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Breaking Down 2022 NFL Combine: Night Two

2022 NFL Combine

Night two of the 2022 NFL Combine is in the books. We got to see the running backs and offensive linemen do the athletic testing and on-field drills.

Draft Countdown was also live streaming for over 6 hours on our YouTube channel (youtube.com/TheDraftCountdown). And we will go live each of the next two days as well!

You can see last night below:

2022 NFL COMBINE NIGHT TWO RECAP

FREAKY O-LINE RULES THE NIGHT

The offensive linemen put on a show during the first session of night two of the 2022 NFL Combine. 

  • We have to start with Northern Iowa OT Trevor Penning. After a week in Mobile taking out his aggressions on Tyreke Smith of Ohio State, Penning took his anger out on every drill and test in Indy. At 6’7″ and 325 pounds, he ran a 4.89 forty with a 1.71 10-yard split. Penning also had elite scores in the broad jump and short shuttle. Penning has solidified himself as a Top-20 pick and may go even higher.
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  • After shaky weeks at the Senior Bowl, Bernhard Raimann (OT/Western Michigan) and Abraham Lucas (OT/Washington State) saved some face with impressive combine performances. Raimann looked as smooth and athletic as you would expect a former tight end to look. 

2022 NFL Combine
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ras.football

  • I have stated in several mediums that if you are looking for a day three, developmental offensive tackle, then look no further than North Dakota’s Matt Waletzko. After a solid week at the Waletzko looked great in all the testing (no shuttles) and the field drills. Early day three is where he should hear his name called.
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  • Some players who took me off guard with their athletic performances and will send me back to the tape are Kellen Diesch (G/Arizona State), Dawson Deaton (C/Texas Tech), Blaise Andries (G/Minnesota), and Zach Thomas (G/San Diego State). Diesch played tackle for the Sun Devils, however, his 32.5″ arms will likely force him inside. Zach Thoams was one of the best run blocking linemen in CFB per PFF this year.
  • A player who didn’t surprise me with their testing and just confirmed my thoughts on them was Boston College’s, Zion Johnson. Johnson was a nasty blocker at BC. His dedication to his craft showed daily at the Senior Bowl and his athleticism scores should see him cement himself into round one. Maybe even into the top-20.
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  • I would be remiss if I didn’t mention another player who I have been high on all season; Zach Tom (OT/Wake Forest). Tom is likely an early-day three talent but his versatility will see him thrive. He can hold his on on the outside but some NFL teams view him as a natural center. Either way, he is an elite athlete.
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  • While Evan Neal (OT/Alabama) didn’t work out, the other two top offensive tackle prospects did. Both Ikem Ekwonu and Charles Cross looked phenomenal doing the field drills. They also tested well. I would have liked to see better agility drills out of Ekwonu though.

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  • Of course, there couldn’t just be positives. Some players had to have a bad night. Texas A&M guard Kenyon Green looked sloppy and tested average or poor in everything he did.
  • Kentucky OT Darrian Kinanrd had a below-average Senior Bowl and followed that up with a poor combine. The former Wildcat will probably have to transition to guard to hide his limitations. 
  • Let’s also pour one out for Arkansas offensive tackle Myron Cunningham. He was a player I was super high on entering the 2021 season but he just couldn’t put it together. His explosion and agility tests were some of the poorest of any offensive lineman that worked out.

SHOCKINGLY FAST RBs!

SIX running backs ran the forty-yard dash in under 4.4 seconds last night. A number that blew me away.

  • Isiah Pacheco (Rutgers), Pierre Strong (South Dakota State), Ty Chandler (North Carolina), D’Vonte Price (FIU), Kenneth Walker III (Michigan State), and Breece Hall (Iowa State), all ran between 4.37 and 4.39.
  • For Breece Hall and Kenneth Walker, it put them in a tier above the other top back in this class, Isaiah Spiller (Texas A&M). Spiller didn’t test, so we will have to wait to see his numbers on his pro day.
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  • One of Shane P Hallam’s favorite backs in this class, Pierre Strong, looked great all night. He was borderline draftable, but I think he is firmly into day three now.
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  • I definitely have to do more work on Rutgers’ Isiah Pacheco.
  • Zamir White (Georgia) tested really well. The question with him is medicals. He has had ACL surgery on both knees.
  • Was a little surprised Brian Robinson (Alabama) tested as well as he did. 
  • No running back bombed his draft stock more than Kyren Williams (Notre Dame). He entered Indy with day two aspirations but all that seemingly died when he ran an unofficial 4.70 forty (later a 4.65 official). His explosion drills were poor and he did it all weighing 194 pounds.
  • Not a single running back did the 20-yard shuttle or the three cone drill. This now appears to be a thing. The primetime broadcast of the combine has nuked the desire of any player to do these tests.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Draft Countdown will be back again tonight with a bell-to-bell live stream on our YouTube channel. Tonight we get the defensive linemen and linebackers.

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