The third and final practice was another opportunity for prospects along the offensive and defensive line to impress NFL scouts and executives. Some built on a great week while others continued to struggle.
UCLA’s OSA ODIGHIZUWA has to go down as the biggest winner of the week from this group as he looked excellent for a third straight day. After measuring in at 6’2 280 lbs with 34-inch arms he put everything on display, that evaluators like to see. As a pass rusher, he was able to use power to extend and push the pocket but also generated quick wins with his hands and lateral agility. In team drills, he recorded multiple pressures and a sack, being the clear standout performer. What was most impressive was his performance in run drills where he put a strong anchor on display while weighing just 280 lbs. His ability to extend and disengage came in handy as he stuffed a run at the line. Odighizuwa truly is the complete package on the interior and projects as a three-technique with versatility for other spots inside.
One of two FBS players who consistently impressed was Northern Iowa’s ELERSON SMITH. Winning the weigh-ins after he had bulked up to 262 lbs, Smith stepped on the field and won from any alignment along the defensive line as a pass rusher, putting his length, athleticism and refined hands on full display in front of NFL scouts. As a run defender, he is susceptible to getting washed on the inside so projecting him as a defensive end on early downs playing in five- and seven-technique alignments is the sensible thing. Smith’s ability to kick inside and win as a pass rusher on passing downs makes him even more intriguing.
North Dakota State offensive lineman DILLON RADUNZ showed out on the third day of practice just like he did the previous ones. He lands his punch consistently and has the feet to mirror rushers while staying attached, making him tough to beat as a pass rusher, regardless of him lining up at guard or tackle. In team drills he looked athletic when asked to pull, kicking defenders out of run lanes. The one thing that can give him some trouble is length from rushers as he “only” has 32 2/8-inch arms which prevents him from being a tackle for certain teams.
Oklahoma center CREED HUMPHREY rounded out a good week of practice, winning in pass protection once again and creating movement on the first level of the defense in the run game. Defensive end RASHAD WEAVER from Pittsburgh also impressed again, winning with quickness inside and length against tackles. He had a quick pressure from the inside and did well to further establish himself in this defensive line class after a productive 2020 season.
Three players who disappointed again and did so all week were Oklahoma tackle ADRIAN EALY who is a fantastic athlete but gave up his chest way too much causing him to get bull-rushed. Similar things can be said about Cincinnati tackle JAMES HUDSON III. He struggled to anchor all week and projects as more of a project tackle in the NFL. Weaver’s teammate PATRICK JONES II from Pittsburgh ended up on the wrong side of highlight plays as he was not able to get going, showing some stiffness and underdeveloped hands.