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Part 5, DL: Will Jordan Davis devour NFL offenses, too?
He dazzled in shorts, but how do Davis' skills translate? Also, what do scouts think about Devonte Wyatt's off-field issues? Everything you need to know about the D-Line class inside…
This is the 38th year Bob McGinn has written an NFL draft series. Previously, it appeared in the Green Bay Press-gazette (1985-’91), the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (1992-’17), BobMcGinnFootball.com (2018-’19) and The Athletic (2020-’21). Until 2014, personnel people often were quoted by name. The series reluctantly adopted an all-anonymous format in 2015 at the request of most scouts … The 12-minute, 50-question Wonderlic test was not administered at the NFL scouting combine this year, possibly for the first time. Therefore, players generally took the test at spring timing days in 2021 or at pro days in the past two months. The NFL average score is about 19.
Today: Defensive Line.
Thirty years ago, Clemson’s Chester McGlockton ran 40 yards at the NFL scouting combine in 5.05 seconds. He stood 6 feet 4 inches and weighed 337 pounds, but with his tendency to balloon up there’s no telling what he might have been a week later.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a 350-pounder run like this guy runs,” Ron Hughes, the Detroit Lions’ director of player personnel, said in April 1992. “But he’s got some holes in him, too.”
Holes? McGlockton didn’t try on half the plays at Clemson, was an obnoxious individual and didn’t like practicing.
McGlockton, with his 29-inch vertical jump and 8-8 broad jump, was praised for what was then regarded as one of the greatest big-man workouts ever. His story has currency because of what Jordan Davis did at the combine in February.
Davis’ numbers reverberated from Lucas Oil Stadium: 6-6 ½ and 341, a 4.78 40, a 32-inch vertical jump and a 10-8 broad jump. Almost overnight, the Georgia nose tackle achieved a strange notoriety for what he did wearing shorts and a T-shirt.
For a variety of reasons, McGlockton was one of eight interior defensive linemen cited by today’s fraternity of scouts as comparable in some ways to Davis. Scouting lives on comparisons between one player and another, and so it was with Davis.
Here are sketches of the eight players.
1991: Louisville’s Ted Washington (6-4, 303) was the 25th pick by the 49ers. I’m looking at the Group 4 combine results sheets, and his weight really was just 303. A month later, he was reportedly 330. Pro Football Reference lists 365 as his career weight. Citing various injuries, he didn’t run the 40. Playing for seven teams, he started 204 of 236 games and finished with 34 1/12 sacks. He made the Pro Bowl four times. Said Green Bay VP Tom Braatz before that draft: “He’s not going to run down anybody. He’s a size-strength bull rusher.” Said an NFC executive this month: “Ted Washington is the comparison. No, he couldn’t run like Davis, but he could control the middle like him.” (Note: Former Bears center Olin Kreutz explained on a Go Long Happy Hour why he believes Washington should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.)
1992: McGlockton was the 16th pick by the Raiders. He started 151 of 179 games, made four Pro Bowls and registered 51 sacks. “Chester should have been the greatest defensive tackle in the history of the game,” one scout said. “Maybe this guy (Davis) is like him.”
1994: Ohio State’s Dan “Big Daddy” Wilkinson (6-3 ½, 327 at the combine) was listed at 340 for his career by PFR. He didn’t run in Indy, but dropped his weight to 313 for a March workout in which he ran 4.85. Years later, a Bengals scout told me they clocked him at 4.72. At the time, Hughes said Wilkinson was the best defensive tackle since Mean Joe Greene. Other scouts said he reminded them of Reggie White and Cortez Kennedy. “To my way of thinking, you really, really need to get people after the passer,” Bills GM John Butler before the draft. The Bengals took him with the top pick of ’94. Wilkinson never made the Pro Bowl but started 182 of 195 games and finished with 54 ½ sacks.
1994: Sam Adams of Texas A&M went eighth to the Seahawks. Citing injury, he didn’t run at the combine. “I hear guys say he’s got talent like Bruce Smith,” Broncos scouting director Jeff Smith said. “He’s got that kind of talent, but he’ll have to mature.” What the 6-2 Adams, who was 292 at the combine, eventually did was change his body until he became a 350-pound nose tackle but one still possessing the ability to run and make plays. He started 177 of 226 games for seven teams, finishing with 44 sacks and three Pro Bowls.
2001: Georgia’s Marcus Stroud (6-6, 321 at the combine) ran 5.12 with a 30-inch vertical and a 9-2 broad jump. He was most often compared to Washington. “Ted Washington is wide but this kid isn’t wide,” Saints GM Randy Mueller said. “But he’s strong and powerful at the point like Washington.” Drafted 13th by the Jaguars, Stroud would go on to start 129 of 146 games, log 29 ½ sacks and make three Pro Bowls.
2002: Tennessee’s John Henderson (6-7, 306 at the combine) ran 4.98 at pro day to go with a 27 ½ vertical and a 9-2 broad jump. His career weight was listed as 335 by PFR. “He doesn’t fit all this movement stuff,” Titans director of player personnel Rich Snead said. “But when you watch him take off and run, there’s five or six plays a game no one else can do.” Drafted No. 9 by the Jaguars, he started 125 of 146 games, had 29 sacks and made two Pro Bowls.
2002: With the 15th selection, the Titans took Tennessee’s Albert Haynesworth (6-5 ½, 320 at the combine). He didn’t run the 40 there, but a few weeks later ran in the mid-to-high 4.8’s on a hard indoor track in Knoxville. Teams converted that to 4.93 on FieldTurf. His vertical jump was 30, his broad jump was 8-7. “This is a huge man who can absolutely dominate a football game, the whole game,” one scout said. “He’s exceptionally quick and can run like hell. Talent-wise, this guy is like McGlockton.” PFR listed his career weight at 335. “Haynesworth was so much more creative as a pass rusher,” an AFC scout said last week in making the comparison to Davis. In 123 games (92 starts) he tallied 30 ½ sacks and made two Pro Bowls.
2012: At Memphis, Dontari Poe (6-3 ½, 346 at the combine) played three seasons for teams that went 5-31 and fielded hideous defenses (yield of 36.6 points per game). Until Indy, he was nowhere at D-tackle behind Mississippi State’s Fletcher Cox and Louisiana State’s Michael Brockers. Then, at the combine, he ran 4.90 with a 29 ½ vertical and a 8-9 broad jump (plus a crazy 44 reps on the bench press). “He made it even worse for himself when he blew away the combine,” Chargers GM A.J. Smith said. “It just became more magnified. ‘Oh, my God, look at the gifts this man has.’” Poe went 11th to the Chiefs, one slot before Cox and three before Brockers. He started 125 of 128 games, posted 20 ½ sacks and reached two Pro Bowls.
Now comes Davis’ turn. It’s difficult to compare workout numbers from today to a generation ago because the training methods are so vastly superior. Helping football players prepare for the combine 40, tests and drills is a cottage industry. Nevertheless, every move Davis makes in the NFL will be analyzed like never before because of his performance at the combine.
“He’s got the story and everybody loves him,” said one personnel man. “I just don’t know what you do with him in the modern game. You’d like to have him, but if you’re not rushing the passer I don’t want anything to do with you in the first round.
“You get the quarterback, you get the playmakers and a guy to mess up the quarterback. It’s a pretty simple concept. Matthew Stafford, now Cooper Kupp and, on defense, Aaron Donald. Davis is a giant, but he’s not in on passing downs.”’
This is a strange class of interior players in that DeMarvin Leal is the only underclassmen among the top 10. That number was 5.2 top-10 juniors over the last five years. A partial explanation would be that this group isn’t up to snuff with those of the past when it comes to talent.
“There’s no one you’re saying is going to be a difference-maker,” said one scout. “If you get them at the right time, yeah. But I would not overvalue any of these guys.”
Seventeen scouts were asked to rank the players 1-2-3-4-5, with a first-place vote worth 5 points, a second-place vote worth 4 and so on.
Davis led with 75 points and 10 firsts followed closely by his teammate, Devonte Wyatt, who had 66 and six firsts. Rounding out the vote were Logan Hall (26), Leal (25, one first), Phidarian Mathis (24 1/2), Travis Jones (20 ½), Perrion Winfrey (13), Matthew Butler (two), Zach Carter (two) and Neil Farrell (one).
RANKING THE DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
1. JORDAN DAVIS, Georgia (6-6 ½, 341, 4.78, 1): Everyone in the league is confident that he can stop the run. “You run right at him and he’s strong as an ox,” said one scout. “He tosses guys.” Finished with 91 tackles (12 1/2 for loss), never forced a fumble in a four-year career. “He will flat overpower blockers,” said a second scout. “He plays square and can move laterally along the line of scrimmage. When he exerts his will he can’t be moved off the line of scrimmage. He’s blessed with agility, quickness and strength. You can see him get out and chase. He’s got rare speed to close on guys coming out of the stack. (Vince) Wilfork was a dancing bear early in his career, and he’s definitely faster than Wilfork. The big question is, what can he give you as a pass rusher?” In 47 games (33 starts), he had seven sacks. “No matter what his 40 time is, he’s never going to be a pass rusher in this league,” a third scout said. “He’s just too big. It’s a problem. He is outstanding at what he does, but how many plays a game is that going to be? I’d like to have him, but for 25 snaps a game I don’t know if that’s really worth taking him there (first round).” Georgia removed him on passing downs. He averaged just 25.2 snaps in 2021, 32.9 in ’20. “He’s got to play more often and work on his conditioning,” said a fourth scout. Weighed as much as 370 in Athens. Scouts liked the fact that he weighed 341 at both the combine and pro day. “His weight problem worries me,” said a fifth scout. “They ran him on the treadmill every day after or before practice. Great kid, but I don’t know that he loves, loves, loves football.” Scored 18 on the Wonderlic test. “I think he’s two generations late,” said a sixth scout. “The Gilbert Browns, nobody really does that anymore and that’s kind of what this guy is. Except he’s 6-6. He’s a 3-4 nose and somewhat of a two-down player. I recognize the height-weight-speed but the player, he’s just OK. Georgia runs a pro-style defense and they didn’t see pass rush in him. I don’t think the NFL has seen pass rush in him. Then he tested exceptionally well at the combine so now people are back to kind of buying in.” One team removed him from consideration because he didn’t fit their defense. Arms were 34 inches, hands were 10 ¾ inches. From Charlotte.
2. DEVONTE WYATT, Georgia (6-3, 309, 4.79, 1): Operated as a 3-technique, which figures to be his NFL position. “I’d take Davis,” said one scout. “Wyatt has quickness and agility. He’ll show you an explosive first step to engage and penetrate. He improved his hand use as a pass rusher as the 2021 season progressed. He has a knack for getting his hands up in passing lanes and batting the ball down. Potential starting DT. Can he continue to develop as an interior rusher?” Another scout said no DT in this draft was as good as the Titans’ Jeffery Simmons, adding that Wyatt was the closest. “He’s a f----- so he may slide,” said a third scout. “But he is talented enough. He’s not as big as Gerald McCoy. He’s got more movement than Kenny Clark. He’s a little bigger than Tommie Harris but he’s got lateral movement and explosiveness like that.” Arrested and charged after a domestic incident involving a woman at her dwelling in 2020; charges later were dropped. “He’s not a wow but he’s really good at everything,” a fourth scout said. “He’s strong and athletic. He can bend. Good with his hands. You want him to finish better but there were times he was almost unblockable, and he wasn’t playing against The Little Sisters of the Poor.” Finished with 113 tackles (12 for loss) and five sacks as a two-year starter. “He’s a little bit of a turd but he’s got more upside than (Davis),” a fifth scout said. “He’s good, but the really good one is still there. Jalen Carter. He’s the best player on their team.” Arms measured just 32 5/8. Wonderlic of 8. “Little bit of a screwup but he loves football,” said a sixth scout. “He’s got some strength at the point of attack and interior gap quickness. He will hustle to the ball. He’s a 3-technique penetrator.” From Decatur, Ga.
3. LOGAN HALL, Houston (6-6, 285, 4.95, 1-2): A three-star recruit, it wasn’t until his third season that he got a full sack and became a starter. “He’s got similar measurables to Arik Armstead, and I think that’s the position he’s going to end up playing,” said one scout. “Where he can be a base end, but he’ll be better when he plays inside over guards and becomes a mismatch.” Had a great week at the Senior Bowl after feasting on offensive linemen in the American Athletic Conference. Said another scout: “Those guys blocking him are the worst offensive linemen in college football. Third round.” Finished with 99 tackles (20 ½ for loss) and eight sacks. “He looks like a 5-technique but we think he can play 3-technique because he’s quick and twitchy and can overwhelm people with his length (32 ¾ arms). Problem is, I saw him get pushed around so much inside. He can play high. Little bit raw. Needs a lot of work on his pass-rush moves.” Posted 19 on the Wonderlic. “Whatever he wants to be he can be,” said a third scout. “He can rush inside 100%. He’s more powerful than Justin Tuck, but not as quick.” From Belton, Texas.
4. TRAVIS JONES, Connecticut (6-4 ½, 327, 4.93, 1-2): Described by one scout as an “underachiever” during his four years in Storrs (the school’s 2020 season was cancelled). Made himself a bundle of money with a big practice week and game at the Senior Bowl. “He played like his hair was on fire,” said another scout. “He was awful on the regular (season) film. You could see the kid’s got talent, but he didn’t play hard. He’s a one-game wonder.” His arms were 34 ¼. Ran and worked out well at the combine. “Love him,” a third scout said. “I see a guy that fits into like (when) the Chargers were playing that 3-4 with Igor Olshansky and Jamal Williams and Luis Castillo. Those guys could rush the passer and beat you up. He’s just big, powerful and has twitch in his body. He’s got heavy hands. Love the way he plays. With him, my A gap’s good. He was good at the Senior Bowl because he got NFL coaching.” Finished with 133 tackles (19 for loss) and 8 ½ sacks. Never forced a fumble or batted a pass in three years as a starter. “He’s kind of a plugger in the middle,” a fourth scout said. “Guys like that aren’t highly coveted.” Wonderlic of 8. “Won’t be a pass rusher but he’s got some walk-back power and effort to kind of make a mess in there,” said a fifth scout. “I was going to write him off easy. Big ol’ guy from UConn, this will be quick. But he’s got something to him. He’s active, tough, real stout.” From New Haven, Conn.
5. DeMARVIN LEAL, Texas A&M (6-4, 284, 5.04, 2): As a third-year junior, he’s the only underclassman among the top 18 DTs. “We think he can play everywhere on a front,” said one scout. “He is really gifted. Now he’s more finesse than physical. He’s not soft. He’s just not violent. He’s like crazy athletic. You just wish his motor ran a little hotter sometimes. Played better in 2020 than 2021, for whatever reason. Call him whatever you want. He’s got a good chance to go first round. He’s just too talented.” Started 29 of 35 games, finishing with 133 tackles (25 for loss), 13 sacks and six batted passes. “There are some athletic tools there,” a second scout said. “But I don’t see a tough, violent, physical, dominate you at the point of attack guy. He tries to play like a small guy too often. I question how productive he’ll be in the league without having more of an interior guy’s mentality. If he did, you’re talking about a guy that has a chance to be a pretty decent 3-technique. He’s a good athlete, not a great athlete. I don’t think he’ll be able to create mismatches.” Arms were 33 ¼, Wonderlic was 7. “He’s an underachiever,” a third scout said. “He’s a flash guy. Yeah, he is (quick). He sees himself as Aaron Donald but he’s not Aaron Donald. Technically, he’s OK. There’s still some shit there that bugs me. He’s going to get drafted higher than he should. I don’t trust the person.” From San Antonio.
6. PERRION WINFREY, Oklahoma (6-3 ½, 290, 5.01, 2): After a two-year junior-college stint, he started for two years at NT in a 3-4. Looked like a new man playing 3-technique and hitting gaps at the Senior Bowl. “He did show (in Mobile),” said one scout. “It was definitely a lot better (than his season). He’s got athletic traits but he struggled with consistency.” Jumped offsides on the first snap of the Senior Bowl after being penalized nine times in his 23 games for the Sooners. “He’s a live wire and a character, for sure,” said another scout. “He’s obviously more disruptive than productive.” Scored 20 on the Wonderlic, the highest of the top 10 DTs. “He has talent but he’s an absolute disaster off the field,” a third scout said. “I don’t know if I trust him to really draft him. Certainly not in the first round. He’s late to everything. He’s a no-show. The people at Oklahoma, they’ve seen it all with him. He’ll go some, then shows up with excuses. He’s got no life skills. Zero. Can be disruptive. But he does love football, and knows that’s the one ticket that really matters.” Finished with 42 tackles (17 for loss) and six sacks. “He’s got to be in a one-gap, up-field, attack tempo scheme,” a fourth scout said. “If he does that he’s got some surge, some burst, some length (35 ¼ arms). He plays mean but he’s not consistent. He’ll find his place in the locker room. It’s nothing damaging. As long as he gets some vet guys around him to help him find his stream he’ll be fine. He was better at the Senior Bowl.” From Maywood, Ill.
7. PHIDARIAN MATHIS, Alabama (6-4, 311, no 40, 2): Redshirted in 2017 and played in a rotation behind NFL draft choices from 2018-’20. Still wasn’t a full-time player in early ’21 before denting the lineup and starting 12 of 15 games. “Love him,” said one scout. “He’s got the worst body but love the player. Strong as shit. He’s got good intangibles. He just makes plays. He’s a good player now.” Finished with 165 tackles (24 ½ for loss) and 10 ½ sacks. “Great technician, poor athlete,” a second scout said. Has long arms (34 5/8). “He’s a 3-4 nose only,” said a third scout. “He is your plugger. Got a weird-looking body. He’s high cut, and his lower is leaner than his upper. He’s got enough power in his upper that he can hold the point. He does play really hard. I don’t see special.” Wonderlic of 11. “I know Jordan Davis is one of the top tackles but I like the Mathis kid,” said a fourth scout. “Love his enthusiasm and the way he played. Played with a tremendous amount of intensity. Has unusual explosion for a guy that big. Shows acceleration on twists. More of a power guy than a twist guy. More bull-rush guy than a finesse, dominant pass rusher. He and the Georgia guys were pretty elite.” From Wisner, La. “I thought he was overrated,” a fifth scout said. “When you’re a fifth- or sixth-year guy at Alabama that’s a red flag. Because if you’re good enough you’re out of there. He’s a rank-and-file backup combination DT-DE. He might fit a 3-4 as a D-end. He did play hard. He did show up some this year. But he’s nowhere near Marcel Dareus or Quinnen Williams.”
8. ZACH CARTER, Florida (6-4, 287, 5.01, 3): Redshirted in 2017, deep reserve in ’18, key reserve in ’19 and starter the past two years. “He’d be a 3-4 5-technique,” said one scout. “I don’t think he could handle 3-technique. He’s one of those tweener guys. He gets by with guile and instincts and hand use and just enough ability. Knows how to play. Got a little bit of quickness. He’s just not an explosive sort of player. He gives effort. He’s kind of stout, but even when he holds it he doesn’t really get off quick enough to make plays. He doesn’t shed well. He’ll be a solid starter you can win with. He won’t get you beat. But there’s nothing outstanding about him.” Finished with 107 tackles (28 ½ for loss), 17 ½ sacks and eight batted balls. “Had a really good Senior Bowl week,” a second scout said. “Showed enough versatility as a left end and 3-technique combo. I don’t see a starter, but the guy does enough physically that he could be a backup rotational player. He doesn’t have a real high ceiling.” Arms were 33 ½. From Tampa.
9. EYIOMA UWAZURIKE, Iowa State (6-6, 313, 5.32, 3): Spent six years in Ames, including 2016 when he was ruled academically ineligible. “He’s interesting because he’s got rare height-weight-speed and 35-inch arms,” one scout said. “He had eight sacks this year. He’s probably a 4-3 end. Not super instinctive. He doesn’t have a vast football background. Kind of been a work in progress there. They love the kid and the person. Maybe as a 3-4 coached 5-technique it might work for him. At worst, he’s a rotational backup.” Finished with 144 tackles (34 ½ for loss) and 15 sacks in 60 games, including 46 starts. “He’s a good-sized nose with length (35 1/8 arms) and good power,” another scout said. “Average strength and quickness. Needed to improve on his instincts. He had his (best) year this year.” Vertical jump of 33 led the top 10 DTs. “Looks the part,” a third scout said. “You see flashes. He has to learn to play with leverage being that tall.” From Detroit. Added a fourth scout: “He may be Stephon Tuitt. Watch the East-West Game. He’s every scout’s joy. You want to get this guy at the right price.”
10. NEIL FARRELL, Louisiana State (6-4, 339, 5.43, 3-4): Started 22 of 50 games at the nose over five years. “Maybe the worst body of any defensive lineman I’ve ever seen,” said one scout. “But can he play. Quickness is his thing. He can’t finish plays because of limited agility to catch the rabbit. The rabbit is the quarterback. Everybody will sour on his body. His body (fat) is about 35%. He ate at J Rodgers (BBQ) in Saraland, Ala., too many times. He’s as country as country can be. But, damn, can he play football.” Finished with 144 tackles (23 for loss) and 7 ½ sacks. “He is way, way, way overweight,” a second scout said. “He is a two-gap nose if somebody wants to bet on that body. Very, very limited mobility. Not a pass rusher. But he does have some natural brute power in his upper body and his hands. He did well this year for what he really is. Late pick or free agent.” Arms were just 32 ¼. “Reject,” said a third scout. “He’ll go to camp because he’s a defensive lineman from LSU but looks horrible and doesn’t play well.” From Mobile, Ala.
11. JOHN RIDGEWAY, Arkansas (6-5, 320, 5.46, 4): Redshirted at FCS Illinois State in 2017 before starting for three years. Made a graduate transfer to the SEC and started 11 games in ’21. “Converted (high school) offensive lineman,” said one scout. “Greatest thing he did was display his power and strength at the Senior Bowl. He’s going to be like Dean Lowry.” Finished with 102 tackles (eight for loss) and one sack for the Redbirds and 39 tackles (four for loss) and two sacks for the Razorbacks. “I like that guy,” a third scout said. “I really like the makeup. More run stopper than pass rusher. He didn’t run well but he’s not a slug. He moves better than his 40 time would indicate. He has really good make-it potential based on who he is.” Arms were 33 3/8. From Bloomington, Ill., where he was a state champion wrestler.
12. MATTHEW BUTLER, Tennessee (6-4, 298, 5.02, 4): Played extensively from 2019-’21 in a five-year, 53-game career. “He’ll be a great addition to any team,” said one scout. “Very mature. Has a 4-year-old daughter. Great family. Probably a third- or fourth-round pick.” His Wonderlic score of 27 was the best among the leading 25 D-tackles. “He’s a rotational defensive lineman, not a starter,” a second scout said. “Plays hard. Effort kind of guy with just enough size. He’s a backup that you like, but you don’t want him as a starter.” Finished with 152 tackles (16 ½ for loss) and 9 ½ sacks. Arms were 33 1/2. Vertical jump of 34. “More I saw him the less I liked him,” a third scout said. “He’s a stiff, upright guy. Really stiff. He can run in a straight line. He’s tough as nails and plays hard. He’s a great kid. Somebody might draft him late just because of his speed and makeup and effort. Free agent for me.” From Raleigh. N.C.
13. ERIC JOHNSON, Missouri State (6-4 ½, 299, 4.91, 4): Five-year starter from the FCS ranks. “Intriguing as an early Day 3 guy,” one scout said. “Developmental prospect. Smaller school, but he’s got height-weight-speed for the position. He’s got a frame he can still grown into. He’s got upside.” Had little going on the recruiting front out of high school. “Late three, early fourth,” said a second scout. “Too athletic, too big. No technique, but really athletic and big.” Finished with 131 tackles (19 ½ for loss) and 6 ½ sacks. “He’s a project,” said a third scout. “The scouts were kind of on him all the way through the season. He got to an all-star game (NFLPA Collegiate Bowl) and then a battlefield promotion to the Senior Bowl. Somebody will take a shot on him late.” Arms were 34 ¼. Wonderlic of 24. Led DTs in the 3-cone with a 7.09. “I thought he was an average Joe,” said a fourth scout. “At the Senior Bowl he looked like maybe a seventh-rounder trending more toward free agency. His 40 was shocking. He’s a short-stepper. It didn’t look like he was moving very fast. We were wrong. He looks the part.” From Plainfield, Ill.
14. OTITO OGBONNIA, UCLA (6-3 ½, 323, 5.31, 4-5): Four-year starter. “He’s raw but he has all the traits you want,” said one scout. “He’s strong, athletic, explosive. He can play either (1-technique, 3-technique) because he does have some penetrating stuff to him.” Texas state champion in the shot put and discus. Highlight of his two seasons on the Bruins’ track team was a school record in the shot. “He’s pretty good,” a second scout said. “He’s strong, man. He’s stiff changing direction. More run stopper than pass rusher.” Finished with 79 tackles (8 ½ for loss) and 4 ½ sacks. “Just a big, slow guy,” said a third scout. “Nonproductive. Can’t rush the passer, inconsistent against the run. No value.” Arms were 34 3/8. From Houston.
15. ISAIAH THOMAS, Oklahoma (6-5, 265, 4.73, 4-5): Named after the NBA Hall of Fame guard. “I think you’re trying to grow the body into a 5-technique,” one scout said. “I don’t want him standing up. He’s a 285-pound guy naturally. He’s worked to lose weight. His body will always be screaming to get back up. He’s a manufactured 265-pound man. You’re better off letting him grow and be a 5-technique that could be the under tackle. He’s a ‘tweener.” Led the Sooners in sacks each of the last two seasons. Finished with 81 tackles (26 ½ for loss), 18 ½ sacks, four forced fumbles and seven batted passes. Had a DUI on campus. “He’s been up to 275, almost 280,” said another scout. “He played inside a little bit but he’s more of an edge player. I don’t think he has a ton of upside because his lower body isn’t proportioned well.” Arms were 33 ¼. Wonderlic of 24. “He’s probably a bad left defensive end who maybe can do some inside rush,” a third scout said. From Tulsa, Okla.
OTHERS: Jayden Peevy, Texas A&M; Esezi Otomewo, Minnesota; Thomas Booker, Stanford; Marquan McCall, Kentucky; Christopher Hinton, Michigan; Kalia Davis, Central Florida; Haskell Garrett, Ohio State; Matt Henningsen, Wisconsin; LaBryan Ray, Alabama; Damion Daniels, Nebraska; Noah Elliss, Idaho; D.J. Davidson, Arizona State.
Jayden Peevy, DT, Texas A&M: Besides size, Peevy (6-5 ½, 307) has one other very redeeming quality. His arms, measured at 35 ½ inches, were the longest of the top 30 players at the position. He started three seasons at 3-technique and was productive with 137 tackles (19 for loss) and 7 ½ sacks. Possesses the disruptive skills befitting a sixth-round draft choice.
Esezi Otomewo, DT-DE, Minnesota: Started for two years, playing wide-side DE from a three-point stance in a 4-3 defense. Isn’t much of a pass rusher but used his 34 ½-inch arms to lock out and set a rugged edge against the run. His athletic gifts were evident by a 35 1/2-inch vertical jump and a 4.39 short shuttle, both tops at the position. “Physically, you say this is how they’re supposed to be built,” one scout said. Now it’s up to a team to define his role.
SCOUT TO REMEMBER
Allan Webb: From 1983-’95, Webb played an essential role in what was the NFL’s most effective front office. No matter who was the coach, the 49ers had Carmen Policy handling the day-to-day operation, John McVay heading the personnel department, Tony Razzano and others directing the draft and Webb heading the pro personnel department. A straight-shooting, no-nonsense man, Webb knew the league inside and out. After a five-year playing career as a safety for the Giants (1961-’65), he moved into coaching and later scouting as pro director for the Browns in ’79. He joined the 49ers in ’83, and in his 13 years the team won four Super Bowls. In 2011, he died of heart failure in Burlingame, Calif. He was 80.
QUOTE TO NOTE
NFC personnel man: “All these Georgia guys have a chance to be better pros than college players. It’s amazing they were as good as they were but still have so much upside.”