NC State players stand out at NFL Combine

Bradley Chubb solidified his top-five status, while Nyheim Hines showed off his speed

NC State running back Nyheim Hines ran the fastest 40-yard dash time among running backs at the 2018 NFL Combine last week in Indianapolis. (Brian Spurlock / USA TODAY Sports)

Nyheim Hines impressed a lot of people at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last week by running the 40-yard dash in a time of 4.38 seconds, by far the fastest among the running backs in attendance.

He wasn’t among them.

“I wasn’t happy with it,” Hines said of his time. “I expected to run faster. I’m happy to be fastest, but it didn’t meet my expectations.”

The former Wolfpack star and ACC champion sprinter may not have bettered Chris Johnson’s all-time Combine record of 4.24 seconds, but he did open up some eyes with both his quickness and pass-catching ability.

Considered to be an early second-day pick, Hines wasn’t the only NC State player to make a positive impression at the event affectionately known as the “Underwear Olympics.”

Defensive end Brandon Chubb came to the Combine as a “must-see” prospect for the coaches, general managers and scouts in attendance at Lucas Oil Stadium, and he did nothing to disappoint.

Chubb solidified his standing as a top-five pick by running a 4.65 40 — third-best among defensive lineman — bench pressing 24 reps and posting a 36-inch vertical jump.

“He does everything at a high level,” analyst Mike Mayock wrote of Chubb. “(He) stops the run, rushes the quarterback, great hustle, tough kid, great size.”

In all, seven former Wolfpack players were on hand in Indianapolis in hopes of improving or strengthening their draft stock.

B.J. Hill put on an impressive display on the bench press with 35 repetitions while also posting a 4.99 40 time to rank among the best for defensive tackles. Hill also was among the leaders in the three-cone drill. Fellow tackle Justin Jones and end Kentavius Street benched 24 and 28 reps, respectively, while all-purpose back Jaylen Samuels — who tested as a tight end — posted the best 40 time for his position group at 4.54.

Offensive guard Will Richardson didn’t lift and timed out at 5.26 in the 40, but graded out at an overall 5.61 and was classified as “has a chance to be an NFL starter” by the scouts in attendance.

Among the other players with North Carolina ties at the Combine:

• Wake Forest safety Jessie Bates III, who was also classified as a potential NFL starter after running a 4.5 40;

• Bates’ Deacon teammate Duke Ejiofor, who went through the interview process, but didn’t participate in the physical activities;

• North Carolina cornerback M.J. Stewart, who ranked third among defensive backs with 18 bench press reps while running a respectable 4.54 40;

• East Carolina wide receiver Davon Grayson, who ran a 4.51 40, benched 19 reps and showed off a 34.5-inch vertical leap;

• Appalachian State offensive guard Colby Gossett, who helped his cause by lifting 32 reps to rank among the offensive line leaders while running a 5.20 40;

• And NC A&T offensive tackle Brandon Parker, a massive 6-foot-7, 314-pounder who is looking to follow former Aggie running back Tarik Cohen into the NFL. Like Richardson, he decided not to lift, while posting a somewhat disappointing 40 time of 5.40.