built on a strong 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl week with a noteworthy combine performance. Orji posted a 4.53 40-yard dash, 38 1/2″ vertical and 10’2″ broad jump. He was solid in positional drills. If nothing else, those numbers will catch the eyes of NFL special teams coordinators looking for fast backup linebackers. He started the season strong and has now begun to reignite the steam this postseason.

Wait and see

Andre Carter II 6’6 1/2″ 262 OLB-Army

Carter stood to gain quite a bit with an eye-opening NFL Combine showing. He was just okay in 2022 while dealing with injury. A year ago, we spotlighted his emergence and versatility for one of the nation’s top defenses. After a less than stellar week at the 2023 Senior Bowl, he needed to show that his strength and explosion translates to the NFL. He passed on the 40-yard dash, impressed in the 20-yard short shuttle (4.36) and posted pedestrian numbers in both the vertical (30″) and standing broad (9’1″) jumps. In addition, he was only able to put up 11 bench press repetitions at 225 pounds. Carter II needs a strong Pro Day to reinvigorate his draft stock.

Myles Murphy 6’5 268 DE-Clemson

Clemson DE Myles Murphy (No. 98 pictured) finished with 11 tackles for loss in 2022.

Murphy -who did 25 bench press repetitions at 225 pounds- had an opportunity to remind potential suitors of his strong upside with a signature combine Top Five-type showcase. By not going through an on-field, the element of recency comes back into play. He opted out of the team’s bowl game and has not been seen since the 2022 ACC Championship game. Clemson’s recent trend of defenders entering the NFL has been less than stellar. The talented first-team All-ACC defender is out to prove he stands as an outlier to the latest norms. Clemson’s Pro Day is scheduled for March 14th.

Ivan Pace, Jr. 5’10 1/2″ 231 LB-Cincinnati, Miami (Ohio)

We talked about the impact of Pace, Jr. last season for the Bearcats and, after a strong postseason thus far, the combine was an opportunity to further distance himself from question marks surrounding size. By declining to workout, he may get pushed into the pack with a number of linebackers lacking the AAC Defensive Player of the Year’s natural instincts and feel for the game. Cincinnati’s Pro Day on March 24th has now become a must-see event.

NOTE: Click into a player’s name in the table and scroll right for 20-yard short shuttle, 3-cone and 60-yard long shuttle times.

2023 NFL Combine, Day 1, 3-2-23 (DL, DE, LBs)
Ht/WtHandArmsBP10 yd40-ydVJ BJ3-Cone20-yd SS60-yd LS
Adetomiwa Adebawore | EDGE | Northwestern6'2 282 10 1/2”33 7/8”271.614.4937 1/2”10’5”
MJ Anderson | EDGE | Iowa State6'2 2699 1/4”33 3/4”33”
Felix Anudike-Uzomah | EDGE | Kansas State6’3 2559 5/8”33 1/2”
Habakkuk Baldonado | EDGE | Pittsburgh6’4 25110 1/2”33”211.674.7835”10’07.114.44
Robert Beal Jr. | EDGE | Georgia6'4 24710 1/8" 34 5/8”1.624.4830”10’3"
Keeanu Benton | DL | Wisconsin6’4 3099 3/4" 33 7/8”251.795.0829 1/2”9’3”7.344.65
Bryan Bresee | DL | Clemson6’5 1/2" 29810 1/4” 32 1/2” 221.714.8629”
Jalen Carter | DL | Georgia6’3 31410 1/4" 33 1/2”
Jerrod Clark | DL | Coastal Carolina6’4 334 9 3/4" 33 3/4”1.825.2527 1/2”8’6"7.64.83
Keondre Coburn | DL | Texas6’2 332 9 1/8”31 1/2”1.825.2227 1/2”8’5”
Brenton Cox | EDGE | Florida6'4 2509 1/4”33 1/8”241.654.8233”9’7”
DJ Dale | DL | Alabama6'1 3029 3/4" 32 7/8”1.815.2625 1/2”8’2"7.694.8
Gervon Dexter | DL | Florida6’6 3109 1/2”32 1/4”221.814.8831”9’2”7.5
YaYa Diaby | EDGE | Louisville6'3 26310 3/8”33 7/8”1.564.5137”10’0”
Ikenna Enechukwu | EDGE | Rice6'4 2649 5/8”33 5/8”1.664.731 1/2”10’0”
Viliami Fehoko Jr. | EDGE | San Jose State6'4 2769” 33”24
Isaiah Foskey | EDGE | Notre Dame6'5 2649 7/8”34”221.664.5834”10’5"7.284.41
Ali Gaye | EDGE | LSU6’6 2639 1/2”34 1/4”
Nick Hampton | EDGE | Appalachian State6'2 2369 1/2”33 5/8”1.654.5835 1/2”10’0”
Zach Harrison | EDGE | Ohio State6'5 1/2” 27410”36 1/4”25
KJ Henry | EDGE | Clemson6'4 25110”33”1.654.6331 1/2”9’4”
Dylan Horton | EDGE | TCU6'4 2579 1/2”33 1/8”1834”10’0”
Siaki Ika | DL | Baylor6'3 33510 1/4”32 3/8” 1.885.397.84.99
Thomas Incoom | EDGE | Central Michigan6'2 2628 3/4”33 1/4”231.654.6630 1/2”9’10”
Calijah Kancey | DL | Pittsburgh6’1 2819 1/8” 30 5/8” 1.644.67
Tyler Lacy | DL | Oklahoma State6'4 27910 7/8”33 1/4”301.725.1128 1/2”9’8”7.6
Isaiah Land | EDGE | Florida A&M6’3 1/2" 2369 1/4”32 1/2”211.654.6234 1/2”10’6”4.56
Will McDonald IV | EDGE | Iowa State6'4 2399 1/2” 34 7/8”36”11’0
Isaiah McGuire | EDGE | Missouri6'4 2688 5/8” 33 7/8”1.724.7636 1/2”10’2"7.39
Mike Morris | EDGE | Michigan6'5 27510”33 1/2”221.724.9528 1/2”9’2”
Caleb Murphy | EDGE | Ferris State6'3 25410 1/4”32 3/4”1.654.8128 1/2”9’11”7.284.45
Myles Murphy | EDGE | Clemson6’5 2688 1/2”33 3/4”25
PJ Mustipher | DL | Penn State6'4 3209” 32 3/4”191.885.4127 1/2”8’0"8.015.03
Moro Ojomo | DL | Texas6'3 29210 3/8" 34 1/2”291.775.0433”9’4"
Zacch Pickens | DL | South Carolina6'4 29110 3/8” 34 3/8” 221.744.8930 1/2”9’8"7.454.62
Jose Ramirez | EDGE | Eastern Michigan6'2 2428 3/4”32 3/4”211.634.7334 1/2” 9’10”6.954.3
Jalen Redmond | DL | Oklahoma6'2 29110 1/8”32 5/8”271.714.8134 1/2”9’8”7.34.51
Tavius Robinson | EDGE | Ole Miss6'6 2579 5/8”33 3/4”1.644.6633 1/2”10’0”4.62
Jaquelin Roy | DL | LSU6'3 305 10 1/8”32 3/4”308.015
Nesta Jade Silvera | DL | Arizona State6’2 304 9 7/8”32 7/8”1.775.1629 1/2”9’2”
Mazi Smith | DL | Michigan6'3 3239 3/4” 33 3/4”34
Nolan Smith | EDGE | Georgia6'2 2389” 32 5/8”1.524.3941 1/2”10’8”
Dante Stills | DL | West Virginia6'3 1/2” 2869 5/8” 32 3/8”201.724.8528 1/2”9’5"7.384.61
Tuli Tuipulotu | DL | USC6'3 26610 1/8”32 1/4”
Lukas Van Ness | EDGE | Iowa6'5 272 11” 34”171.644.5831”9’10”7.024.32
Keion White | EDGE | Georgia Tech6'5 28510 1/8” 34”3034”9’9”
Tyree Wilson | EDGE | Texas Tech6'6 2719 5/8" 35 5/8”23
Colby Wooden | EDGE | Auburn6'4 27310 3/8" 33 3/4”231.714.799’7”4.52
Byron Young | DL | Alabama6’3 29411” 34 3/8”2426”9’07.68
Byron Young | EDGE | Tennessee6’2 2509 1/4” 32 1/2”224.4338”11’07.19
Cameron Young | DL | Mississippi State6'3 30410” 34 1/2”1.85.1
Ht/Wt/WingHandArmsBP10 yd40-ydVJ BJ3-Cone20-yd SS60-yd LS
Yasir Abdullah | LB | Louisville6'1 2379 1/4”32 3/8”1.564.4736 1/2”10’9”
Will Anderson Jr. | EDGE | Alabama6'3 1/2" 2539 7/8” 33 7/8”1.614.6
Jeremy Banks | LB | Tennessee6'1 2329 1/2”32”1.564.5337 1/2”10’6”7.274.38
Micah Baskerville | LB | LSU6’0 1/2” 2219 5/8" 31 1/4”31”9’7”
Jack Campbell | LB | Iowa6'5 24910 1/4”31 7/8”1.594.6537 1/2”10’8”6.744.24
Andre Carter II | EDGE | Army6'6 1/2” 2569 3/8” 33 3/8”1130”9’1"4.36
SirVocea Dennis | LB | Pittsburgh6/0 1/2” 22610 5/8”32 7/8”19
Jalen Graham | LB | Purdue6'2 2209 7/8" 33”1.684.6430 1/2”9’4”
Derick Hall | EDGE | Auburn6'3 25410” 34 1/2”1.594.5533 1/2”10’7”
Daiyan Henley | LB | Washington State6'2 2359 1/2" 33”1.554.5435”10’5”
Nick Herbig | LB | Wisconsin6'2 2409 1/4”31 1/4”251.594.65
Shaka Heyward | LB | Duke6’3 2359 1/2”34”221.544.5331”9’8”7.324.4
DJ Johnson | EDGE | Oregon6'4 2609”33 1/4”281.594.4932”9’2”
Andre Jones Jr. | EDGE | Louisiana6'4 1/2” 24810” 34 1/4”29” 9’8”
Cam Jones | LB | Indiana6'1 2269 1/2”31 1/4”171.624.6933”
Eku Leota | EDGE | Auburn6’3 2529 1/2”33 1/2”
Ochaun Mathis | EDGE | Nebraska6'5 25010 3/4”35 1/4”211.644.7433 1/2”9’10”4.38
Ventrell Miller | LB | Florida6’0 2329 1/8" 32 1/2”
Isaiah Moore | LB | NC State6'2 2339 1/8" 31 3/4”26
BJ Ojulari | EDGE | LSU6'2 24810 1/2”34 1/4”32 1/2"10'6"
Anfernee Orji | LB | Vanderbilt6'1 23010 1/4”32”1.544.5338 1/2”10’2”74.43
DeMarvion Overshown | LB | Texas6'3 229 9 1/2”32 1/4”151.594.5610’4”
Ivan Pace Jr. | LB | Cincinnati5’10 1/2” 2319 1/2”30 1/4”
Owen Pappoe | LB | Auburn6’0 2259 1/8" 31 3/4”291.524.3935 1/2”10’6”
Lonnie Phelps | EDGE | Kansas6'2 2449 1/4" 32 3/8”311.624.55
Drew Sanders | LB | Arkansas6'4 2359 3/4”32 1/8”
Noah Sewell | LB | Oregon6’1 1/2” 24610” 31 5/8”271.574.6433”9’7”
Trenton Simpson | LB | Clemson6'2 23510 1/4”32 3/8”251.554.43
Noah Taylor | EDGE | North Carolina6'4 2388 5/8”32 5/8”22
Charlie Thomas | LB | Georgia Tech6'3 216 8 1/2”31 1/2”191.554.5232 1/2”10’4"7.094.34
Henry To'oTo'o | LB | Alabama6'1 22710 1/4”32 3/4”1.574.6232”9’8”4.4
Tyrus Wheat | EDGE | Mississippi State6'2 2639”32 7/8”1.594.6528 1/2”9’5”4.54
Dorian Williams | LB | Tulane6'1 22810 1/4”33 3/4”1.544.4933 1/2”10’0
Dee Winters | LB | TCU5’11 2278 5/8”31 5/8”1.564.4930 1/2”9’9”


No matter when you turn on the film, Wisconsin OLB Nick Herbig shows up.

To the tune of 21 quarterback sacks and 36 tackles for losses over a three-year period (through 11-19-22).

Look no further than last year’s 2021 Las Vegas Bowl.

In that contest, he was dominant from the first through fourth quarter.

Final stat line: 7 tackles, 2 QB sacks, 2.5 TFLs

But his presence shows up well beyond the numbers.

In the Iowa contest a couple of weeks ago, he set the edge versus offensive tackle Jack Plumb on the first play of the game. The result? He dropped him to the ground with a simple two-hand jolt.

Is Herbig even 6-foot-2? That is the question many NFL teams will have to ponder when projecting him to the outside or inside exchange linebacker spot (most likely Will linebacker).

New Orleans Saints linebacker Zach Baun had a similar impact as a rush artist for the Badgers, but has since struggled in his transition to off the ball linebacker in the NFL.

The difference?

Baun was much more of a one-year wonder in terms of dominant production.

Herbig has averaged over a tackle for loss per game (1.2) since arriving on campus three years ago.

And how he does it is different.

He sets the edge versus tight ends (see 3rd QTR, Las Vegas Bowl ’21-Chenal’s tackle for loss).

By no means are there not repetitions where he can look outmatched versus longer personnel (see vs. Diesch, 3rd and 9, 2nd QTR, Las Vegas Bowl ’21). At the same time, however, his combativeness allows him to run through bigger tackles off the edge with an element of ferocity (QB sack, 4th QTR, vs. Scott, Las Vegas Bowl ’21).

He bends his knees well to break down for space tackles and generally plays with solid footwork. He gets on top of offensive tackles due to no false steps coming off the line of scrimmage.

“It’s a great presence. Him rushing off the edge, it’s nothing like it,” Badgers cornerback Alexander Smith explained. “He’s one of the best in the country. It helps us a lot on the back end and in the secondary. We don’t have to cover for that long.” (

Nick Herbig (No. 19 pictured) walked out over Arizona State's tight end Jalin Conyers in the 2021 Las Vegas Bowl
Wisconsin’s Nick Herbig leads the Big Ten in sacks (through 11-19-22), but he has also broken up six passes over the last two seasons.

Herbig does flash some coverage capability dropping into the curl-hook areas of the field on some of the team’s zone blitz concepts (see NMSU ’22), but has largely been used to create havoc in the backfield.

Can he snap the pictures in a timely fashion to produce in an exchange linebacker capacity?

Will it matter if Herbig continues to defeat tackles? His suddenness complements enough pop to jolt back offensive linemen.

Even if he doesn’t make it at that position, however, there are other examples of players in his size/weight/speed ratio who have begun to have success rushing the passer.

While many point to Baun’s slow transition to the NFL, what about New Orleans Saints 2019 seventh-round draft pick Kaden Elliss? Elliss had to wait to get an opportunity as a late-round draft pick, but he has slowly turned into a viable pass rusher at 238 pounds.

In fact, Elliss has nearly as many starts this season (six) as Baun’s over a three-year period (seven).

In Herbig’s case, the actual final measurements (he was just over 200 pounds entering Wisconsin) could be the most important part of his evaluation process.

Regardless of the weight, everyone believes in the recipe. Just ask Wisconsin’s top pro prospect and fellow team captain, defensive tackle Keeanu Benton:

“Nick’s a dawg,” Benton said. “Even when he was gone (due to injury), he was bringing that energy on the sideline. Making sure everybody was upbeat. That’s my dawg. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about him.” (

Ryan Bowman DL-Senior Washington Huskies

Over the course of Washington Huskies defensive lineman Ryan Bowman’s career, he’s been a versatile, intense playmaker. As his play has proven, average size is only part of his story. The unique combination of savvy and power often allowed him to out-muscle the competition, if you will. We look inside his game in our breakdown on the former Husky and give a sneak preview of our scouting report.

Washington Huskies DL Ryan Bowman (No. 55 pictured on the tackle) often out-worked opponents in school. Some of his opponents in practice were NFL-caliber.

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Football player! Former walk-on who made himself a factor in the Pac-12. Has played LB, DE and OLB. Sudden on line spikes to beat OGs from the RDE spot (four-technique, QBH, 2nd QTR, BYU ’19). Wins on these types of spikes from the stand-up two-point LOLB spot due to quickness (tackle vs. Holani, 4th QTR, Las Vegas Bowl ’19). Sinks his hips and got around the OG vs. BYU in 2019 to force a QB sack (FF, FR-TD). Times snap counts and will crease the backfield (TFL, Colorado ’18). From the OLB spot, he displays some LB-like ability to capture contain vs. speed sweeps to force the ball back inside (2nd QTR, Las Vegas Bowl ’19). Uses spin/roll moves when OTs set high against him to his outside hip (Oregon State ’19). As an interior DL, he spins out of blocks to make tackles inside (UCLA ’18). In these moments, he extends his inside hand as he makes the move. Deft roll moves elude OTs (tackle, third down, 3rd QTR, USC ’19).

Nevada Wolf Pack 2022 NFL Draft: Pros and cons

The Nevada Wolf Pack have a host of NFL prospects in this year’s draft class. Prior to its 2021 Quick Lane Bowl matchup versus the Western Michigan Broncos, we dive into the team’s prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft.

12 Carson Strong 6’4 220 (E) QB-Junior

Nevada junior QB Carson Strong, pictured, completed 70% of his nearly 44 passing attempts per game in 2021.

* Football IQ/Howitzer/Toughness
* Attacks all 53 1/2 yards of the field
* Carson Palmer-type
* Creativity?

7 Romeo Doubs 6’2 200 WR-Senior

* Carries pads/Creates panic for the DB
* Positive deep ball tracker
* Aligns at multiple spots/North-south punt returner
* Concentration lapses

35 Toa Taua 5’10 210 RB-Senior

* Low center of gravity
* Excellent hand-eye coordination (catch vs. Purdue, 4th QTR, 2019)
* Bounces off tacklers
* Ball security (left too many footballs on the turf)

19 Cole Turner 6’6 240 TE/H-back-Senior

* Comfortable working in-between hash marks
* Catch radius/Red Zone threat
* Mike Gesicki-type/Positive space blocker
* In-line blocking question marks/Bulk?

99 Dom Peterson 6’0 295 DL-Senior

Nevada DL Dom Peterson (No. 99 pictured) heads into the team’s bowl game with 42.5 career tackles for losses.

  • Leverage/lateral quickness/productivity (21 career QB sacks)
  • Moves around the front
  • Length? Where will he play?

Frost is one of the better run blocking tackles in the Mountain West Conference.

65 Aaron Frost 6’4 305 RT-Senior

* Nasty/Finish/Tone-setter
* Run blocking prowess
* Can he play center?

95 Tristan Nichols 6’4 245 DE-Junior

* Wheels arm to turn corner/Long-arms opponents
* Special teams upside on the FG block unit
* One-year wonder

11 Daiyan Henley 6’2 225 LB-Senior

* Coverage upside/Ball skills (4 INTs, TD in 2021)
* Improving mirroring in-between the C-gaps
* Inconsistent block destroyer

6 Tyson Williams 5’9 200 S-Senior

* Experienced/Attacks the action/Instinctive
* Takes some gambles in coverage (KSU ’21)
* Size question marks

Rashawn Slater OT-Northwestern: “Slater slayin”

Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater has all of the requisite tools to suggest he can become an intriguing starting option for NFL teams. The 37-game Big Ten starter is light on his feet and finishes assignments with tenacity. Despite weighing in the 305-pound range, Slater plays a much bigger game on Saturday afternoons. The Clements High School (Tex.) product has shown an ability to play on either side of the offensive line.

Rashawn Slater pictured in the 2018 SDCU Holiday Bowl
During his career, Slater (pictured in the 2018 Holiday Bowl) started at both tackle spots for the Wildcats.

“Climbing the Hill”: A Justin Hilliard story

How do you define impressive?

Is it recovering from an Achilles injury and multiple bicep tears to make it on the doorstep of professional football? Using your offseason to travel to Costa Rica and spend time with local youth imparting knowledge on sports and other life skills? Earning two degrees in six years?

All of the above. Most impressively, this is the resume of one person, Ohio State’s Justin Hilliard.

The beginning of the climb wasn’t as arduous for the Cincinnati native, who was a five-star recruit out of St. Xavier High School. ESPN ranked him the number one outside linebacker. He was also an Associated Press all-state selection and the publication’s Division I defensive player of the year in 2014.

However, a meniscus injury forced him to miss the 2015 U.S. Army All-American game and from there, the hits kept on coming.

During his first three seasons in Columbus, Hilliard suffered consecutive injuries to his bicep.

“I’ve had so many times where, like you said, I didn’t know if I was gonna be able to push through,” Hilliard told Spectrum News before the 2021 National Championship against Alabama. “The first three years here at Ohio State were probably the toughest because year after year I had a bicep tear in my left, a bicep tear in my right and then a bicep tear in my left again.”

During his first three seasons, Hilliard only played in 17 games total and compiled 18 tackles.

Justin Hilliard on the kickoff team versus Indiana in 2017
Former Ohio State linebacker Justin Hilliard (No. 47 pictured on the kickoff team vs. Indiana in 2017) was a significant factor on the Buckeyes kickoff team from the time he arrived on campus.

Long road back

Things started to look up in 2018 when he recovered from the biceps injuries and began to contribute as a backup and a special teamer. But like his fortunes up to that point, he dealt with another tough blow.

During spring practices in 2019, the former five-star recruit suffered another blow to morale when he tore his Achilles.

“The first thing that went through my head is that was probably my last practice and the last rep I’ll ever play football,” said Hilliard, when he reminisced about the injury.

“Climbing the hill”

If not for his father and a conversation with head coach Ryan Day and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, Hilliard would’ve put away his cleats… but he pressed on and as fate would have it, he would get another chance.

“It was some hard times, but we made it, we made it. There was times where Justin had to lift me up. There was a lot of times when I had to lift Justin up,” Carl Hilliard, Justin’s father said according to an article in “But when we look back at it overall — only thing I can say is, ‘God is Good.’ No weapon formed shall prosper.”

Despite the grueling rehab, Hilliard returned six months later and played 12 games in the 2019 season.

After the NCAA granted a sixth year of eligibility to Hilliard, it looked like he would be relegated to being a backup and a special teamer because the starting linebacker corps was manned by fellow NFL prospects Tuf Borland, Pete Werner and Baron Browning.

But once again, life had other plans. The COVID-19 pandemic forced Browning and Borland to miss time and Hilliard turned in career performances with his newfound opportunity.

Against Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship game, he had nine total tackles, two for loss, one interception and a fumble recovery. His interception stopped the Wildcats from taking a double digit lead in the third quarter and showed off the athleticism that helped him as a youth baseball player.

Justin Hilliard LB Ohio State
Hilliard finished with 25 tackles, five tackles for losses and an interception in his final three career games.

Ending strong

The storybook ending would not conclude there. Hilliard had back-to-back eight tackle games in the College Football Playoff semifinal and final, against Alabama and Ohio State.

“A lot of people hit me up, almost surprised that I can still play at that level,” He said. “I promised myself after I tore my Achilles that if I wasn’t feeling like I can still play at the level I wanted and achieve those high expectations (I set) for myself, I wasn’t going to keep playing.”

In the two combined contests, he finished with 16 tackles, three for loss and a fumble recovery.

And a month later, he put an exclamation point on his collegiate career. Hilliard had a standout performance during Senior Bowl week in Mobile, Alabama.

On the field, Hilliard catches the attention of scouts with his ability to contribute on special teams. They will also like that he played snaps at each linebacker position in college.

But the real value of Hilliard will be his ability to climb the hill and conquer adversity head on. A hill can have bumps and be rocky, but the former Buckeye is a walking testimony that reaching the top comes with appreciation and gratification.

“This whole journey, man, it’s been tough but it’s been such a blessing at the same time,” said Hilliard.

— Troy Jefferson, DraftNasty staff reports

Zach Wilson QB-BYU: 2021 NFL Draft Preview

Former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson led the Cougars to two bowl victories and three bowl game appearances during his three-year run in Provo. After recovering from injury setbacks as a sophomore, he led his team to an 11-1 record in 2020. Prior to injury in 2019, Wilson faced what proved to be the stiffest competition of his career. In a three-week span, BYU took on Tennessee, Southern Cal and Washington. He found a way to win two of the three contests. We look back at some of best moments during the stretch.

Jordan Smith DE-OLB, UAB, Florida: Does he land?

A breakout 2019 season set up UAB’s Jordan Smith for 2020 and put everything on the table. Respond at the same high level and it would continue to restore his standing with NFL teams. Did the 6-foot-6, 255-pound stalwart deliver? Find out in our breakdown on Smith.

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Fluidity at his size. Rushes from the two-point ROLB/LOLB spots and has lined up at either defensive end. Plays the Sam in a number of their packages. As a three-technique DT or 4i-DE, he will use inside clubs to get skinny and make plays in the run game (ULL ’20). Gives OTs the dance footwork to set up his outside arm-over and wins inside (QB sack, 1st QTR, UTSA ’20). His change-up is the left-handed post to push the pocket (1st play, WKU ’20). Slippery, yet explosive on T-E stunts (QB hit, 2nd QTR, UTSA ’20). When intent (see below), he can set the edge with his length (run game). Chases down plays in pursuit (1st QTR/0:08, C-USA Champ ’19). Did a good job keeping contain early in the 2021 Senior Bowl (game). As a zone blitz dropper, he nearly picked off a slant pattern in the second quarter of the UTSA game in 2020. He had an athletic interception on a tipped pass against Western Kentucky in 2020. Runs down at the R4 on the kickoff team and made an assisted tackle on the unit vs. South Alabama in 2020. Then he nearly made the next tackle on the following kickoff (USA ’20).

Weaknesses: Penalties have been an issue in school. Lost composure against in the 2019 C-USA Championship game. He had an offsides penalty and personal foul in this game (3rd QTR). Posted a personal foul against ULL in the first quarter of their 2020 matchup. Posted a personal foul in the 2021 Senior Bowl. After he uses his slap down (of OT’s hands), he gets pushed too far up the field. Can he consistently set a firm edge in the run game (1st QTR, TD, C-USA Champ ’19)? He will get sloppy on the edge and lose contain vs. athletic QBs (Lewis, ULL ’20). Despite fluidity, Smith fails to change directions instantly. Did not stand out on his first kickoff cover repetition vs. Miami (Fla.) in 2020. Two career pass breakups. Off the field problems at Florida contributed to him being suspended for the entire 2017 season (

Smith finished the 2019 campaign with 10 quarterback sacks, 17.5 tackles for losses and four forced fumbles.

Other Notes: Attended Lithonia HS (Ga.) and was an Atlanta Journal Constitution Class 4A All-State selection after recording 86 tackles, 6 FFs and three TD receptions • He was ranked 211th in the ESPN300 Class of 2016 • 2015 Nike Sparq testing results: 4.75 40-yd, 4.63 20-yd SS, 29″ VJ • 2019 (14 gms, 2nd Team All-C-USA): 53 tackles, 10 QB sacks, 17.5 TFLs, 4 FFs, PBU • 2020 (8 gms, 1st Team All-C-USA): 41 tackles, 4.5 QB sacks, 9.5 TFLs, 36-yd INT, PBU • Career Stats: 94 tackles, 14.5 QB sacks, 27 TFLs, 4 FFs, INT, 2 PBUs • 2021 Senior Bowl measurements: 83 1/4″ wingspan, 9 1/4″ hands, 33 3/8″ arms • 2021 UAB Pro Day: 16 reps-225 lbs, 4.8 40-yd, 33″ VJ, 9’9″ BJ

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Smith came out of high school weighing in the 220-pound range as a linebacker/defensive end prospect. Considering his width, it was nearly a guarantee that he would develop into a hand in the dirt defensive end or rush outside linebacker. At UAB, he was used in both capacities. This has increased his draft stock for NFL teams. Smith still needs added repetitions establishing his pass rush counters and eliminating wasted movement out of a right-or-left-handed stance at end. When standing up, his flexibility allows him to strategize versus offensive tackles. Offensive tackles guide him by the pocket as a result on his speed-to-rip move. He has flashed using snatch-and-pull maneuvers or his patented coordinated swim moves. Teams will want to know more about the suspension at Florida. In addition, why did the needless penalties show up from time-to-time. It could be a reflection of the last chance attitude. We did not question Smith’s effort at any point in the film viewed and liked some of his work on the kickoff unit in school.

GRADE: 5.71 (3rd Round)

DN Big Board Rank: 185

Jake Funk RB-Maryland: Special Value

Former Maryland running back Jake Funk brings a multitude of possibilities to an NFL team’s table this spring. The former Damascus High School (Md.) product ranks as our 16th-best all-purpose prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft. Find out why in our scouting report on Funk.

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Athletic bloodlines. Classroom warrior. As a RB, he cuts off of his inside foot to get outside in one motion. Plays fast on outside run schemes (4th QTR/3:38, TD, Minnesota ’20). Demonstrates positive vision in pass pro (4th QTR, Minnesota ’20). At his best on downhill gap-schemed runs. Translates speed-to-power on contact. Even though he has to chop his feet to get back vertical, he flashes an ability to maneuver his paths (2nd QTR/11:51, Penn State ’20). Catches the ball well on check down passes. He has returned kickoffs for the team (as an off kickoff returner). Gets downhill with good speed and a straight-ahead style in this aspect (Temple ’19, 1st KOR of game). Outstanding special teams player. Used as a hold-up player at RE on the punt return unit. When running down at the R3 position on the kickoff team, he measures up his tackling entries from 10-to-20 yards away and then sinks low to clip the legs of the KOR (tackle inside the -12-yd L, 3rd QTR, Temple ’19). Uses the wrap around technique to get back into his lane in KO cover. He also uses butt-and-press techniques to run through blockers. Gets excited to cover kicks!! The team even used him in motion on the punt team as a gunner-type (Temple ’19). As a tackle on the punt team, Funk uses a snatch-and-pull technique to get rid of hold-ups by the blockers. Served as a wing on the punt team as well. 28 career tackles.

Weaknesses: After making cuts to reach the edge, he has to chop his steps to make inside-out defenders miss (4th QTR/4:40, Minnesota ’20). After his straight-line speed, he lacks a defining trait as a running back. Longer ends on the punt team can get off of his hold-up attempts with their length (2nd QTR/12:05, Temple ’19). Major durability concerns. Had a wrist injury in 2018 that was followed by a torn ACL. He then tore his ACL in the same knee (left) vs. Temple early in 2019 covering a kick (in a game he was playing very well).

Other Notes: Attended Damascus HS (Md.) was ranked as a two-star recruit by some outlets despite rushing for 2,866 yards and 57 TDs while earning 2015 Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year honors • Father, Jim, played at Penn State and his mother, A’Lisa, was a 22-time All-American swimmer at Clarion University • Grandfather, Walter, played basketball at Penn State and his older brother, Josh, was a captain of the Ohio State lacrosse team • 2015 Nike Sparq testing results: 4.63 40-yd, 4.19 20-yd SS, 37 1/2″ VJ • 2016 (13 gms): 29 rushes for 1136 yards (4.7 YPC) and one TD; 7 catches for 42 yards (6 YPR) and one TD; 16.3 yds/KR (three returns); 12 tackles, FF • 2017 (12 gms, Special Teams Player of the Year): 27 carries for 145 yards (5.4 YPC) and 4 TDs; One completion for three yards; One receiving TD; 18.4 yds/KR; 9 tackles • 2018 (3 gms): Two carries; One reception; 4 tackles • 2019 (3 gms): 17 carries for 173 yards (10.2 YPC) and 2 TDs; 4 receptions for 16 yards; One kickoff return; 3 tackles • 2020 (4 gms, 3rd Team All-Big Ten): 60 carries for 516 yards (8.6 YPC) and 3 TDs; 10 catches for 68 yards and one TD; 2 tackles • 2021 Maryland Pro Day: 9″ hands, 30 1/4″ arms, 72 1/2″ wingspan, 22 reps-225 lbs, 4.48 40-yd, 38″ VJ, 10’2″ BJ, 6.73 3-cone, 4.14 20-yd SS

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Since Funk came out of high school, he has gotten bigger, stronger and faster in school. All of this occurred while enduring two torn ACLs to the same knee in consecutive seasons. This speaks to his work ethic and overall football character. Prior to the injury, he ranked as one of the top special teams players in this year’s draft class. Adding a breakout season at running back -something the team felt he was on his way to in 2019- is just adding icing on the cake. So can Funk stay healthy? This is the question for teams as they ponder whether to use a draft pick (perhaps late on Day 3) on a player who could immediately be one of your core special teams players while adding value as a runner with some home run capability. That capability would be maximized in a gap-schemed run game that features some man blocking and pulling offensive linemen. We have no issues with him being competent in pass protection. Funk, one of our favorite all-purpose prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft, has Day 3 value and…..lots of it.

DN Grade: 5.29 (4th Round)

Big Board Rank: 301