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Draft Coverage

TWENTYMAN: Combine Day 3 observations

Changing mechanics: Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson is a big, strong, impressive athlete who is expected to be a first-round pick, but one of the big knocks on him is his accuracy. He completed just 53.8 percent of his passes this past season and never completed at least 60 percent of his passes in any season for the Gators. Richardson said Friday at the Combine he's changed his mechanics and is using his hips more in his delivery to better improve his accuracy.

Terrific athlete: Georgia edge rusher Nolan Smith had himself a day at the Combine Thursday. He is atop the list all-time in Combine history for the heaviest players with a vertical of 40-plus inches (41.5) and a sub-4.4 second 40-yard dash (4.39). At 239 pounds, Smith topped Seattle wide receiver DK Metcalf (40.5 & 4.33) at 228 pounds and Jets running back Breece Hall (40.0 & 4.39) at 217 pounds.

View photos of the linebackers at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine.

Much to prove: Jaxon Smith-Njigba is trying to be the first wide receiver taken in the draft. To do so he has to prove the hamstring injury that allowed him to play in just three games this past season is thoroughly behind him. Smith-Njigba said he's been 100 percent healthy for about two weeks now.

He plans to do everything at the Combine but run the 40-yard dash, which he's saving for his Pro Day. He caught 95 passes for 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns in 2021. He caught just five passes this past season in three games. He'll be an interesting study for teams leading up to the NFL Draft.

Big compliment: Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. was asked during his media session who the toughest player he played against in college was. There was no hesitation from Anderson, who said Texas running back Bijan Robinson

"He was a big back," Anderson said. "We had to gang tackle him, get all hats to the ball. He was going to break a few tackles. We had to tackle him right away, but he was probably the toughest person I played against in college."

No drills: Devon Witherspoon is considered by most evaluators as the best cornerback in this year's draft, but teams are going to have to wait to get some testing numbers on him. Witherspoon missed his scheduled media session Thursday because he was held up in his medical evaluation getting an MRI. The NFL Network reported that Witherspoon is dealing with a "minor" hamstring injury and as a result is not taking any chances of injuring the hamstring further and will wait until his pro day to run and test.

Size and speed: Northwestern defensive tackle Adetomiwa Adebawore ran the 40 in 4.49 seconds at the Combine with a 37.5-inch vertical and a broad jump of 10'5''. He's 6-foot-2 and 282 pounds. He joins Mario Williams, Rashan Gary and J.J. Watt as the only players over 275 pounds to have a vertical over 37 inches, per NextGen Stats.

Top reps: Michigan's Mazi Smith led all defensive linemen with 34 reps on the bench press today. Smith will be an interesting evaluation for teams. He's a freak athlete but the production (2.5 tackles for loss and one-half sack) didn't match the athletic traits while at Michigan.

View photos of the defensive linemen at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine.

Safety versatility: Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn thinks Tracy Walker and Kerby Joseph are going to be a nice safety duo for the Lions in 2023, as long as Walker returns to form after suffering an Achilles injury last year. The Lions could add to that position via the draft, and Glenn said the one thing he covets in a safety is versatility and the ability to play in the slot, if needed. One guy who could be a fit in that regard is Illinois safety Sydney Brown, who proved to be a versatile safety/nickel starting 50 games for the Illini.

"I'm a confident, versatile player," Brown said at the Combine. "I can play in the box, have a natural feel for the line games in front of me, whatever run concepts you're going to throw at me. I can play in the post, I can play deep half, I can play curl/flat -- whatever you need, I can do."

Eye-popping measurements: Kansas State cornerback Julius Brents had an impressive workout Friday. He measured 6-foot-2 and 198 pounds with 34-inch arms and had a vertical of 41.5 inches and a 11'6'' broad jump.

Top cornerbacks: Devon Witherspoon, Joey Porter Jr. and Christian Gonzalez are angling to be the top cornerback taken in the draft. Witherspoon isn't taking part in on-field drills. Porter and Gonzalez are. Gonzalez (6-1, 197) had 32-inch arms with a 41.5-inch vertical, 11'1'' broad jump and an unofficial 4.44-second 40. Porter (6-2, 193) had 34-inch arms with a 35-inch vertical, 10'9'' broad jump and an unofficial 4.47-second 40.

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