The NFL Scouting Combine is quickly approaching. The Combine is a major part of the pre-draft process where teams get answers to many of their questions.
NFL teams get to interview prospects, have the medical staff go over each player's health history with a fine-tooth comb, observe the athletic testing on the field, as well as the positional drills. A good week at the Combine can really boost a prospect's draft stock, while a bad one can torpedo it.
With the Combine on the horizon, I'm breaking down each position to talk about what drills or testing really matter, what teams want to see from specific prospects, or what answers teams are seeking on each. I'll also reveal the snubs for each position that did not receive an invite.
Next up is the offensive tackles.
The Denver Broncos are likely to go into the 2020 season with Garett Bolles and Ja'Wuan James as their starting tackles. However, it wouldn’t be surprising if they go after a mid/late-round tackle that Mike Munchak can work with and develop.
What Matters Most for OTs?
With tackles, it is often about explosion and strength at the Combine. The 40-yard dash doesn’t mean much, but the 10-yard split, which shows the burst off the line, does.
The broad jump also shows explosion and leg power, which matters for tackles. There's the bench press for upper body strength. The last thing that matters if how a tackle's technique looks during pass rush drills.
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OTs to Watch at the Combine
Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn: After being sidelined during Senior Bowl week with medical issues, his med checks will be something to watch. If he does the drills, his technique will matter as well.
Ezra Cleveland, Boise State: There is some talk of moving him inside, for that he will need to show good power. To stay at tackle his athleticism will be something to keep an eye on. The Combine should provide answers to his NFL position.
Hakeem Adeniji, Kansas: Much like Cleveland, Adeniji is being talked about as a guard at the NFL level. The Combine will provide more clarity as to where his best position is in the NFL.
Alex Taylor, South Carolina State: Taylor is a smaller school prospect that was at the Senior Bowl and showed some technical flaws. With more time to work on it, how much was cleared up between Senior Bowl and the combine.
Lucas Niang, TCU: After suffering a major injury this last season, Niang is going to have to walk away from the Combine with clean medicals or see his stock fall.
Austin Jackson, USC: During the positional drills, how is the technique from Jackson? He is a raw prospect that is expected to test out well athletically, but he needs to have improved technique.
Trey Adams, Washington: There have been some rumblings going around about some off-field issues (not character) that will be concerning for teams. Adams also has a long medical history that teams will be checking over.
Who was Snubbed?
Adams had a teammate at Washington in Jared Hilbers that is probably the biggest snub at offensive tackle, though Kansas State’s Scott Frantz is right up there with him.
Utah’s Darrin Paulo is also a tackle that should’ve been invited. Ohio State's Brandon Bowen is another tackle that would’ve been good to see at the Combine to get some answers.