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2024 NFL Scouting Combine: Day One Recap

The edge rushers, defensive linemen, and linebackers were the first groups out for day one of the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. 

They split the prospects into three groups today. The first group was more of the bigger defensive linemen. We are talking about nose tackles, three techs, and five techs. The second group was more of the players you would classify as edge rushers with some inside-out guys mixed in. The third group consisted of off-ball linebackers and some edge rushers.

Let’s look at the players performed in each group.

2024 NFL Scouting Combine: Day One Recap

DEFENSIVE LINE GROUP 1

The man of the hour in the first group was clearly Florida State’s Braden Fiske. Fiske parlayed a great Senior Bowl week into a fabulous performance at the Combine. Fiske is cemented into Round 2. Now, we wait to see how high.

The new favorite for DL1 in the ’24 class is now Byron Murphy from Texas. Murphy weighed in at 6′ and 297 pounds. His testing was solid and he showed nice fluidity in the drills.

T’Vondre Sweat (DL/Texas) dominated during the 1-on-1s at the Senior Bowl. However, he didn’t weigh in. Well, in Indy, Sweat weighed 366 pounds. He is a pure nose tackle and testing isn’t important at all for those guys historically. I still believe the former Longhorn comes off the board in round two.

Michigan’s Kris Jenkins was on the Bruce Feldman Freak’s list before the season and he certainly tested like it.

One of the smoothest operators during the field drills was Ruke Orhorhoro. The Clemson product tested great, looks good on film, and should be selected somewhere on day two. Orhorhoro ran a 4.89 in the forty (1.67 10) to go along with a 32-inch vertical.

Maason Smith (DL/LSU) has seemingly fallen off the map after an ACL tear sapped his ’22 season. His production fell off in 2023. Smith has the tools and athleticism you crave. You just hope he can find his form from the 2021 season.

His teammate, Mekhi Wingo, is a little smaller but also is a great athlete. Wingo has similar production issues. Anxious to see where he comes off the board.

Illinois DL Johnny Newton did not work due to a Jones fracture injury to his foot. The injury, coupled with an abnormally small wingspan (75 7/8″) could see him tumble down boards. 

DEFENSIVE LINE GROUP 2

The edge rushers were outstanding during group two. Leading the way was Penn State’s Chop Robinson. Robinson had low production for the Nittany Lions but man…what an athlete. He should go somewhere in round one.

My number one edge entering the Combine was Laiatu Latu (UCLA). There is no pass rusher with a wider array of moves than Latu. He tested great with a 4.62 forty (1.64 10), a 0’8″ broad jump, and a 32″ vertical. The biggest thing for Latu at the Combine is something we will not see. The medical exam will determine if he goes in the top ten or tumbles down draft boards.

Houston Christian Edge Jalyx Hunt is built like a star and tested like one. He is just so raw!

Florida State’s Jared Verse entered the Combine as a top-ten prospect on my board. He did nothing to dissuade me. Verse ran a 4.58 forty (1.6 split). He vertical leaped 35 inches and broad jumped 10’7″. 

Missouri’s Darius Robinson, Myles Cole (Texas Tech), and UConn’s Eric Watts all set themselves up well for big rises.

I was disappointed with Austin Booker of Kansas. At 240 pounds he ran a 4.79 forty. I was also taken aback by the slow time of Bralen Trice (Washington). Trice seemingly cut 15-20 pounds and still only managed a 4.72 forty. he didn’t do any other test.

LINEBACKERS

Hello, Dallas Turner! The Alabama edge rusher was the biggest winner from day one of the Combine. Turner measured in at 6’2″ and 246 pounds. He has 34 3/8″ arms with an 83″ wingspan. Turner then proceeded to run a 4.46 in the forty with a ridiculous 1.54 10-yard split. That followed a 40.5″ vertical and a 10’7″ broad jump. Arizona Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort got caught on the NFL Network cameras getting visually excited after Turner ran his forty. The Tide pass rusher could be in play at pick 4.

Turner’s Alabama teammate, Chris Braswell had a nice day as well. 

NC State LB Payton Wilson blistered the track with a 4.43 forty. Wilson has tremendous tape. He can cover and tackle downhill. Like Laiatu Latu, the medicals will be the most important thing for Wilson. It will be the difference between a second-round selection and a fourth.

Texas A&M LB Edgerrin Cooper is flirting with the first round. He has nice tape and tested well. Shane P Hallam is a big believer.

Edefuan Ulofoshio (LB/Washington) caught my attention at the Senior Bowl with his coverage ability and open-field tackling. He followed that up with a great Combine.

Check back tomorrow for my recap of day two.

You can also see a sortable table with all of the testing results here at Draft Countdown!

 

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