NFL Scouting Combine

TIM AND MIKE: Combine Day 5 observations

Posted Mar 4, 2018

Tim Twentyman & Mike O'Hara share their observations from Day 5 of the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine.

Quinn-Patricia – on the road again: Not surprisingly, Detroit Lions GM Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia were shown sitting side and in what looked like an intense conversation while watching the defensive line workouts.

Quinn and Patricia have talked about their relationship that developed from the time they spent together while working for the Patriots.

They both had what looked like super-venti Starbucks. Fitting, for scouting super-size potential NFL stars. – Mike O’Hara

Military background: What is it like to have a former Navy SEAL as a father?

“He was just always on me, so I guess maybe from that background, he made sure I was always working, busy, wouldn’t let me get away with anything,” Florida defensive lineman Taven Bryan said about his dad Brandy Bryan. “Definitely helped build me into the man I am today.’’

Bryan is among the top defensive linemen here at the Combine. – Tim Twentyman

Sunday split: Good move by Combine officials to divide the defensive linemen into two groups for their 40 times. Tackles went first, then the defensive ends. That provided a more even comparison of times. For example, there wasn’t an edge rusher running 4.60 followed by one of the top tackles running a comparatively slow 5.10 – which is a good time for an interior lineman. – Mike O’Hara

Big man moving: Speaking of those defensive line 40 times.

Mississippi's Breeland Speaks had the fastest time among the defensive tackles at 4.87 seconds.

Two edge rushers managed to run in the 4.5-range. Florida State’s Josh Sweat (6-4, 251) led the edge rushers with a time of 4.53 seconds. Texas-San Antonio’s Marcus Davenport (6-5, 264) ran it in 4.58 – Tim Twentyman

On the line, Lions connection: Vita Vea, the 347-pound defensive tackle from Washington, has impressed everyone with his strength and quickness. NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah compared him to Haloti Ngata, a five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle known for his power and quickness who was drafted 12th overall by the Ravens in 2006. Ngata played the last three seasons in Detroit and has indicated that he wants to continue playing after an injury limited him to five games last season. – Mike O’Hara

Special teamer: Running back Rashad Penny led the country with 2,248 rushing yards at San Diego State last year. He scored 23 touchdowns and was a Heisman Trophy finalist, but he said what separates him from other running backs is his play on special teams. Penny played on special teams all four years of college as a return man, and finished his career with eight return touchdowns. 

“I think that’s the most important part of the game,” he said. “If offense and defense isn’t going so well, then you can rely on special teams. I don’t think people know how important and how big of a play special teams makes on a game. So, I think that’s the most important part.” – Tim Twentyman

Expert analysis, Willie McGinest: The retired linebacker/defensive end who played the first 12 of his 15 seasons with the Patriots, explained why he didn’t like how the first few defensive line prospects did in the “stack and shed” drill. In the drill, they moved laterally, punching three bags to simulate shedding blocks to get to the ball carrier. They were hitting the bag too high, McGinest said.

“That means you’ve already been cut, and you’re on the ground,” McGinest said. – Mike O’Hara

QB sack list: NC State’s Bradley Chubb is expected to be the first pass rusher off the board, potentially in the top five picks. Chubb had 10 sacks in each of last two seasons. Who is one NFL quarterback he dreams of sacking at the next level? The GOAT of course.

“Of course, I’m going to say Tom Brady,” Chubb said. “You sack Tom Brady then you’re doing something right. I feel like Tom Brady is a quarterback I’ll have on my list.” – Tim Twentyman

Letters men: NFL Network Combine host Rich Eisen was up early Sunday for the timing of the defensive tackles in the 40-yard dash, but his wit was wide awake for the first attempt by Foley Fatukasi of Connecticut.

“They sent Obi Melifonwu to the league last year,” Eisen said. “UConn’s lost a lot of letters off that defense.”

Melifonwu is a safety who was drafted in the second round by the Raiders. –Mike O’Hara