The first day of the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine didn’t disappoint with the quality of workouts. There were a multitude of impressive testing times from defensive linemen and linebackers alike. Northwestern defensive lineman Ade Adebawore (6’2”, 280 pounds) came up with a 4.49 40-yard dash, and 6’2”, 238-pound Georgia defensive end Nolan Smith popped a 4.39 time in the 40. Smith added a 41.5” vertical to boot.
A strong defensive back group is set to take the stage on day two. Testing could set the precedent of the pecking order of what’s sure to be a jam-packed top 100 of secondary players.
Which corners could light Indy up?
Georgia cornerback Kelee Ringo is expected to test extremely well (10.43 100-meter PR in high school) at the event. The former five-star recruit has a decent-sized range of where he could be drafted in April from the middle of the first round to mid-day two. A great day of testing could change that trajectory. South Carolina cornerback Darius Rush clocked 21.65 mph on the GPS at the Senior Bowl (fastest of any player at the event) at nearly 6’2” and 200 pounds.
A safety for Bills Mafia to watch
Antonio Johnson (Texas A&M) is an underclassman safety with a listed size profile of 6’3” and 195 pounds. Johnson’s official measurements and workout will be important to understanding just how versatile he can be in the NFL. Johnson’s college versatility is surely a trait the Bills love from the junior based on his game tape. A good testing day could pique Buffalo’s interest even more heading into the home stretch of the pre-draft process, especially with veteran safety Jordan Poyer having one foot out of the door.
The entire safety group is one to keep a keen eye on for Bills fans on Friday evening.
As a reminder, workouts are a bit earlier in the day this year. Friday’s workout begins at 3 p.m EST time. Defensive backs will weigh in and measure — then they’ll hit the field for speed, explosion, and agility testing. They’ll then go straight into on-field position drills. An attempt at primetime failed last season with many of the invitees opting out of some workouts. Coverage will air on NFL Network.