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Jaylon Smith and Myles Jack Injury Checks
While neither will participate in the combine testing, Notre Dame’s Jaylon Smith and UCLA’s Myles Jack have plenty on the line when they arrive in Indianapolis. Both are potential top-10 picks but need to be cleared by NFL team doctors before franchises will sign off on drafting them early.
As of now, Jack appears to be more of a certainty because his recovery from knee surgery is ahead of schedule, while Smith still needs to prove his torn ACL and subsequent surgery won’t force him out of training camp.
Jordan Jenkins vs. Leonard Floyd
In last year’s NFL draft, Shane Ray was rated as the better prospect compared to his Missouri teammate Markus Golden, but the opposite has been true one year into their NFL careers.
Similarly, Georgia’s top pass-rushers may find themselves in such a situation. Leonard Floyd, like Ray, is the more explosive and athletically gifted pass-rusher of the two, but Jordan Jenkins may generate more NFL support with a good combine showing thanks to his core strength and reliability as a pass-rusher.
Floyd should have one of the better combine performances among defenders, but Jenkins may prove to be the better pass-rusher in the NFL. Jenkins needs to make up for a lackluster senior season that saw him play more of an edge-setting role rather than as an active pass-rusher.
Explosive Numbers for Pass-Rushers
The use of combine-testing analytics has taken hold in the league, and it’s especially valuable for pass-rushers. Combining the most explosive drills into a singular quantifiable number allows bias to be eliminated and gives a better understanding of a player’s complete athletic score.
While methods like the Seahawks’ SPARQ formula are used for all position groups, there may be no greater use for them, and combine testing in general, than for pass-rushers. For a position that's tremendously reliant on explosiveness, quickness and fluidity to work in space and through blockers, raw athleticism wins out as a pass-rusher more than any other football position.
Top Five to Watch
- Darron Lee, Ohio State
- Jordan Jenkins, Georgia
- Leonard Floyd, Georgia
- Reggie Ragland, Alabama
- Kyler Fackrell, Utah State