2019 NFL Scouting Combine winners/losers: Montez Sweat soars

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is spotlighting the prospects who make a mark -- for better or worse -- at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. On Sunday, the defensive linemen and linebackers took the field at Lucas Oil Stadium. Here are Brooks' impressions from Indianapolis:


Montez Sweat, edge, Mississippi State: No one has crushed the pre-draft process better than Sweat. The former Mississippi State star opened eyes in January at the Reese's Senior Bowl with a dominant week of practice and he's kept the buzz going with a spectacular performance at the combine. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound pass rusher clocked a 4.41-second 40-yard dash -- a modern combine record for a defensive lineman -- while also displaying impressive movement skills in drills. He moves like a wide receiver through the bags, exhibiting outstanding lateral quickness and change-of-direction ability. With Sweat also showing disruptive pass-rush skills on tape, he might have put himself in the discussion to be picked in the top five in some meeting rooms.

Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama: Don't dismiss Williams' chances of finishing as the No. 1 overall player on most boards after the Alabama standout shocked the NFL scouting community with a sensational showing on the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium. The 6-foot-3, 303-pound defensive tackle has a rare combination of size, speed, strength and power, as evidenced by his effort throughout his workout. Considering his high-quality tape and nasty on-field demeanor, Williams is making a strong push to be the first player selected on draft night.

Rashan Gary, edge, Michigan: After watching Gary put on a show as a "dancing bear" on the turf, scouts will wrestle with the athlete versus football player debate. Although the Michigan star posted sterling numbers in the 40 (4.58 seconds; best of all D-linemen), vertical jump (38 inches; best of all D-linemen) and broad jump (10 feet; second among D-linemen), Gary's performance in the position drills was equally impressive. He moves like a tight end in a defensive end's body and that's one of the reasons why Gary could come off the board early despite posting middling production as a college player.

Devin Bush, LB, Michigan: The 5-foot-11, 234-pound tackling machine will vault up the charts after a tremendous combine performance. Bush not only posted a 40 time of 4.43 seconds (second among LBs), but nailed a 40 1/2-inch vertical jump (led all LBs) and a 10-foot-4 broad jump (tied for third among LBs). His showing confirms his exceptional sideline-to-sideline range and enhances his chances of making a jump into the top 20. If he's interviewed well behind the scenes, Bush could convince the right team that he's ready to be a franchise-caliber traffic cop in the middle of a defense.


Jachai Polite, edge, Florida: The former Gator was expected to be one of the top performers in the building based on his reputation as an A-plus athlete. However, scouts walked away a little disappointed. He's been dealing with a hamstring injury for the past 10 days, per my colleague Ian Rapoport, which may explain why he ran an unimpressive 40 (4.84 seconds) and didn't post an eye-popping vertical jump (32 inches) before ending his workout on Sunday. With scouts also murmuring about some uninspired team interviews, Polite has some work to do to reverse his sliding stock.

Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama: The former Alabama star remains one of the draft's biggest enigmas. Wilson is dealing with a sore hamstring and didn't fully participate in athletic testing or positional drills. Although a number of prospects decline to work out on the big stage, Wilson's partial participation coincides with some buzz about shaky interviews with teams that's led to concerns about his potential and value.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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