Biggest Risers at the NFL Combine

With the NFL combine officially in the books, it is time to look back on the players who made the biggest impact in Indianapolis.

Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
Projected: Top 15
Lee came into the weekend as a likely first round pick, with mock drafts pegging him anywhere from 11 to 31. I think Lee’s performance this weekend solidified him as a top 15 pick. He was outstanding in terms of measurables. He posted the fastest time of any linebacker in the 40-yard dash and the 20-yard shuttle. He also lead the way for the broad jump. What will get the most attention is his 4.47 time in the 40. That is tied for the sixth-fastest time by a linebacker in the last decade. With his size, teams might be picking Lee understanding that he could be moved around the field similar to Deone Bucannon in Arizona. Lee could be an athletic piece a coordinator can move around a defense.

Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
Projected: Early Second Round
Spriggs burst onto the scene this weekend. His performance at the combine should boost him into the early second round conversation. He was the top performer for the 40-yard dash and the broad jump. He also logged 31 reps at the bench press, which is a good thing for a prospect whose biggest question marks have been about his strength. Spriggs finished second in the 20-yard shuttle as well. His athleticism was clearly on display and while his performance on the bench won’t completely dismiss any concerns about his power, it will certainly quiet them.

Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
Projected: Late First Round
Ladies and gentlemen, Derrick Henry means business. In addition to already being 6’3″ and 247 pounds, Henry ran an impressive 4.54 in the 40-yard dash. He tacked on the second-furthest broad jump. Henry’s three cone drill and 20-second shuttle left a little to be desired, but he ran a solid time in the 60-yard shuttle. Henry showed that even though he might take a little bit to get going, he can fly in the open field. He has more athleticism than a lot of people expected. He reminds me of a more athletic Brandon Jacobs and that could be scary for teams trying to tackle him.

Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah
Projected: Late Second Round or Early Third Round
Not many people had heard of this kid from Southern Utah heading into the weekend, myself included. Killebrew has great size, measuring in this weekend at 6’2″ and 217 pounds. He ran fast enough in the 40-yard dash (4.65), but he really showed up his athleticism. Killebrew posted a 38-inch vertical, which was second among safeties. He also showed good agility as he finished second in both the 60-yard shuttle and three cone drill. His broad jump ranked third as well. This kid is raw and will not be a starter from day one, but there is a lot of potential to be worked with. He has the tools and intangibles to develop into an NFL starter.

Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma
Projected: Early to mid Second Round
Don’t let his height fool you, because Shepard does not play like a small receiver. He measured in at 5’10” this weekend but he also lead all receivers with 20 reps on the bench press. His 41-inch vertical will also get scouts’ attention. Shepard ran a sub-4.5 40 as well showing that he has the speed to compete. He is an accomplished route runner as well. If he continues to show his toughness at the next level, I could see him being a Wes Welker or Julian Edelman type receiver in the right system. He will never be a number one receiver but he would be a good offensive weapon for a lot of teams. This kid is definitely good enough to be an impact player in the NFL.



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