It’s the first week of March, which means it’s time for the NFL Combine. It’s a week of testing on and off the field, where teams get to gauge interest in a player. For fans, it’s a chance to put the faces to the names on the back of jerseys. It’s also a time for overreaction, where an inch of an arm size can make the difference between being a Hall of Famer and a bust for many. In reality, it’s an opportunity for players to show how blessed they are athletically without the pads. Here are the winners for the NFL Combine from the running backs, offensive linemen and special teams groups.
1. Ryquell Armstead – Temple (RB) – Temple running back had a breakout season in 2018, rushing for over 1000 yards for the first time in his career. Armstead is a physical runner known for his vision and ability to create extra yardage after contact. Armstead has exhibited quickness and short area burst, but at the Combine he showed how true speed. With a 4.45 40 time, Armstead placed second among all running backs. Showing the ability to win in open field along with the durability and physicality to win in the trenches, Armstead upped his stock today.
2. Joshua Miles – Morgan State (OL) – It’s been 16 years since Morgan State University had a player drafted. Joshua Miles is a versatile lineman that can play guard and tackle, and after a strong Shrine Game performance, his invite to the NFL Combine was no surprise. Miles showed up and showed out at the Combine, posting 10 3/4” arms and nearly 85” wingspan, Miles has the body to play outside or inside. But even more remarkable was Miles posting a 36” vertical jump, the highest for any offensive lineman since at least 2006. Only 9 linemen since 2000 have posted at least a 35” vert.
3. Miles Sanders – Penn State (RB) – At this time of the offseason, the battle of valuing production versus tape is a major discussion for prospects. Penn State running back Miles Sanders had very little production during his college career, but his potential shines through his film. Workouts were beneficial to Sanders’ stock, as he showed fluidity going through cones and passing drills. Sanders clocked a 4.49 40, exhibiting true speed, carrying his 211-pound frame well. Sanders recorded a group-leading 6.89 three cone drill, and was top-five in most other workouts.
1. Devin Singletary – Florida Atlantic (RB) – Devin Singletary isn’t considered a speedster by any means. But Singletary’s workouts today were underwhelming to say the least. A 7.32 three-cone and 4.40 twenty-yard shuttle were some of the worst times for the running back group. Tape doesn’t lie, and Singletary manages to make defenders miss. But his lack of speed will surely drop him on draft boards.
2. Greg Little – Ole Miss (OL) – Just a few months ago, Greg Little was considered one of the top prospects in this draft and the top tackle. Things change, and Little has fallen out of the good graces of many after a lackluster 2018 campaign. With everything on the line, Little posted the second-worst 40 time for offensive linemen (5.33). During workouts, Little looked clunky, showing the same flaws that have dropped him on the boards.
3. Nick Brossette – LSU (RB) – Weigh-ins are important, and there were few players that needed to lose weight more than Nick Brossette. And he did just that, shedding down to 209 pounds. In nearly every workout, Brossette looked slow and sluggish. A 4.72 40 time was more than disappointing, and Brossette nearly came in last in every event. Brossette has been considered a bruiser, yet his 15 reps on the bench were second-worst.