It is time for part two of our recap of the NFL combine. Defensive linemen and linebackers took the field for workouts Sunday with the defensive backs going Monday. Here are a few of the standouts that pertain to the Vikings.
Read the recap of Friday and Saturday here.
The Defensive Tackles
The pie-in-the-sky hope for the Vikings would have been for Vita Vea or Da’Ron Payne to slip to the 30th pick. After their combine performances, that seems unlikely. Vea and Payne both showed off what athletics freaks they are with strong scores in just about every workout.
Which brings up the other tackle prospects a tick below the top two. Most notably, Maurice Hurst had to exit the combine early after he was diagnosed with a heart condition. Reports are that the issue was detected at while Hurst was at Michigan, but he was cleared. As such, it seems the condition may not be as severe as first thought. Regardless, it likely rules Hurst out for the Vikings first round pick, as well.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was Stanford’s Harrison Phillips. Phillips out-benched everyone at the combine, including Vea, with 42 reps. Florida hybrid lineman Taven Bryan also impressed with a sub-5.0 40-yard dash and a 35-inch vertical to go along with 30 bench reps.
Athletically, this is one of the deepest defensive tackle drafts in recent memory. That much was clear on Sunday. Even if the Vikings pass on taking one first round, there will be talented players available throughout and potential starters in each of the first three rounds.
Tony Brown, CB, Alabama
Brown is a mid-round corner prospect with both elite and limited athletic features. He put up average numbers in the jumping and change of direction drills. But he also blew away the 40-yard dash, finishing among the best with a time of 4.35. What is more, Brown’s bench total of 14 was solid and he has a history of being a strong run stopper. Overall, Monday essentially locked Brown into his projection of a day three corner with a starting nickel ceiling, which is exactly what the Vikings could use. His 40 time will be especially intriguing draft weekend. It very well could boost his stock solely due to his potential to make immediate impact in special teams.
Shaquem Griffin, LB, Central Florida
Griffin was, undoubtedly, the star of the entire combine. First, he defied all standards with 20 bench reps and doing so, mind you, with only one hand. Then he recorded the fastest 40 time by a linebacker since 2003 at 4.38 seconds. Some scouts have said that Griffin’s performance in the combine boosted him to a likely fourth round pick, which is probably out of the Vikings range for another linebacker. That being said, Griffin has officially become the feel-good story of this year’s draft. Limitations aside, many NFL talent evaluators see him as a contributor at the next level.
Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech
Edmunds is not the touted prospect his brother, Tremaine is. But Edmunds put his stamp on the weekend himself with impressive athletic displays. Though he runs a little awkwardly, Edmunds has recovery speed to burn, running a 4.47 40. He also posted some of the best jumping numbers of the weekend with a 41.5 inch vertical and a 134 inch broad jump. With his combination of size and athleticism, it may behoove the Vikings to have Edmunds on their radar at the back of the third round.
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