Seventeen players from North Carolina colleges participated in the NFL Combine over the weekend and draft fortunes diverged after their performance on the various events at the annual prospect evaluation in Indianapolis.
One of the biggest winners on the weekend was NC State center Garrett Bradbury, who by all accounts had a spectacular showing in the workouts. His 4.92 time in the 40 was third among offensive linemen, and his 34 reps on the bench press were second for the position group. He also won the cone drill, with his 7.41 time tops among linemen. His 20-yard shuttle (4.53) was fifth and his 31-inch vertical seventh.
The only blemish was a 104-inch broad jump, which placed 27th in the position group. Bradbury was named to the NFL Network’s All-Combine team.
Bradbury is considered a first-round prospect and his 5.92 draft grade is tops among offensive linemen.
The other area offensive linemen didn’t have quite as much success on the Indy turf.
UNC’s William Sweet was near the bottom of offensive tackles in most events, including the 40 (30th place), bench press (26th), cone drill (29th) and shuttle run (36th). He had a pair of 10th-place finishes in the vertical (30.5 inches) and broad jump (111 inches). His draft grade of a 4.90 means he’s likely to make a training camp roster but will need to sweat out cuts.
Elon’s Odi Udoh had a 5.05 time in the 40, sixth among linemen. He was second to last in the shuttle run, however, and struggled in the broad jump (22nd) and cone drill (23rd). His 5.27 draft grade projects to a possible backup in the league.
Charlotte’s Nate Davis has a 5.64 draft grade, sixth among linemen and projecting to possible NFL starter. He didn’t help himself in the drills, however, finishing no higher than 20th in any of them (broad jump).
Bradbury’s NC State teammate Tyler Jones has a 5.30 draft grade (potential backup) and helped himself with a 31.5 vertical (sixth place) and a 111-inch broad jump (10th). He struggled on bench (26th) and shuttle (28th) however.
Wake Forest’s Phil Haynes has a 5.45 grade (potential backup) and had 33 reps on the bench, good for third among linemen. His 31-inch vertical was seventh. He struggled in the shuttle run (35th) and 40 (5.20 time, good for 19th).
Area quarterbacks were a mixed bag, with their performance helping or hurting them, depending on who was watching.
Duke’s Daniel Jones symbolized the trouble observers had evaluating quarterbacks. CBSSports declared him “the most uneven of the big names,” going off target on several passes.
NJ.com declared him one of the day’s combine winners, however, saying he was “probably the most consistent quarterback” in drills. The NFL Network had him honorable mention on their All-Combine team.
Jones was the top quarterback in the broad jump (120 inches), second in cone drill (7 seconds), third in vertical (33.5 inches), ninth in the 40 (4.81) and 10th in the shuttle run (5.88 seconds).
NC State’s Ryan Finley also made honorable mention All-Combine.
He beat Jones in the 40, running a sixth-place 4.73. He was fourth in the broad jump (116) and shuttle (5.57) and 10th in the vertical (30.5).
Two of Finley’s targets at State didn’t help themselves in the drills. Kelvin Harmon was eighth in bench, with 18 reps, but his 40 time was a disappointing 4.6 (32nd among receivers). He also finished below 30th in the vertical leap and broad jump, and in the 20s in cone and shuttle run.
Jakobi Meyers was second to last among receivers in the 40 at 4.63. His broad jump was 33rd and bench was 25th. He did outperform Harmon in vertical leap (16th), cone (15th) and shuttle (14th).
Wake’s Greg Dortch also attended the Combine but didn’t participate in any of the events.
App State running back Jalin Moore only participated in the bench press, and his 27 reps were second for the position group.
Duke tight end Daniel Helm didn’t help himself. His 4.89 time in the 40 was tied for 14th out of the 19 tight ends that ran, and his 14 reps on the bench were 17th of the 18 who lifted.
Blue Devils teammate Joe Giles-Harris also struggled, running 4.75 in the 40 (18th among linebackers) and doing 17 reps on bench (20th). He was also last in the vertical and tied for last in the broad jump.
NC State linebacker Germaine Pratt did much better, finishing eighth in the 40 and sixth in the bench among linebackers.
Two edge rushers rounded out the North Carolina contingent, with UNC’s Malik Carney getting third in the bench with 25 reps. His 113-inch broad jump tied for 16th out of the 18 rushers who participated.
NC A&T’s Darryl Johnston only participated in the bench press, and his 20 reps were 13th among edge rushers.