Lamar Jackson left Indianapolis with even more questions than answers regarding this NFL future
The NFL Scouting Combine has come and gone in Indianapolis as draft-eligible players got their first chance to impress teams in a variety of ways. While some aced their golden opportunity to make a good impression, others didn’t fare as well and are likely headed in the wrong direction as teams make adjustments to their draft boards.
The 2018 NFL Draft is still more than a month away, but for these 10 players their path to hearing their named called April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, has become less clear after an uneven or disappointing performance in Indianapolis.
Stock Down After NFL Scouting Combine
Orlando Brown, OL, Oklahoma
You know you had a bad Combine when the NFL Network is pulling no punches and making you a poster boy for when Rich Eisen ran his 40-yard dash. Brown (above, right) had the fifth-slowest 40 in the Combine’s history and showed hardly any athleticism in jumps or drills. Maybe it was just a bad day for the mammoth Sooners tackle but the numbers he posted will have scouts scrambling to re-evaluate him and could drop him out of the first round.
Billy Price, OL, Ohio State
Price’s Combine was over before it really began with a pectoral injury on the bench press. While it sounds like a minor thing, it puts an extra emphasis on his Pro Day and may have cost him a chance to build some momentum toward being a late first-rounder. He’s still among one of the top interior linemen prospects in the draft though and there had to be at least a few teams who were actually happy to see that Price didn’t participate in the workouts in hopes of him falling to them in the second round.
Ronald Jones II, RB, USC
The Texas Tesla had the opportunity to turn a good Combine showing into being the second tailback taken in the draft but gave up a lot of ground to others like Derrius Guice by tweaking his hamstring during his first 40-yard dash. There will be no shortage of attention on USC’s Pro Day but it may now be even more important for Jones than teammate Sam Darnold.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
The Heisman Trophy winner was one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft but was overshadowed at the Combine by the whole do-WR-drills fiasco and as a result he didn’t do any testing. That was a missed opportunity — even if he wanted to make a point about being a quarterback — and then followed that up with an uneven throwing session where he was not one of the more accurate guys. Needless to say that his Pro Day will be crucial for Jackson to showcase his arm and athletic ability.
Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA
There’s a growing list of wideouts in that second tier who are vying to be taken in the first 40 or 50 picks and Lasley was thought to be in the mix to go that high. However, his numbers were a little disappointing in Indy, with a much slower than expected 4.5 in the 40. He didn’t impress during pass-catching drills either and will have plenty of work to do over the coming weeks to get back in the mix.
Maurice Hurst, DL, Michigan
Hurst (right) was red-flagged with a heart condition and while he insists all will be well by Michigan’s Pro Day, the threat of problems down the road could be enough to scare a few teams off from spending a first-round pick on him. The Combine was the place to showcase his quickness but he was not able to and now must prove all is well in another more important area over the coming weeks.
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, EDGE, Oklahoma
The man known as “Obo” had a chance to move up in the pecking order of edge rushers but he may have gone the other direction after this weekend. He put up a good number on the bench but his 40 time (4.77) and broad jump were not quite the marks you would have expected given the speed and quickness he flashed at Oklahoma. While he was aiming to be a Day 2 pick or earlier, it’s possible a team doesn’t fall in love with him until later.
Kenny Young, LB, UCLA
Young is tailor made to play linebacker in today’s version of the NFL but didn’t create much buzz at the Combine with pretty average numbers across the board during testing. He was overshadowed by a number of others during position drills and could slide a bit during Day 3 as a result.
Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa
The Combine was never going to be a place where Jewell could shine as he was never going to test super well but his 4.82 in the 40 is still going to be an issue for some teams and he wasn’t the quickest in getting around during change of direction drills. Few linebackers have more impressive tape and instincts than this guy but the numbers did him no help in trying to move up a round or two.
Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
Denzel Ward might be the top corner in the draft but it’s a mystery as to who is No. 2 behind him. Jackson has been the name thrown around the most but his 4.56 40-yard dash time was not what he was looking for and he seemed a little too stiff during drills. Safe to say he could have been passed by a few others at the Combine as teams wonder if he has the measurables to be the ball hawk in the league that he was for the Hawkeyes.
— Written by Bryan Fischer, an award-winning college football columnist and member of the Athlon Contributor Network. You can follow him from coast-to-coast on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @BryanDFischer.