The 2022 NFL Combine’s on-field drills continued on Saturday night, with the event switching over to the defensive side of the ball. Three groups were featured on Day 3, the interior defensive linemen, edge rushers, and linebackers.
If you missed our previous NFL Combine reviews, be sure to check out:
With the Detroit Lions switching their base defenses to include more four-man fronts, the need for an interior defensive lineman is reduced, as they will typically only be deploying two defensive tackles, instead of three in the previous schematic front. Additionally, they have three locks for the roster in Michael Brockers, Levi Onwuzurike, and Alim McNeill, as well as another three in the mix for reserve roles, Jashon Cornell, John Penisini, and Bruce Hector. That being said, if the right player is available, I don’t think general manager Brad Holmes would hesitate to grab them.
Let’s take a look at some IDL players who stood out at the Combine.
Jordan Davis, Georgia, 6-foot-6 1⁄2, 341
4.78/1.68 (40/10 split)
Woah, Nelly. Davis had himself quite a Combine.
It’s unusual for a nose tackle to get first-round attention—Alim McNeill going in the third round last year was considered a mild surprise—but Davis showed he is worthy of the praise. He tested off the charts in speed and explosion measurables, putting up rare numbers for a person his size. In drills, it all translated, as he looked fluid and explosive throughout the evening.
We have seen the word “unicorn” used a lot this offseason, but this my friends, is what a unicorn looks like:
Jordan Davis has currently tested as the most athletic defensive tackle in the #RAS database, with his 20 split unofficial.
Most nose tackles skip the agility drills, and if he’s done, then he’s top dog. pic.twitter.com/AF995HJWmk
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 5, 2022
Devonte Wyatt, Georgia, 6-foot-3, 304
4.77/1.66 (40/10 split)
Davis’ teammate wasn’t about to let him have all the limelight and also put up some ridiculous numbers. Not only did the Georgia duo finish in the top-two for 40-yard dash times, but they were a full 0.1 seconds faster than the player in the third spot.
In drills, Wyatt flew around the field, gliding with power, balance, and quickness. His feet moved rapidly and in sync, as did his hands, which were constantly in motion. With pass rush being a priority in the NFL, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Wyatt be the first defensive tackle selected.
Logan Hall, Houston, 6-foot-6, 283
4.88/1.68 (40/10 split)
Hall looked lean and long but that didn’t hinder his ability to be fluid in drills. At all times, he looked like he was balanced and under control, yet was able to still play fast. There wasn’t much separating this next tier of players for me, and this was enough to give him a slight bump to IDL3 for me. With the Lions, he would alternate between the 3T and strong-side defensive end spots.
Travis Jones, UConn, 6-foot-4 1⁄2, 325
4.9/1.76 (40/10 split)
At his size, the speed times are awfully impressive and way above expectations. Like at the Senior Bowl, Jones was powerful, yet silky-smooth with his movements. If you didn’t know he was a 325-pound nose tackle, you’d think he was more 3T than 1/0T. He will be coveted by both 1- and 2-gapping teams and probably won’t make it to the Lions’ pick No. 66 at the top of the third round.
- DeMarvin Leal (Texas A&M, 6-foot-4, 283) has a lot of the same characteristics as Hall—plays under control and looks like a 3T/5T positionally versatile player. His hands looked sharp, as they do on film.
- Perrion Winfrey (Oklahoma, 6-foot-3 3⁄4, 290) ran a 4.89 (40 y/d) with a 1.68 10-yard-split but pulled up with an apparent injury and was not able to participate the rest of the day. If he is there in Round 3, he will be tempting.
- Haskell Garrett (Ohio State, 6-foot-2, 300) looked very technical and under control all day. He could have a similar career arc as another Buckeye, Lions Jashon Cornell—drafted on Day 3 with enough upside to get into a defensive line rotation.
- D.J. Davidson (Arizona State, 6-foot03, 327) didn’t run and the measurable tests he did were only average, but that’s not overly surprising for a nose tackle. What he showed in Indianapolis was quick feet and rapid hands in drills which could be enough to get him drafted.