2023 NFL Scouting Combine: Linebacker Notes
I hate intro paragraphs so why waste any time? The 2023 NFL Scouting Combine is here. Come get your linebacker notes. Let’s do it.
Full transparency this was a tough one to watch. Commercials picked up as the day went and we missed a lot of footage from the couch. It’s been a long day, man.
Yasir Abdullah got kinda cheesed because he’s right before Will Anderson. Didn’t really see anything I’m able to comment on.
Don’t care about the 40 time for Will Anderson. It was still a really great time at (4.60). The 1.61 10 yard time is way more encouraging. Should have been in the other group. It’s pissing me off. Not acing the drills in space but it’s not his forte either. Not saying he was bad at it. Just not a race car driving in coverage and that’s more than fine. We know he’s a stud and caught the ball well.
Very good in the bag drills. Quick feet and good in and out of breaks. Thought that capped off his day well. Actually think he looked faster coming down hill rushing which was a good sign.
Jeremy Banks looks athletic but a bit of a spazz. Hands don’t look good. Never looks natural decelerating and gearing back up.
No 40 time for Micah Baskerville. Heavy feet changing directions.
I tried to tell you Jack Campbell was slow and compared to the group that’s exactly what happened. Came in at (4.65) which would have been fine ten years ago. It’s a different NFL. Jeremiah can keep blowing him about how he plays faster but it just simply isn’t true. I’ve been watching and 4.65 guy is what he is. Bad stop and starts. Foot gets stuck in the ground and takes too long to get going again. Second slowest linebacker on the entire day. He had a chance to salvage it with solid pass rushing moves and couldn’t even get that right.
I would ask this of Campbell. What’s your expectations here? Josey Jewell might be possible but you’re still not even considering this until round 5.
Jalen Graham eyes down in the bag drill. Usually always a bad sign. Bad turns on the rushing. Hard to call his day good. Big time drifter following the line in coverage.
Derick Hall is an edge rusher. Again, no idea why he’s in this group. Either way, tested well. All things being considered, damn good in the wave drill. Really upright in the bag drills, he’s so long he should be able to overcome it. Damn good pass rushing around the bags. 4.55 for an edge is a great time too.
I wished for a faster time out of Daiyan Henley but not going to cry over the (4.54). Still more than respectable enough time and one I’ll gladly take. The former wide receiver background matters. The coverage drills he’s really comfortable. FLYING through the bag drills. Not going to be an issue flipping hips. Better than expected pass rushing too.
Nick Herbig. What am I missing here? His brother is an NFL player but not a world beater. We’re probably getting something similar here except the linebacker version. No on field.
Shaka Heyward. Smooth in drills but not an all world athlete. Looks like a good football player but what’s the ceiling? Eyes down in the bags. Very noticeable. Bad hips though. He’s faster than quick which might be the opposite of what you want. I’m in but not all the way in.
DJ Johnson ran a really good time for an edge guy (4.49). Problem is he’s a Miami transfer. A 24 year old transfer. No on field drills.
Andre Jones pulled a hammy on the 40. Looked done after that. Never want to see it but it happens.
Anfernee Orji not covering ground in coverage. Short choppy steps going nowhere. Didn’t run terrible. Dragging the feet in the rushing. Took a dump on his ass going backward.
DeMarvion Overshown no on field drills.
Owen Pappoe of Auburn had the fastest time of any linebacker (4.39). Guy can fly and he hits. His feet were incredible. Really light and gets where he wants to go. Hands didn’t rock anyone but what a day!
Lonnie Phelps doesn’t trust the feet at all. Rocking all over the place in space. Can’t catch either. Guy is terrible. I’m not sure he knows how to turn.
No 40 time from Drew Sanders which sucks because that should have been a good time. Way less smooth than I wanted in coverage but he looked fine. I’m dropping a clip in because there’s no denying Sewell was smoother despite not being as athletic. Wanted to see more of a punch rushing. Sideline to sideline is his strength. Damn good.
Bit disappointed by Noah Sewell. Thought the pure speed would be a touch better than (4.64). In space he translated way better. He’s got some hidden power in there. Hands look good rushing. This is a quicker than fast guy for sure.
Trenton Simpson can run. We knew that regardless of the (4.43) time. Good reps in coverage but didn’t look elite. Overall solid day but nothing I didn’t expect. No jumps for Simpson but who cares. He’s athletic and we should know this by now.
Charlie Thomas too small. 216 pounds with that time (4.52) is cool but I don’t care. Georgia Tech sucks and there’s no reason for me to believe this is any different here.
Henry To’oto’o should be thrilled with his time of (4.62). I thought he was going to come in lower than that. His coverage stuff was awesome. Like maybe even A+ awesome. Pleasantly surprised in that area. On his toes, gets to where he wants to go, arms in control. Really good in space. Actually would say he was the best in space moving backward.
Dorian Williams has long hair. I have nothing else to add.
Didn’t like Tyrus Wheat. Slow foot speed. Had to be told to line up on the hash. What does he do well? I’m still waiting.
Dee Winters. It’s been a long day. Thought he looked good for the most part. Wasn’t blown away but don’t want to act like I thought he had a bad day. 4.49 for Dee Winters is crazy good.
Vendetta Sports 2023 NFL Scouting Combine Linebacker Rankings
1. Drew Sanders (Arkansas)
2. Trenton Simpson (Clemson)
3. Daiyan Henley (Washington State)
4. Ivan Pace (Cincinnati) *didn’t workout
5. Noah Sewell (Oregon)
Just missed Henry To’o’to’o