The 2020 NFL scouting combine already began on Sunday with the arrival of the first group of players, and the action will continue today as the third day of on-field workouts takes place in Indianapolis: the defensive linemen and linebackers will be tested. The New England Patriots and their fans naturally have plenty to look forward to, as some of the prospects on display might very well end up with the team along the line.
To get a better overview of what will happen today as well as what and who the Patriots in particular might watch out for, please enjoy our combine primer.
Running backs, Offensive linemen, Kickers, Special teamers: Departure
Defensive linemen, Linebackers: Limited testing/interviews, On-field workout
Defensive backs: NFLPA Meeting, Interviews, Bench Press, Psychological Testing
Today is the third day that the combine will be broadcast live from Indianapolis. Starting at 4:00 pm ET, NFL Network and the league’s affiliated services will air the on-field workouts of the defensive linemen and linebackers:
Television: NFL Network
Radio: Sirius XM
Mobile: NFL Mobile app, Watch ESPN
NFL Network will also broadcast live on Sunday, starting at 2:00 pm ET.
40-yard dash: The most publicized event of the entire combine, the 40-yard dash measures a prospect’s acceleration and sustained vertical speed. Furthermore the interval times — the 10-yard split and the 20-yard split — give teams a clearer look on a player’s quickness and initial burst.
Vertical jump: The vertical measures a player’s leaping ability as well as his lower-body strength and explosion out of his position. The drill is especially important for skill position players on both sides of the ball.
Broad jump: Similar to the vertical jump, the horizontal broad jump tests a prospect’s lower-body explosion and strength as well as his balance in and out of his stance.
3-cone drill: The 3-cone drill tests agility and change of direction skills, and is therefore important for almost all position groups. Since 2010, the Patriots added seven defensive backs with a combine 3-cone time of under 6.75 seconds — a drill to watch, without a doubt.
Short shuttle: The short shuttle is a 20-yard running drill divided into portions of 5, 10 and 5 yards. It measures a player’s quickness, agility, burst, flexibility and short-area explosion.
Prospects to watch
DE Bradlee Anae, Utah: While not the most athletically imposing edge defender, Anae is a scrappy player who performed well at Utah despite seeing a lot of snaps week-to-week. His already sound technique and experience in multiple roles — rusher in the passing game and edge-setter in the running game among them — make him a potential day two option.
DE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU: As versatile a front-seven defender as any in this year’s draft class, Chaisson is almost certain to become a first-round draft pick in April — for good reason: he is an explosive athlete, who can bring the heat from the edge and will not take a single play off. Combine this with ideal size and strong run defense and you get a player who can be an impact defender the moment he steps onto an NFL field.
DT Raekwon Davis, Alabama: Davis brings a strong foundation, prowess as a run-stopper and positional versatility to the table. While his pass-rushing left a lot to be desired at the collegiate level, the right coaching might make him an intriguing high-upside selection on day two considering his athletic profile and prototypical build for a five-technique defensive tackle.
LB Akeem Davis-Gaither, Appalachian State: Davis-Gaither offers good functional athleticism and the football IQ to turn into a productive defender at the next level. That being said, he needs some work on his upper-body strength and ability to consistently shed blocks in order to develop into an every-down linebacker.
LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma: The Oklahoma product is one of the better linebacker prospects to enter the draft this year. He possesses tremendous speed and flexibility to find success as a downhill defender and in coverage, and has the size and processing skills you would want from an off-the-ball linebacker. While he needs to get more consistent in his decision making, his ceiling is a high one.
LB Patrick Queen, LSU: Queen may be a bit undersized and therefore best suited to play exclusively off the ball, but he is still a good fit for today’s pass-oriented game. After all, the 20-year-old possesses tremendous speed and mobility to successfully play sideline-to-sideline, and outstanding read-and-react skills. The potential first-round pick could very well be a day one starter at the next level.
LB Josh Uche, Michigan: Uche is an intriguing developmental prospect that is only just scratching the surface of his potential. While his raw numbers at Michigan do not stand out — he had just 15.5 sacks in his four years at Michigan — his raw athletic skillset could make him a productive player if inserted into the right defensive system.
LB Evan Weaver, California: A high-motor player that is strong when it comes to tackling and processing what happens in front of him, Weaver can be productive linebacker at the next level if used in the right role. That role, however, will likely not include him dropping into coverage all too much: the 21-year-old is somewhat limited as a pass defender, even though he is competitive on every snap.