On-the-field workouts for the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine finally got underway Friday as the offensive linemen and running backs took the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium. There were a number of standout performances from both groups and here are the prospects who came away as winners.
RB Derrick Henry, Alabama: The Heisman Trophy-winner looked every bit the part and really improved his draft stock. Henry measured 6-2.5 and 247 pounds, timed in the low-to-mid 4.5s during the 40-yard dash while also touching 37 inches in the vertical jump as well as 10-10 in the broad. He looked terrific in drills displaying a natural, fluid style in all areas and caught the ball well in both the short and long field. Henry may have solidified himself as a first-round pick with his performance today.
OT Jason Spriggs, Indiana: It was predicted that Spriggs would be the top tester on the offensive line and he did not disappoint. After completing 31 reps on the bench he was fastest in the 40-yard dash timing in the low 4.9s, including a 10-yard split of 1.75 seconds. He jumped the farthest in the broad (9-5) and turned in one of the fastest short-shuttle times (4.44 seconds) of the day. During the drills Spriggs looked athletic, natural and enthusiastic. He’s cemented himself as a first-round pick.
C Jacob Brendel, UCLA: Brendel was one of the surprise participants this morning and looked much more athletic than scouts expected. His 40-yard dash time was right around 5.0 flat with a 10-yard split of 1.71 seconds. Brendel also posted the best short shuttle (4.27 seconds) and 3-cone (7.31 seconds) times of the day. He took to the coaching during position drills and showed next-level footwork and quickness.
RB Tyler Ervin, San Jose State: Ervin was fast, explosive and athletic during both the testing segment and the position drills. He clocked 4.39 seconds in the 40-yard dash, touched 39 inches in the vertical jump and posted a broad jump of 10-10. He translated that speed into position drills and displayed a good change of direction, quickly getting in and out of breaks. Finally, Ervin looked exceptional in pass catching drills.
OT Jack Conklin, Michigan State: Conklin started the day well with a 40-yard dash time that dipped under 5.0 seconds on a number of watches. During position drills he looked tenacious, powerful and did not show much stiffness in his game. Conklin also completed 25 reps on the bench press after his arms measured 35 inches. His 3-cone time (7.63 seconds) and short shuttle (4.57 seconds) were both very good marks.
RB Daniel Lasco, California: Lasco was one of the stars of testing from the running back group. His marks included 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash, a vertical jump of 41 inches and a broad jump which touched 11-3.
OL Caleb Benenoch, UCLA: Benenoch was another offensive lineman who timed well in the 40-yard dash with a clocking of 4.96-seconds which included a 10-yard split of 1.67-seconds, a very good mark. He looked athletic during drills showing quick feet and excellent lateral movement skills.
G Joe Dahl, Washington State: Dahl’s testing numbers were solid and he really stood out during the drill segment. Dahl was fundamentally sound and very smooth. He showed great knee bend, easily moved laterally and showed great patience, not trying to out-guess coaches or opponents. Considering he’s still not 100 percent after breaking a bone in his foot last season, it was a terrific performance from Dahl.
FB Dan Vitale, Northwestern: Vitale quietly had a terrific Combine. After weighing in at 239 pounds he ran the 40-yard dash as fast as 4.58 seconds, posted a 3-cone time of 7.12 seconds, touched 38.5 inches in the vertical jump, 10-3 in the broad and also completed 30 reps on the bench. During drills Vitale really looked good catching the ball. He’s set himself up as the premier West Coast fullback in this draft.
Notes: Mississippi offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil did not participate in any of the testing events, but looked terrific in position drills. Georgia running back Keith Marshall surprised a lot of people timing 4.31 seconds in the 40-yard dash after weighing in at 219 pounds. Marshall was highly rated coming out of high school, but had a very inconsistent college career. An injury during his freshman season opened the door for Todd Gurley and Marshall eventually fell out of favor with the Georgia coaching staff. He’ll draw a lot of intrigue in the draft’s final day.