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NFL Combine Day 4: Surprises, Winners and Losers

Mark Morse
Mark Morse on Twitter
March 8, 2022 at 9:17 am ET

NFL Combine Day 4: Surprises, Winners and Losers(PHOTO: Jerry Lai - USA TODAY Sports)
Posted: Mar 08, 2022 09:17
🕑 Read Time: 3 minutes

Combine Day 4

Biggest Surprise

Jack Jones CB Arizona State – He showed up with a fast 4.51 40- yard dash and just kept building upon that through the on-field workouts.  He was not a player that I did any research on before the combine.

Winners

Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner – He was among the top two CBs in the draft.  The other, Derek Stingley did not participate in any fieldwork as he is recovering from a Lisfranc injury.  At 6’2” 190 lbs, Gardner ran a 4.41 40.  In two seasons, he allowed zero TDs.  On-field he did exactly what was expected.

Kalon Barnes CB Baylor – He ran the 2nd fastest 40-yard dash in the history of the Combine (4.23).  That kind of makeup speed will get you noticed.

Tariq Woolen CB University of Texas, San Antonio – He stands 6’4” 205 lbs and ran the 4th fastest 40 in Combine history at 4.26.  His wingspan is a freakish 79”.  Woolen played some wide receiver his 1st two years.  He is raw but did well in the field drills.

Zyon McCollum CB Sam Houston State – He stands 6’2”, 199 lbs, ran a 4.33 40, blazing-fast 3.94 20 yard short shuttle, 39.5” Vertical. 11’ Broad Jump and a 6.48 3-cone drill.  I don’t think I have seen a better 3-cone drill.  He is extremely quick.

Lewis Cine S Georgia – He stands 6’2” 199 lbs and is more of an in-the-box safety.  His 4.38 40 is very fast for safety.

Dax Hill S Michigan is another that cracked the sub 4.4 mark with a 4.38 40 yard dash.    Hill had a 4.06 short shuttle and 6.57 3-cone.  He stands 6’ 191.  He is the number 2 ranked Safety

Nick Cross S Maryland – 6’1” 212 lbs 4.34 40 (1), 37” Vertical (4), 10’ 10” Broad Jump (3).  He was very fluid in his field drills.  Really helped his draft stock.

Markquese Bell S Florida A&M – 6’2” 212 lbs 4.41 40.  His 40 time was very good for a big safety and he looked great in drills.  He is a big hitter and someone is getting a very good player on Day 3.  Florida A&M is a Historically Black College and University.  Bell did not play in the HBCU Legacy Bowl but did run at the HBCU Combine held in conjunction with the Senior Bowl.  Over the last two drafts, only one player from an HBCU school was drafted.  Last year, no player from an HBCU school participated in the Combine.

Losers

Alontae Taylor CB Tennessee – As hard as Charles Davis pulled for his fellow Volunteer, he could not hide the deficiencies Taylor showed in the field drills.  Taylor ran a very good 4.36 40 yard dash.

Joshua Williams CB Fayetteville State – He is another HBCU player in the CB group and he struggled in the Field Drills,  He showed sufficient speed 4.52 40, but his fieldwork showed just how far he would need to be coached up to play in the league.

Juanyeh Thomas S Georgia Tech – I am really reaching to find a loser amongst the Safeties.  Thomas ran a 4.55 which isn’t awful for Safety, but it was the third-worst of the group.  His onfield drills were just plain old bad and he was very stiff and dropped too many balls.

Notes

All three kickers that ran the 40,  beat the previous 40 mark for kickers/punters.

Malcolm Rodriquez ILB Oklahoma State – he is 5’11” 232 lb former Safety.  The 3-year starting ILB had 398 career tackles.  Rodriquez also has 500+ snaps on special teams and was a team captain and leader.  A former 2X HS wrestling champ, he was called for only three penalties in his 5-year career.  Rodriquez ran a very good 4.52 40.  That 40 time was equivalent to running backs in previous combines.  That 40 time would have been 4th worst out of the Safeties.  His short height may prevent him from being an ILB in the league, but I could see a long career as a key special team player.  You know how Bill Belichick loves his special team players.

10 CBs ran under 4.4

6 Safeties ran under 4.4

The scouts at the combine do not trust the results they were given and most teams are going to rely on the scouting services of the scouts they had at the combine.  They will use the hand-held times they got while in the stands.

Top Safety Kyle Hamilton is 6’4” 220 lbs (linebacker size) and was tied for the worst 40 time at 4.59.  It doesn’t make any difference.  He still will be taken in the top 5.  He was smooth in all the field drills.  It just goes to show how fast the overall group of safeties is.

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About Mark Morse

Merrimack Valley native and lifelong fan of the New England Patriots. My earliest memories of the Patriots were attending as a child with my dad, the off-season practice at Phillips Academy. I was at the Patriots game at Harvard Stadium in 1970 where Bob “Harpo” Gladieux was called out of the stands by the stadium announcer over the PA to play in the game. Analyzing the draft since ESPN first started to televise it in 1980 and former writer for the Lowell Sun Newspaper.


Posted Under: 2022 NFL Draft

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