Combine Notes: Day 5

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

It got a little bit quicker on the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium today as the receivers worked out for scouts. Tomorrow it will get a little tougher as the defensive linemen and linebackers take the field. Here’s the latest from the combine.

Combine Prospects

- Tight end Dallas Goedert is still recovering from the hamstring injury he suffered during the first day of Senior Bowl practice and did not work out here at the combine, but he is expecting to fully participate in South Dakota State's pro day, which takes place March 30. As we mentioned in the lead-up to the combine, Goedert is the only tight end we’ve heard who’s receiving first-round consideration.

- According to teams, Leighton Vander Esch has been crushing interviews and continues to impress people. After weighing in at 256 pounds and completing 20 reps on the bench, the Boise State linebacker is hoping to run under 4.7 in the 40-yard dash. Truth be told, anything at or below 4.75 would be a great time. I’ve been told the Green Bay Packers are very high on Vander Esch and that he won’t get past the Pittsburgh Steelers in Round 1.

- We praised linebacker Dorian O'Daniel during Senior Bowl week and may end up doing so again after his combine workout. O’Daniel weighed in at 238 pounds on Friday, almost 10 pounds more than his Senior Bowl weight, and he’s expected to time in the mid-4.5s tomorrow.

- Another linebacker to watch on Sunday is Christian Sam. An athletic defender who struggled with injuries, Sam is presently rated as a late-rounder but could jump into the middle rounds with a good workout. I’m told the redshirt junior, who tipped the scales at 244 pounds and completed 28 reps on the bench, could get below 4.7 in the 40. The Detroit Lions, Houston Texans and New England Patriots top the list of teams interested in Sam.

- Back on December 12, I wrote about injury concerns hovering over receiver Anthony Miller. Since then, Miller did not participate in the Senior Bowl and only took part in the bench press here at the combine. There is some concern as to whether he will run before the draft, though the situation remains fluid.

- Despite his long injury history, Florida State defensive end Josh Sweat has not been given any failing medical grades at combine exams. Sweat has well-documented knee issues which go back several years, but I’ve been informed he’s been stamped with a middle-of-the-road medical grade, which is not a major red flag.

Keep An Eye On

- The Seattle Seahawks traded down in the 2017 NFL Draft, and I’m told they will look to do the same this year. The team has just a single pick in the first three rounds, and though it owns a cluster of selections over the entire draft, the Seahawks would prefer to trade down and gather more ammunition in the top 100.