Daniel Jeremiah's NFL Scouting Combine takeaways

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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The 2019 NFL Scouting Combine concluded Monday, with cornerbacks and safeties taking center stage.

Below are some of NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah's takeaways from workouts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Projections listed in parentheses are from Chad Reuter's three-round mock draft.

Day 4


CORNERBACKS


Byron Murphy, Washington (No. 29 to Chiefs): Jeremiah felt like the two-year starter had a "clean" field workout after running just 4.55 in the 40. There apparently was good reason for that time for the 190-pound DB.

"He put on 14 pounds since the end of the season. So when you put that in context, I feel alright about that. ... The Byron Murphy body type looks nothing like the way he performed."

Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt (No. 87 to Bears): His 4.65 40 didn't help his case to be a first-round pick. But Jeremiah thought that everything else did, including measuring in at 6-3 5/8, 211 pounds. He also really likes what he sees on film.

"That was the big question, it's just that make-up speed. But he's physical, great ball skills. Actually does a pretty nice job off [coverage], using those instincts and that length."

Deandre Baker, Georgia (No. 24 to Raiders): Jeremiah's top-rated CB ran a 4.52 40. Baker then had a better showing in on-field drills.

"Really good hands. ... Feisty. A very feisty corner. Again, he's smooth. He's not a stiff guy. You know he can catch the ball. He's got excellent ball skills."

Rock Ya-Sin, Temple (No. 54 to Texans): He clocked in at 4.51, a positive development for his physical playing style. Jeremiah thinks his combine performance could elevate him to the bottom of the first round.

"One of the tougher kids that you'll see. Makes a lot of plays on the football."

SAFETIES


Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State (No. 21 to Seahawks): He didn't top former teammate Montez Sweat's 4.41 40 like he predicted, but he came close. Jeremiah calls him one of his favorite players in the draft and that didn't change with his combine workout.

"He plays as strong as you'll ever see. ... You want to talk about all gas, no breaks. And every contact is a physical contact. You want to see someone fill the alley and deliver some huge shots, he's your guy."

Juan Thornhill, Virginia, (No. 76 to Redskins): His marks across the board were as good as any safety's (4.42 40, 44-inch vertical jump, 11-foot-9 broad jump, 22 bench reps). Jeremiah believes the 6-0 1/4, 205-pound DB also has value as a potential corner.

"He's tall and long and he can run. So, some team is thinking, we can put him out there at corner, we got something to work with."

Darnell Savage, Maryland (No. 75 to Packers): He could have sat on his electrifying 4.39 40 run. Instead, he topped it with a 4.36. He also produced a 39.5-inch vertical jump. For Jeremiah, it reaffirmed that NFL teams shouldn't get hung up on his lack of size (5-10 3/4, 198 pounds).

"He's not the biggest guy, but he plays bigger than that size. Drives on football, makes plays, big hits. Go back, watch him [against] Ohio State, you'll see everything you need to see."

Day 3


DEFENSIVE LINEMEN


Quinnen Williams, Alabama (No. 2 to 49ers): Williams had an impressive showing Sunday, running a 4.83 40-yard dash. The 2018 season was a breakout season for the Alabama product, leading the Tide in tackles. "He's my No. 2 player. He's dominant on tape."

Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame (No. 45 to Falcons): Tillery, who stands at 6-foot-6, wreaked havoc on opponents in 2018, accumulating eight sacks and 30 tackles. "To be as tall as he is and be able to change directions ... you can see the athleticism."

Demarcus Christmas, Florida State: Christmas has potential to be a back-up caliber defensive end wherever he may land. His production dropped in 2018, totaling 28 tackles. "As a player, pad level is something he needs to work on. You see him get uprooted and controlled a little bit and can be late off the ball ... but you see flashes. He's a total flash player."

Nick Bosa, Ohio State (No. 1 to Cardinals): An injury held out Bosa for most of the 2018 season, but the Buckeye defender is touted as a top prospect. He clocked a 4.79 40-yard dash Sunday. "He's the best player in the draft in my opinion. ... I think he's as skilled of a pass rusher as we've seen in a while. He's not the physical freak that we've seen from Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney. He's not in that class. ... But, when the tape starts, you put it on, he's unblockable."

Montez Sweat, Mississippi State (No. 19 to Titans): In 13 starts during his junior year, Sweat collected 48 total tackles. Sweat, who is 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, had the fastest 40-yard dash time for a defensive lineman since at least 2003. "That's a tank. That's not normal."

Christian Wilkins, Clemson (No. 18 to Vikings): Wilkins helped Clemson to a national title with his 57 tackles and six sacks. "People ask 'why do I have him as the top of these Clemson guys.' To me interior pass rushers are so hard to find, and he is so quick and explosive getting upfield. He'll get caught upright in the run game and toss to turn, but he's a disruptor and a penetrator."

LINEBACKERS


Josh Allen, Kentucky (No. 3 to Jets): Allen, the first-team All-American, led the Wildcats with 88 tackles in 13 games and tied sixth nationally with 21.5 tackles. Allen, who is receiving first-round buzz, had a 4.63 40-yard dash. "He's a great player. He's my third overall player. [He] stands up an outside linebacker ... [he had] all kinds of production this year at Kentucky covering tight ends."

Devin Bush, Michigan (No. 33 to Cardinals): Bush led Michigan with 80 stops and five sacks in 12 games. He clocked 4.43 40-yard dash and had a 124.0 broad jump. "This guy is extremely explosive and one of the top linebackers."

Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington: Burr-Kirven led the country with 176 total tackles and posted 5.5 sacks, earning him first-team All-American honors. "[His] football instincts are off the charts."

DAY 2


WIDE RECEIVERS


Parris Campbell, Ohio State (No. 49 to Browns): The Buckeye product electrified with a 4.31 40-yard dash, the fastest of the combine so far. Campbell kept it up in the drills, too.

"This is speed that translates to the football field," Jeremiah said. "He caught the ball really well, that was my question. We haven't seen him run a ton of different routes there in that (Ohio State) offense. Today he did a wonderful job."

A.J. Brown, Ole Miss (No. 58 to Cowboys): Brown led Ole Miss in receiving and was named All-SEC in back-to-back seasons. After running a 4.49 40-yard dash, Jeremiah said of Brown, "The question was how fast was he. The answer is plenty fast enough."

Miles Boykin, Notre Dame: Boykin might have jumped up draft boards on Saturday after running a 4.42 40. His Notre Dame teammates certainly thought he had a good afternoon.

"For him, it was a big day," Jeremiah said. "I didn't necessarily think he played this fast as he ran, but he jumped out of the gym and he ran fast, caught the ball well. He's not as sudden and immediately fast, but he showed tremendous build-up speed."

Mecole Hardman, Georgia (No. 71 to Broncos): Hardman ran two sub-4.35 40-yard dashes on Saturday, prompting Jeremiah to muse, "When he gets out on the open field, it's like watching a bunch of rowboats try to catch up to a speedboat."

TIGHT ENDS


Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M (No. 64 to Patriots): A one-year starter with the Aggies, Sternberger was consensus All-American in 2018. In Indy, Sternberger ran an middle-of-the-road 4.75 40-yard dash and put up 17 reps in the bench press. Jeremiah, though, was impressed when the Texas A&M standout when he ran routes.

"I think he can survive in-line. You can hope he can just shield and wall off which he shows he's willing on tape," Jeremiah said. "I like him though you make him that wing and flex him out, move him. He's just real fluid, soft hands. He's going to be a good player. I'm a fan of Sternberger."

QUARTERBACKS


Tyree Jackson, Buffalo: Standing at 6-foot-7, Jackson is thought to be a candidate to switch positions at the professional level. That narrative was buoyed by Jackson's 4.59 40-yard dash on Saturday afternoon.

"He's a wild card," Jeremiah said of Jackson. "He taught himself a lot of drills on YouTube. Didn't have a quarterback guru growing up, so he is very raw. You can see how long-levered he is at 6-foot-7. He can get a little long and loose with his delivery and that affects his accuracy, but you will see some wow throws on tape."

Trace McSorley, Penn State: McSorley declined a request to work out with defensive backs this weekend, opting only to run and throw with the QBs. His 4.57 40-yard dash was the quickest of all signal-callers. Even if McSorely doesn't get drafted or make it as a QB, Jeremiah sees a future for him in the game.

"Some people will say it's cheesy I think it's accurate. He's a football player," Jeremiah said. "He's going to hang around in some capacity."

DAY 1


OFFENSIVE LINEMEN


Andre Dillard, Washington State (No. 23 to Texans): A two-year starter at left tackle, he might be the first offensive lineman off the board. After weighing in at 6-5, 315 earlier in the week, Dillard clocked one of the few sub-5.0 40 times from an OL (4.96). Jeremiah sees him as an athletic, refined pass blocker who will learn to be more physical in the run game.

"He's the best pass protector in the entire draft," Jeremiah said. "He's the smoothest, easiest mover of this entire bunch. He's going to be a starting left tackle, Day 1 in he NFL. My opinion he's going to be a top-15 pick."

Garrett Bradbury, North Carolina State (No. 47 to Panthers): No lineman has seemed to impress Jeremiah more at the combine thus far. Bradbury clocked in at 4.92 and perhaps made some teams reconsider taking him on Day 1.

"He's just a unique player because of his quickness and his ability to get things done laterally. I call him the Grim Reacher," Jeremiah said. "As you get closer to the draft, I just say, what's wrong with this guy? You're picking in the 20s, you need a center, this guy's going to man that position for you for the next 10 years."

Cody Ford, Oklahoma (No. 38 to Jaguars): His power and physical presence is obvious. What scouts want to know about Ford is whether he has the requisite foot speed to play outside. Jeremiah thinks his performance reaffirmed that he has more athleticism than he might be given credit for.

"Is he a guard? Is he a tackle? More teams than not are going to say he's going to play guard," Jeremiah said. "I still have some hope he can hold up at right tackle. ... But the nice thing is, fallback for him, you could have a Pro Bowl guard."

Jonah Williams, Alabama (No. 14 to Falcons): Jeremiah believes NFL teams might find themselves torn over where to play Williams. His measurements didn't help his cause at tackle --- 6-4 1/2, 302 pounds, 33 5/8" arms -- but his foot quickness was on display in drill work and the 40 (5.12).

"Now, the question is, is he a guard or is he a tackle?" Jeremiah said. "These are some plays where you go, maybe he's a guard. And that doesn't mean he can't be a great players. I think he can play tackle. I think he can be a Pro Bowler inside at guard."

RUNNING BACKS


Miles Sanders, Penn State (No. 88 to Lions): Maybe no running back had a better day than Sanders. Saquon Barkley's college successor ran a 4.49 40 and shined in on-field drills. The 5-foot-11, 221-pound back also registered 20 bench press reps.

"I'm in. I'm all aboard the Miles Sanders express train," Jeremiah said. "He's smooth and he's explosive. ... Caught the ball extremely well. You can't have a better day than what Miles Sanders did today. ... Best in show today for my money at the running back position. ... Couldn't help himself more than he did."

David Montgomery, Iowa State (No. 79 to Falcons): He might not have produced the 40 time (4.63) he'd hoped, but Jeremiah liked what he saw otherwise.

"Question a little bit about the speed," he said. "Probably wish he could get in the 4.5s. He'll have a pro day opportunity to get that down a little bit. But just a natural and instinctive."

Damien Harris, Alabama (No. 69 to Jaguars): His strong showing (4.57 40, 37-inch vertical jump, 10-foot-1 broad jump) might have boosted his stock.

"Compared him a little bit to Mark Ingram as a runner when you watch him there at Alabama. He could do a little bit of everything."

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