Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is spotlighting the prospects who make a mark -- for better or worse -- at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. On Sunday, the defensive linemen and linebackers took the field at Lucas Oil Stadium. Here are Brooks' impressions from Indianapolis:
Shaquem Griffin, LB, UCF: The combine's biggest "feel-good" story will quickly turn into an interesting evaluation after the UCF standout put on an impressive exhibition in Indianapolis this weekend. Griffin, who lost his left hand to an amputation when he was 4 years old, put up 20 reps on the bench press Saturday with a prosthetic on his left arm. On Sunday, he blazed the turf with a 4.38-second 40-yard dash to the surprise of the football world. That's the fastest 40 time for a combine linebacker since 2003. Although Griffin didn't dazzle in change-of-direction drills in space, he continues to impress scouts with his explosive athleticism. With an impressive resume that includes a ton of production as a sack artist, Griffin will intrigue teams as a special-teams player/developmental prospect.
Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State: The No. 1 pass rusher in the draft made a strong case to be considered the top overall prospect in the class. Chubb put up the kind of explosive numbers that make evaluators drool (4.65-second 40-yard dash; 36-inch vertical; 10-foot-1-inch broad jump and 24 reps on the bench press). He also displayed the natural movement skills and agility to be an explosive playmaker off the edge. In a league where dominant pass rushers are coveted at a premium, Chubb's strong resume and prototypical traits could open the door for him to make a surprise run at becoming the No. 1 overall pick.
Tremaine Edmunds, EDGE, Virginia Tech: The former Hokies standout has been on the rise since the end of the season as scouts started digging into the tape. Edmunds will continue to climb up the charts after a strong workout. Measuring 6-foot-5, 253 pounds, he blitzed a 4.54-second 40-yard dash and flashed explosive movement skills in drills. He changes directions like a defensive back while also displaying the first-step quickness and burst to turn the corner as a pass rusher. With Edmunds' tape perfectly matching his skills, he's more than worthy of consideration as a top-five selection.
Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama: The rock-solid run stopper opened eyes with a spectacular performance on the turf. The 6-foot-2, 311-pound plugger ran a 4.95-second 40 while also pumping out 27 reps on the bench press. In addition, Payne flashed better than anticipated movement skills in bag drills and the positional workout. Although the Alabama standout isn't viewed as a high-end pass rusher, the movement skills he displayed on Sunday could make him a high-impact player as a pro.
Taven Bryan, DT, Florida: The 6-foot-4, 291-pound former Gator put on one of the most impressive performances that we've seen at the combine from a big-bodied defensive tackle. Bryan posted a 4.98-second 40-yard dash, 35-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot-11-inch broad jump while also pushing out 30 reps on the bench press. He complemented his impressive athletic display with a strong performance in bag drills that confirmed his status as an elite athlete. Considering how teams covet ultra-athletic defensive tackles with active hands and dynamic movement skills, Bryan is quickly climbing the charts as a potential first-rounder.
Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa: The instinctive tackling machine is an outstanding football player, but his disappointing workout highlighted his athletic limitations. Jewell posted a pedestrian 4.82-second 40-yard dash and didn't impress in change-of-direction drills. Although his game tape suggests he's a terrific player, it's hard to justify a high pick on an inside linebacker that runs slower than a 4.7-second 40.
Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech: The big-bodied defensive tackle wasn't expected to blow up the combine, but his disappointing numbers will raise some concerns about his athleticism at the next level. Settle labored through a 5.37-second 40-yard dash and posted minimal measurements in the jumps (23.5-inch vertical jump and 8-foot broad jump). He followed it up with a disappointing workout that highlighted his marginal change-of-direction skills and burst. Settle's tape suggests he has the potential to dominate as a top-50 pick, but the sub-par performance at the combine could force evaluators to pause before giving him a second-round grade.