The freakish athleticism of the 2022 NFL Draft class was on full display on Saturday.
Day 3 of workouts for this year’s NFL Scouting Combine saw the defensive linemen, edge rushers and linebackers step onto the field for workouts, and boy, did they live up to the hype and then some.
Some of the most spectacular feats of athleticism in recent Combine memory took place down in Indianapolis on Saturday, with behemoths of men moving like men half their size on a constant basis. It was an incredibly fun day of television, regardless of whether you’re a big fan of the draft or not.
Let’s cut right to the chase and break down some of the top performers at each position from Day 3 of this year’s Combine.
As much as it may have been the Jordan Davis show on Saturday, there were plenty of defensive linemen to stand out on Day 3 of the Combine.
The freakish athleticism along the interior was on full display, resulting in some absurd testing and drills performances over the course of the afternoon. If you’re a team in need of defensive linemen, you were happy with the play of the big guys today.
I feel weird listing Nik Bonitto as an interior defender since he’s very clearly an edge rusher — so I won’t because it’s my article, so shut up — but he ran a 4.54 40-yard dash and excelled in positional drills when he worked out with the pure defensive linemen.
- Jordan Davis, Georgia - Davis is literally the second-best athlete at any position in Combine history. Not only that, but he moved insanely well in positional drills. It was an absolute clinic.
- Devonte Wyatt, Georgia - Not to be overshadowed by his Georgia teammate, Wyatt put together a strong outing with a blazing 4.77 40-yard dash at 304 pounds. His speed was on full display, as well his agility in positional drills and quickness in his hands in bag drills. He looked the part of a future difference-maker as a 3-technique.
- Travis Jones, UConn - Athleticism was a big calling card for Jones at UConn, and the 6-foot-4, 323-pounder ran a 4.92 40-yard dash and moved very well for his size in drills. He can line up as a nose, 1-tech or 3-tech, but wherever he plays, he’ll bring top-notch athletic ability to the table for an NFL team.
- Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma - Stop me if you’ve heard this before: another interior defender was athletic! Winfrey finished with roughly a 1.68 10-yard split and a 4.89 40-yard dash while measuring in with 35 1/4-inch arms. His explosiveness helped him dominate at the Senior Bowl, and it was on full display on Saturday.
- Logan Hall, Houston - A noted tweener with length and speed for days, Hall finished as one of the best athletic testers with a 4.88 40-yard dash and a 1.68 10-yard split at 6-foot-6 and 283 pounds, along with shuttle and 3-cone drills that both finished over at least 90th percentile. He backed up every bit of athleticism that he displayed on tape.
The edge rushers are seen as the crown jewel of the 2022 draft, and that was reflected in on-field workouts with the group.
Kayvon Thibodeaux didn’t partake in drills but ran a 4.58 40-yard dash, George Karlaftis excelled in positional drills, and Aidan Hutchinson exploded off the ball with a 1.62 10-yard split in his 40 and had absurd agility numbers. That said, it was the rest of the group outside of the three long-hyped defenders that stood out the most.
From a first-round pick who propelled his draft stock to a handful of sleepers who exploded, there were numerous standouts to work out at edge rusher this year.
- Travon Walker, Georgia - In addition to being a 99.9th-percentile athlete, Walker put together one of the best positional drills performance I have ever seen. He looked insanely fluid with absurd footwork and flexibility for his size, changing direction and getting low like nobody’s business. It was a blast to watch him.
- Amare Barno, Virginia Tech - Barno performed well in positional drills and showcased great fluidity in space, but let’s not bury the lede here: he ran a 4.36 40-yard dash with a 1.54 10-yard split at 6-foot-5 and 246 pounds! Forget edge rushers: no linebacker has ever run that fast.
- Dominique Robinson, Miami (OH) - His 4.72 40-yard dash was respectable, but Robinson’s hype comes from his 41-inch vertical, 25 bench press reps and his flexibility in drills. A former wide receiver, his athletic background was showcased in how well he turned the corner and how he changed direction.
- Sam Williams, Ole Miss - His other testing was solid, but Williams really stood out with an insane 4.46 40-yard dash with a 1.61 10-yard split, the former of which being one of the fastest times recorded by an edge rusher in Combine history. Had it not been for Barno’s historic run, literally everybody would be raving about how speedy Williams was on Saturday.
Narrowing down this list was a doozy, because there were so many linebackers who put together strong outing on Day 3.
If you like athleticism at the position, you’ll find plenty of it with the group that was down in Indianapolis this year. 11 linebackers ran a sub-4.6 40-yard dash, with three of them even reaching 4.4 territory. The Bears could be looking at drafting a linebacker this year, and luckily for them, they should have plenty of studs to choose from.
- Troy Andersen, Montana State - After a strong outing at the Senior Bowl, Andersen was able to ride his wave of momentum to become a 99.9th percentile athlete at the combine. It’s hard to top a 4.42 40-yard dash at nearly 6-foot-4 and 243 pounds. He’s going to get drafted a lot sooner than some of us realize.
- Christian Harris, Alabama - Harris was always going to test well looking at his tape, but it’s still impressive to see just how well he performed at the Combine. A 4.44 40-yard dash runner who looked lightning quick in positional drills, his agility and speed matches up with the limitless range he displayed at Alabama.
- Channing Tindall, Georgia - Quay Walker also deserves a shoutout for his strong outing, but Tindall put up an absurd 42-inch vertical, a 10-foot-9 broad jump and a 4.47 40-yard dash at 230 pounds. That’s athletic specimen territory right there.
- Leo Chenal, Wisconsin - That’s right: there’s another 99.9th-percentile athlete in this class. Chenal ran a 4.53 at 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds while finishing with a 40.5-inch vertical and a 10-foot-8 broad jump. He’s an absurd athlete for his size who complements those attributes with a high football IQ and a red-hot motor in the run game.