At the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis the offensive players take the field the first two days, you can checkout my offensive guide here, but the defensive players close it out the final two days. With one of the most talent rich interior defensive line/edge rusher groups in years, the defense could steal the show at Lucas Oil Stadium. Not only that, but the defensive backs generally run the fast 40-yard dash times and it will be a fun battle to see who wins the week. Like my NFL Combine offensive guide, the positions are split up the same way they’re in Indianapolis. Remember, tape over testing. Each positon group has superlatives followed by my position rankings of the combine participants and then notes on the group.

On-Field Dates

Friday, March 1- Running backs, offensive linemen, and specialists

Saturday, March 2- Quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends

Sunday, March 3- Defensive linemen, edge rushers, and linebackers

Monday, March 4- Cornerbacks and safeties

Defensive Linemen

Overall Winner: Ed Oliver, Houston

Most Important Athletic Testing: Rashan Gary, Michigan

Most Important Measurements: Ed Oliver, Houston

Most Important Medicals: Nick Bosa, Ohio State

Most Important Interview: Dexter Lawrence, Clemson

Most Intriguing: Charles Omenihu, Texas

Most Physically Imposing: Nick Bosa, Ohio State

Who Gets on the Radar: LJ Collier, TCU

Who Falls off the Radar: Isaiah Buggs, Alabama

Who Makes the Most Money: Rashan Gary, Michigan

Keep an Eye on: Khalen Saunders, Western Illinois

Needs a Big Week: Zach Allen, Boston College

Trust the Tape, Not the Testing: Dexter Lawrence, Clemson

Biggest Combine Snub: Marquise Copeland, Cincinnati

  1. Nick Bosa, Ohio State
  2. Quinnen Williams, Alabama
  3. Ed Oliver, Houston
  4. Christian Wilkins, Clemson
  5. Charles Omenihu, Texas
  6. Rashan Gary, Michigan
  7. Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
  8. Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
  9. Gerald Willis, Miami
  10. LJ Collier, TCU
  11. Renell Wren, Arizona State
  12. Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State
  13. Zach Allen, Boston College
  14. Joe Jackson, Miami
  15. Anthony Nelson, Iowa
  16. Isaiah Buggs, Alabama
  17. Maxx Crosby, Eastern Michigan
  18. Terry Beckner, Missouri
  19. Jonathan Ledbetter, Georgia
  20. Khalen Saunders, Western Illinois
  21. Daylon Mack, Texas A&M
  22. Byron Cowart, Maryland
  23. Daniel Wise, Kansas
  24. Armon Watts, Arkansas
  25. Albert Huggins, Clemson
  26. Kingsley Keke, Texas A&M
  27. Greg Gaines, Washington
  28. Kevin Givens, Penn State
  29. Trysten Hill, UCF
  30. Dontavius Russell, Auburn
  31. Chris Slayton, Syracuse
  32. Demarcus Christmas, Florida State
  33. John Cominsky, Charleston
  • There’s a strong argument that the defensive line group will be the most interesting and important positon group to watch at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine this year. The group consists of arguably the top three prospects in the draft with Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams, and Ed Oliver. The depth and different types of D-linemen in the group really put it over the top. If you can only watch one group test in Indy this is the one you want to see.
  • We haven’t seen Bosa play since he went down with an abdominal injury against TCU in September, but he remains a top prospect, if not the top prospect in the class. As long as he comes to the NFL Combine and checks the boxes for medicals and testing he should be a top two pick. Even if he just tests average, Bosa’s tape is so dominant and his ceiling is so high that it shouldn’t hurt him.
  • Nobody moved themselves higher up on the board this season than Quinnen Williams. Williams is a consensus top two prospect and with his combination of size, quickness, and power he should dominate the combine. Williams might be the cleanest prospect in the draft and should kill it in interviews with his high-end leadership qualities and football IQ.
  • Ed Oliver might be the defensive version of Kyler Murray at the combine. Everybody is anxious to see his measurements and many are going to be scared off if he comes in as small as rumored. Ignore that, he’s a freak of nature. Oliver has the movement skills of an off-ball linebacker and rare explosiveness for a 3-Tech. He’s a top five prospect and he could break NFL Combine records.
  • Christian Wilkins, Charles Omenihu, Rashan Gary, Jerry Tillery, and Dexter Lawrence will all have eyes on them as scouts try to separate the D-line group. Wilkins should do a ton for himself with his combo of size and athleticism. He also happens to have one of the highest IQs in the draft, that’ll be big in interviews. Omenihu and Gary are height-weight-speed guys that need to continue to show their games are growing. If they come in and test as expected teams will fall in love with what they could be in the future. Tillery has size, power, and quickness and a big week could lock him into a top 40 pick. Lawrence is the heftiest man at the combine, but testing might not be great for him and he’ll also need to answer questions about a failed PED test at Clemson.
  • Gerald Willis, LJ Collier, Renell Wren, Dre’Mont Jones, and Joe Jackson are in the tier that’s competing to move up as potential Day 2 picks. Willis has some off-field questions to answer, but has lightening quickness. Collier might rise the most with his combo of power, explosion, and size. Wren has size and power, but needs to show he has the athleticism to play a spot other than nose. Jones wins with his athleticism so living up to it at the combine is big for him. Jackson is a height-weight-speed edge who can build some Day 2 hype this week.
  • Zach Allen, Anthony Nelson, Isaiah Buggs, and Maxx Crosby will need to test well to answer questions about their athleticism and generate top 100 buzz.
  • Terry Beckner, Khalen Saunders, Byron Cowart, Daniel Wise, Armon Watts, and Chris Slayton are all sleepers to watch.

Edge Rushers

Overall Winner: Brian Burns, Florida State

Most Important Athletic Testing: Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

Most Important Measurements: Brian Burns, Florida STate

Most Important Medicals: Chase Winovich, Michigan

Most Important Interview: Jachai Polite, Florida

Most Intriguing: Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

Most Physically Imposing: Josh Allen, Kentucky

Who Gets on the Radar: Malik Carney, North Carolina

Who Falls off the Radar: Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion

Who Makes the Most Money: Christian Miller, Alabama

Keep an Eye on: Justin Hollins, Oregon

Needs a Big Week: Montez Sweat, Mississippi State

Trust the Tape, Not the Testing: Chase Winovich, Michigan

Biggest Combine Snub: Malik Reed, Nevada

  1. Brian Burns, Florida State
  2. Jachai Polite, Florida
  3. Josh Allen, Kentucky
  4. Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
  5. Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
  6. Christian Miller, Alabama
  7. Chase Winovich, Michigan
  8. Ben Banogu, TCU
  9. Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion
  10. Jalen Jelks, Oregon
  11. Shareef Miller, Penn State
  12. Malik Carney, North Carolina
  13. Justin Hollins, Oregon
  14. D’Andre Walker, Georgia
  15. Jordan Brailford, Oklahoma State
  16. CeCe Jefferson, Florida
  17. Porter Gustin, USC
  18. Carl Granderson, Wyoming
  19. Wyatt Ray, Boston College
  20. Darryl Johnson, North Carolina A&T
  21. Austin Bryant, Clemson
  22. Jamal Davis, Akron
  23. Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois
  24. Gerri Green, Mississippi State
  • With all the talent at edge rusher in the 2019 NFL Draft and a ton of need for QB hunters in the NFL, this might be the second most important position group to pay attention to at the combine. There are potentially five first-round picks in this group and up to five more Day 2 guys. It’ll be a big competition to see who can be the second edge rusher off the board after Nick Bosa.
  • The big question with this group is how big will Brian Burns measure in at? Burns has the tools to be a top five pick, but teams are going to question his ability to holdup if he’s under 250 pounds. If Burns checks the size box, he should win the week for this group. He’s got rare explosion and bend. The 40-yard dash and 3-cone drill will be dominated by him.
  • Like Burns, Jachai Polite needs to weigh-in at an adequate weight to keep himself in the top 10 conversation. Polite might have the best combo of bend, hand use, leverage, and explosion as a pass rusher in the class. He’ll be a fun watch in the 3-cone and has everything a first-round pick on the edge needs.
  • Even though Josh Allen has more hype than Burns and Polite, he’s not as consistent a pass rusher as them, but the combine can move him ahead. He’s got the size the NFL covets on the edge and should test near the top of the edge group. If he comes through in testing, it’ll be hard to see him sliding out of the top five.
  • Clelin Ferrell and Montez Sweat are in similar situations. Both height-weight-speed pass rushers that lack the bend to justify being top picks. Ferrell has a chance to lock himself into the top 20 with a huge combine performance. Teams will love his size, athleticism, and character. Sweat is similar, but not quite the same athlete or pass rusher. He will need a big combine to guarantee himself a first-round selection.
  • Christian Miller is the guy to watch make some money this week. He’s got the explosion and bend teams want in a marquee pass rusher. If testing goes as expected, he could be a top 50 pick.
  • Chase Winovich, Ben Banogu, Oshane Ximines, and Jalen Jelks are all potential Day 2 guys, but will need to perform above expectations at the combine.
  • Malik Carney, Justin Hollins, and Jordan Brailford should create some buzz this week.

Linebackers

Overall Winner: Devin White, LSU

Most Important Athletic Testing: Devin Bush, Michigan

Most Important Measurements: Vosean Joseph, Florida

Most Important Medicals: Mack Wilson, Alabama

Most Important Interview: Devin White, LSU

Most Intriguing: Mack Wilson, Alabama

Most Physically Imposing: Terrill Hanks, New Mexico State

Who Gets on the Radar: Kendall Joseph, Clemson

Who Falls off the Radar: Tre Lamar, Clemson

Who Makes the Most Money: Vosean Joseph, Florida

Keep an Eye on: David Long, West Virginia

Needs a Big Week: Germaine Pratt, NC State

Trust the Tape, Not the Testing: Joe Giles-Harris, Duke

Biggest Combine Snub: Josiah Tauaefa, UTSA

  1. Devin White, LSU
  2. Mack Wilson, Alabama
  3. Devin Bush, Michigan
  4. Germaine Pratt, NC State
  5. Vosean Joseph, Florida
  6. Terrill Hanks, New Mexico State
  7. Kendall Joseph, Clemson
  8. Bobby Okereke, Stanford
  9. Joe Giles-Harris, Duke
  10. Drue Tranquill, Notre Dame
  11. David Long, West Virginia
  12. Jeff Allison, Fresno State
  13. Dre Greenlaw, Arkansas
  14. Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington
  15. Gary Johnson, Texas
  16. Emeke Egbule, Houston
  17. Chase Hansen, Utah
  18. Cameron Smith, USC
  19. Ty Summers, TCU
  20. Dakota Allen, Texas Tech
  21. Deshaun Davis, Auburn
  22. Te’Von Coney, Notre Dame
  23. Tre Lamar, Clemson
  24. Azeez Al-Shaair, FAU
  25. TJ Edwards, Wisconsin
  26. Andrew Van Ginkel, Wisconsin
  27. Bryson Allen-Williams, South Carolina
  28. Blake Cashman, Minnesota
  29. Jahlani Tavai, Hawaii
  30. Ryan Connelly, Wisconsin
  31. Nate Hall, Northwestern
  32. Otaro Alaka, Texas A&M
  33. Sione Takitaki, BYU
  34. Jordan Jones, Kentucky
  35. Tyrel Dodson, Texas A&M
  36. Cody Barton, Utah
  37. Terez Hall, Missouri
  • Right off the bat it’s clearly a down year for linebackers in the draft. Last year was full of them and this year there’s more questions than answers. There’s big names, but no clear first-round worthy backers. The combine will be a great way to separate this group and stumble onto potential Day 2 and 3 linebackers with upside.
  • At this point Devin White is polarizing. He’s a converted running back with loads of athleticism, but he’s still learning the position. It’s likely he’s a first-round lock with his size, explosion, and potential ability. The combine will be a great place for an athlete like him to lock up the LB1 title. More importantly for him though will be acing the interview portion. He needs to answer questions about off-field issues and show on the chalk board he has a high football IQ.
  • The potential of Mack Wilson gives him first-round buzz. His rare movement skills and ability in coverage are perfect for today’s NFL, but he has holes. Wilson will need to show he has the size and strength to get off blocks and hold up in the NFL. He will also need to explain in the interview portion the inconsistency in his game this season at Alabama. With the way he’ll likely test there will be first-round buzz around him.
  • It’s somewhat up in the air how Devin Bush will perform. He’s got the best instincts and is the most consistent top LB vs the run, he loves to thump. Bush isn’t the biggest linebacker and there are questions about his athleticism and potential inability to play on passing downs in the NFL. If the athleticism is there, he’ll be a top 40 pick.
  • After the top three it’s open season at linebacker. Germaine Pratt, Vosean Joseph, and Terrill Hanks are the guys with the potential to push into Day 2 lock at the combine. Pratt will need to prove his movement skills and explosion. Joseph is going to light up testing, but there will be constant questions about his lack of size. Hanks is “body beautiful” and has big athletic upside, he’s the one who could do the most in this group.
  • Kendall Joseph and Bobby Okereke both have athleticism and production. They don’t have a ton of buzz right now, but late Day 2 is a possibility for both if they put up big numbers.
  • Joe Giles-Harris, Drue Tranquill, and Jeff Allison are likely not going to test all that well, but don’t worry too much. All three are early Day 3 picks who bring instincts, physicality, and high character to the table.
  • David Long, Dre Greenlaw, Ben Burr-Kirven, and Gary Johnson will live and die by the way they test in Indy. All of them have big size questions, but impressive range and production. If they overcome size deficiency with big testing numbers they’ll boost their stock.
  • Emeke Egbule, Azeez Al-Shaair, Jahlani Tavai, and Bryson Allen-Williams are the sleepers who could really put themselves on the map this week.

Cornerbacks

Overall Winner: Greedy Williams, LSU

Most Important Athletic Testing: Deandre Baker, Georgia

Most Important Measurements: Byron Murphy, Washington

Most Important Medicals: Byron Murphy, Washington

Most Important Interview: Greedy Williams, LSU

Most Intriguing: Amani Oruwariye, Penn State

Most Physically Imposing: Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt

Who Gets on the Radar: Montre Hartage, Northwestern

Who Falls off the Radar: Kris Boyd, Texas

Who Makes the Most Money: Julian Love, Notre Dame

Keep an Eye on: Jamal Peters, Mississippi State

Needs a Big Week: Trayvon Mullen, Clemson

Trust the Tape, Not the Testing: Deandre Baker, Georgia

Biggest Combine Snub: Clifton Duck, Appalachian State

  1. Byron Murphy, Washington
  2. Greedy Williams, LSU
  3. Deandre Baker, Georgia
  4. Amani Oruwariye, Penn State
  5. Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt
  6. Justin Layne, Michigan State
  7. Julian Love, Notre Dame
  8. Rock Ya-Sin, Temple
  9. Trayvon Mullen, Clemson
  10. Mike Jackson, Miami
  11. David Long, Michigan
  12. Kris Boyd, Texas
  13. Derrick Baity, Kentucky
  14. Sean Bunting, Central Michigan
  15. Jamal Peters, Mississippi State
  16. Iman Marshall-Lewis, USC
  17. Montre Hartage, Northwestern
  18. Hamp Cheevers, Boston College
  19. Kendall Sheffield, Ohio State
  20. Lonnie Johnson, Kentucky
  21. Saivion Smith, Alabama
  22. Ryan Pulley, Arkansas
  23. Davante Davis, Texas
  24. Jordan Miller, Washington
  25. Jamel Dean, Auburn
  26. Rashad Fenton, South Carolina
  27. Isaiah Johnson, Houston
  28. Xavier Crawford, Central Michigan
  29. Blace Brown, Troy
  30. Jordan Brown, South Dakota State
  31. Ken Webster, Ole Miss
  32. Derrek Thomas, Baylor
  33. Alijah Holder, Stanford
  34. Mark Fields, Clemson
  35. Blessaun Austin, Rutgers
  36. Corey Ballentine, Washburn
  • The cornerback class has a decent chunk of talent with first-round hype for nine corners in the group. Most likely only three or four end up going Day 1, but the group is quite clumped together right now and the NFL Combine will be a big deciding factor for teams when separating them. The group has many different types of corners with outside and nickel ability. It’s an interesting bunch.
  • For those looking for a technically sound corner with rare instincts Byron Murphy will be the guy. He’s not going to be the biggest or most athletic, and there are some medical questions with him, but he’s a first-round lock. If Murphy tests well and shows fluidity and suddenness in drills he’s going to help that top 10 talk. He’s the type of guy who will own the interview portion.
  • It’s more likely than not that Greedy Williams will dominate the combine. He has rare fluidity, speed, and footwork. Williams will probably put himself firmly into top 20 talk if he tests like he should. The big thing for him will be interviews and explaining the inconsistent effort level in his game this past season at LSU.
  • The athletic testing at the combine will have more consequence for Deandre Baker than any other cornerback. He’s as clean as they come on tape with his technique, but lacks speed and explosion. If the testing is as poor as some think, he could drop out of the top 40, but if he surprises and tests well then top 20 is possible.
  • Amani Oruwariye, Joejuan Williams, and Justin Layne are all going to be impressive physically with their size. The three of them are battling to be top 40 picks and athletic testing will be massive. Oruwariye is twitchy and long. Williams is physical and built to press. Layne is a former receiver learning the position quickly.
  • Julian Love, Rock Ya-Sin, and Trayvon Mullen are all also in that early Day 2 range and all expect to test well. Love has great hips and movement skills and could win the day. Ya-Sin is literally rocked up and has great explosion. Mullen has clean footwork and nice range.
  • Mike Jackson, David Long, Kris Boyd, Derrick Baity, Sean Bunting, Jamal Peters, Iman Marshall-Lewis, and Lonnie Johnson are press corners who are going to need great testing to get themselves into late Day 2/early Day 3 talk.
  • Montre Hartage, Hamp Cheevers, and Ryan Pulley all have some size concerns, but are feisty and technically sound. Testing well can get them into early Day 3.
  • Kendall Sheffield, Jamel Dean, and Isaiah Johnson are long and athletic corners who could have teams overlooking their deficiencies on tape for their potential.
  • Blace Brown and Jordan Brown are small school guys to watch.

Safeties

Overall Winner: Nasir Adderley, Delaware

Most Important Athletic Testing: Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State

Most Important Measurements: Nasir Adderley, Delaware

Most Important Medicals: Deionte Thompson, Alabama

Most Important Interview: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida

Most Intriguing: Deionte Thompson, Alabama

Most Physically Imposing: Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State

Who Gets on the Radar: Malik Gant, Marshall

Who Falls off the Radar: Jaquan Johnson, Miami

Who Makes the Most Money: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson

Keep an Eye on: Marquise Blair, Utah

Needs a Big Week: Juan Thornhill, Virginia

Trust the Tape, Not the Testing: Taylor Rapp, Washington

Biggest Combine Snub: Jalen Young, FAU

  1. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida
  2. Deionte Thompson, Alabama
  3. Nasir Adderley, Delaware
  4. Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State
  5. Taylor Rapp, Washington
  6. Juan Thornhill, Virginia
  7. Darnell Savage, Maryland
  8. Jaquan Johnson, Miami
  9. Malik Gant, Marshall
  10. Ugo Amadi, Oregon
  11. Amani Hooker, Iowa
  12. Marquise Blair, Utah
  13. Lukas Denis, Boston College
  14. Evan Worthington, Colorado
  15. Will Harris, Boston College
  16. Mike Edwards, Kentucky
  17. Mike Bell, Fresno State
  18. Sheldrick Redwine, Miami
  19. Jonathan Crawford, Indiana
  20. Andrew Wingard, Wyoming
  21. D’Cota Dixon, Wisconsin
  22. Saquan Hampton, Rutgers
  23. Khari Willis, Michigan State
  24. Donovan Wilson, Texas A&M
  25. Darius West, Kentucky
  26. Zedrick Woods, Ole Miss
  27. Mark McLaurin, Mississippi State
  28. Marvell Tell, USC
  29. John Battle, LSU
  • It’s a bad year to need a safety in the NFL Draft and this position group is very up in the air entering combine week. There’s about ten safeties who could go on Days 1 and 2 of the NFL Draft and they’ll be competing in Indy to make it clear who the top dogs are at the position. There’s a chance not one safety ends up going in the first-round, but the NFL Combine could be the spotlight needed to get up to four guys looked at as first-round talents.
  • Chauncey Gardner-Johnson has the versatility and knack for creating big plays to be the S1 in this class. If he comes into Indy and blows away testing as well as interviews, then there shouldn’t be much debate as to who’s the top safety. For CGJ the interviews will be as important as anything. He’ll need to explain the lack of effort and inconsistent tackling he showed early in his career.
  • If a team needs a single-high safety, then Deionte Thompson could end up S1. He’s got the length, ball skills, and range to make plays on the backend, but due to a wrist injury he won’t be doing much at the combine. Medicals will be important for him and interviews will be his opportunity to show his football IQ.
  • The guy who could truly separate in the group is Nasir Adderley. Adderley has the range, athleticism, and demeanor to be a single-high stud if developed. If he blows away testing like some expect, it would be hard to see him slide into the second-round.
  • The enforcer of the NFL Draft is Johnathan Abram. He lives for ending lives on the football field, but proving he has the athleticism and fluidity to hold up in coverage will be the difference of him going top 30 or top 60. Abram has a shot to be the biggest riser at the position.
  • Taylor Rapp, Juan Thornhill, and Darnell Savage are the Day 2 safeties with defined roles. Rapp is a box safety who adds leadership and an edge, but testing could make him a top 50 pick. Thornhill is a lean smooth coverage safety who needs to show he has the athleticism to thrive in a single-high role. Savage is a tone setter who can play nickel or box safety, but needs to show athleticism to go second-round.
  • Jaquan Johnson and Lukas Denis are athletically limited, but solid all-around safeties. They might be able to sneak into late Day 2/early Day 3 talk with big combines.
  • Ugo Amadi, Amani Hooker, Marquise Blair, and Evan Worthington all have the versatility to play safety, nickel, or cornerback and testing well can create buzz for all four. Blair is the sneaky potential freak athlete to watch.
  • Will Harris, Mike Edwards, Mike Bell, and Sheldrick Redwine are Day 3 types with high floors, but the combine can be the difference between the fourth and sixth-round.
  • Jonathan Crawford and Saquan Hampton aren’t being talked about enough, but Indy is their opportunity to change that around.
  • Andrew Wingard, D’Cota Dixon, and Khari Willis will need to test well to show they have the upside to play special teams in the NFL.

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Author Details
Vice President of Media | The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I’m Canadian as can be, other than the fact that I don’t care about hockey. I love football. The NFL is my life. I consider myself a football guy and I’d rather watch tape than anything else. I’m the Armchair NFL Draft analyst here. You can read my Armchair Scout columns and call me out for my draft misses. I’m also part of two podcasts at Armchair. Our NFL Draft podcast, 7 Rounds in Heaven, and the main NFL pod, Resting the Starters. I cheer for the Steelers, Raptors, Blue Jays, Oregon, and I guess the Leafs.
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Vice President of Media | The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I’m Canadian as can be, other than the fact that I don’t care about hockey. I love football. The NFL is my life. I consider myself a football guy and I’d rather watch tape than anything else. I’m the Armchair NFL Draft analyst here. You can read my Armchair Scout columns and call me out for my draft misses. I’m also part of two podcasts at Armchair. Our NFL Draft podcast, 7 Rounds in Heaven, and the main NFL pod, Resting the Starters. I cheer for the Steelers, Raptors, Blue Jays, Oregon, and I guess the Leafs.

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