The DA Draft Buzz: February 15th
Tony PaulineDraft Analyst Writer
The official combine list is out and we sit just two weeks from the first players arriving in Indianapolis. Here’s the latest on workout numbers and injuries.
I’m told there has been no definitive determination yet on whether Takkarist McKinley will have shoulder surgery after the combine, but sources tell me they expect some sensational testing numbers from the disruptive pass rusher.
McKinley is expected to run 4.5 seconds in the forty and could get as low as 4.45.
The athletic defender ran the 100 meters in under 10.70 seconds in high school. His vertical jump is expected to be at least 37 inches and -- despite the shoulder issue -- I’m told McKinley should finish the bench press with reps in the mid-20s.
Jeremiah Ledbetter of Arkansas is another defensive front-seven player I would expect to turn in some eye-popping numbers.
Ledbetter, who measured a shade under 6-foot-3 and 281 pounds during Shrine Game weigh-ins, is expecting 40 times in the 4.7s and bench press reps in the mid-30s. Ledbetter’s arm length measured 34-¾ inches at the Shrine Game.
Another big body that’s running fast times recently is Wyoming running back Brian Hill. I’m told Hill has tipped the scales around 220 pounds and his recent 40 times have been in the low 4.4s.
The third name I continue to hear making his way up the list is West Virginia junior Shelton Gibson. The speedy wideout should run the 40 in the 4.3s at the combine, which will only enhance his draft stock.
Sources on hand tell me USC cornerback Adoree' Jackson was seen working out at Jackie Robinson Stadium, part of the Rancho Cienega Sports Complex and the home field of Dorsey High School.
The newsworthy portion of the story is that people on hand witnessed a trainer or physical therapist attending to Jackson’s lower leg and ankle. As you may remember, Jackson was carted off the field during the Rose Bowl with a serious ankle injury. This bears watching.
Earlier today I was alerted that Devonte Fields of Louisville has shoulder issues that many believe to be labrum-related. I was not informed if he’ll need surgery but this also bears watching to see if any red-flags pop up during the combine.
Wake Forest linebacker Marquel Lee, who missed the Shrine Game with a foot injury, is expecting to participate at the combine. I’m told Lee had irritation of muscles in his foot which kept him away from St. Petersburg for Shrine week.
The official list of invitations for the combine has been released, and here are some of the bigger snubs on our board.
As I wrote on Monday, I’m not really surprised Damore'ea Stringfellow did not receive an invite. He’s a good receiver but slow.
I am surprised Austin Carr of Northwestern, who we grade as a fifth-round selection, is not going to Indianapolis.
Carr had a tremendous season and looked just as productive during Shrine week.
Two productive next-level linebackers, junior Elijah Lee of Kansas State and Jimmie Gilbert from Colorado, were left off the list from what I can tell.
Lee has been a terrific pursuit linebacker for the Wildcats, and we grade him as a late fourth or early fifth-round prospect. Gilbert played beyond expectations as a senior, then performed really well during Shrine week.
Despite not playing last season, I am surprised Max Redfield was not given an invitation -- especially when you consider he was graded as a potential first-round pick by scouts entering the 2016 campaign.
As far as I can tell, Michigan State safety Demetrious Cox is the prospect with the highest preseason grade (first round) not invited to the combine.
Redfield is close behind Cox and followed by his former Notre Dame teammate -- cornerback Cole Luke -- as highly rated preseason prospects who did not get the combine call.