2019 NFL Scouting Combine
Quinnen Williams rocked the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. What other defensive lineman stood out? #Combine (Scott Blair/Getty Images)

Defense will take us the rest of the way at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. It’s a historic defensive draft. Virtually all of the talent is on the defensive side of the ball. That’s probably good news with the deteriorating defense that’s been going on in the NFL. In this post, we’re looking at just the defensive lineman in the middle.

Ed Oliver only jumped and benched. Dexter Lawrence ran one 40 and got hurt. Don’t worry, it’s an unreal defensive line class. Take a look who stood out for better or worse for the defensive lineman at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine!

Top Of The Board

Quinnen Williams came into the day as the best interior defensive lineman and did nothing to dispel that. The man is a beast. A 4.83 – 40 yard dash and 1.67 10-yard split is unreal for a 303 pound defensive lineman. Add in a 30.5 inch vert and 9-8 broad jump and you already start with a phenomenal day.

There were a couple of times that Q slipped but still. The movement skills are just off the charts. There’s a drill in the highlight clips below where he’s charging in and stops and a dime and changes direction like a guy half his size. All Q Williams did was kill people in college and I saw more of the same potential today.

Christian Wilkins isn’t too far behind. It seemed like every other guy came from Clemson but Wilkins is the best of the Tigers at the Combine. Wilkins epitomizes what this draft class is all about. Super athletic defensive lineman. The best defensive line class I can remember. Just watch the clip below. Defensive lineman are not supposed to move like this. Wilkins is super smooth and just a really good football player. He’s really smart too. Wilkins showed some power with 28 reps in the bench and ran a more than fine time at 5.04 at 315 pounds.

Coming Out of Nowhere!

A guy from Central Florida stole the show. I would be lying if I knew who the guy was. I think it’s pretty fair to say that no lineman moved better than Trysten Hill. I also think it’s fair to say that I’ve never seen a defensive lineman move this well in my entire life. Seriously do yourself a favor and watch the clips below. There will be some safeties that do not move this well. Hill came in at 6-foot-2, 308 and moved like a gazelle. That lower body explosion was evident in the vert and broad jump notching 35 inch and 9-7 inch respectively. 28 reps in the weight room will do just fine. This guy is the total package. Sweet feet and excellent hand work. He bent around the corner with ease and was violent with his hands. I’m in on Trysten Hill.

Sleeper Alert

Khalen Saunders is growing on me. He’s been awesome during the pre-draft process. Just another dancing bear. 324 pounds who runs a 5.01 – 40. That’s pretty impressive. Saunders is super light on his feet and is an explosive athlete. I love the fact that Saunders is an easy knee bender and can change directions in an instant. Again, defensive lineman are not supposed to be this agile but Saunders seems to be one of many good ones.

Other Notes

I want to show a clip that showed a ton of detail here. It’s a bag drill with Isaiah Buggs, Demarcus Christmas, and Kevin Givens. Buggs has super powerful hands and just fits that Bama mold in recent years. He has Jarran Reed written in the stars. Better than average pass rusher with a strong punch. Plug him in the second round and carve out a starting spot as a 3 technique and keep it moving.

The second guy in the clip is Christmas from Florida State. This is the type of guy you cross right off the board and never look back. This is the type of player that you don’t even need to watch the film. I want you to watch how he bends. All of the bend comes from the waist, not the knees. That’s not only a problem but a non starter. You can just tell that he gets wrecked by leverage. He’s way too high. Not going to work.

The next guy is intriguing. Kevin Givens had a nice day. 32 reps on the bench is impressive. The was the part I was worried about because he showed a ton of quickness out there. A 5.08 – 40 time isn’t anything to write home about but check out that 1.59 – 10 yard time. That was by far the best by anyone in this group. He was very quick off the ball. You can work with that trait all day.

Albert Huggins looked SLOW. Really powerful with 35 bench reps but slow. You can see him in the back half of the Hill clip. Moved like a snail changing directions. The Clemson guys are always intriguing but he seems more like a developmental guy.

Terry Beckner was slow too. I thought he was a better athlete than he showed because I was a fan of him at Missouri. A 5.19 – 40 time is fine I guess but it also isn’t super important. He just didn’t move as well as I thought he would.

Dre’Mont Jones and Jerry Tillery both looked skinny. They fall into the same category. I know they can get after the quarterback but they both looked small and weak (for the position). Jones didn’t bench at all which raises eyebrows and Tillery notched 23. Tillery also has long arms at 34 1/4 so that’s not terrible. The question is he is 6-foot-6 and 295. He was also a bit out of control moving around. Not many guys at that position that tall and that skinny. Jones showed zero power in the bag drills. Couldn’t kill a fly if he tried. Both took a hit today.

Dontavius Russell continued what I’ve been saying for a while. He’s a good player but not a superb athlete. Technically sound and moved just fine. Also liked what I saw from Daylon Mack. Showed the same kind of stuff I saw at the Senior Bowl. Another dancing bear who is quick on his feet for a mammoth nose tackle. Easy mover. Let’s throw Daniel Wise in this group too. Why not. Wise is similar to his brother Dietrich who is a productive player on the Patriots. His brother didn’t test off the charts either. Again, not a real crazy athlete but has something to him. He was slow in his testing but showed an ability to set the edge at Kansas.

Charles Omenihu had a good day too. I was watching the coverage and it looked like his knuckes were dragging on the ground while he was going through the drills. Then I looked it up and he had 36 inch arms. Probably why he didn’t bench. I think he’s a solid player. Again, not going to test off the charts but his arm length is elite and showed great technique in the bag drills.

Armon Watts was god awful. He needed a map. Guy was all over the place. I can’t imagine how he was invited to the combine.

Vendetta Big Board

  • 1: Quinnen Williams (Alabama)
  • 2: Ed Oliver (Houston)
  • 3: Christian Wilkins (Clemson)
  • 4: Dexter Lawrence (Clemson)
  • 5: Jeffery Simmons (Mississippi State) DNP