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Scouting Combine: Stock up/down

2024 NFL Scouting Combine stock up/stock down, Day 1: Braden Fiske, Dallas Turner sizzle

INDIANAPOLIS -- The first night of workouts at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine is in the books, with the defensive linemen and linebackers taking center stage on Thursday.

Many of those who partook in the events at Lucas Oil Stadium wowed scouts with their speed in the 40-yard dash, their agility in drills and their explosiveness in the broad and vertical jumps. Some exceeded expectations, causing their draft stock to rise; others displayed flaws in their speed and/or athleticism (or chose not to perform), hurting their chances of being selected on Day 1 or Day 2 when the draft begins in Detroit (April 25-27).

Below I've listed six players who undoubtedly impressed the league's personnel decision-makers with their on-field performance. I also list four players who could use a strong effort at their school's pro day to leave the most favorable impression possible before the draft.

Tune in to NFL Network and NFL+ for live coverage of the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine beginning at 3 p.m. ET on Friday and 1 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday.

Stock up

Braden Fiske
Florida State · DT

Fiske knew he had a great 40-yard dash Thursday, saying "oh yeah" while crossing the finish line. His 4.78-second 40 and outstanding 4.37-second 20-yard shuttle time are evidence of his quickness. Fiske also fared well in the jumps (33 1/2-inch vertical, 9-foot-9 broad jump), though he was a bit lighter than teams might like as an interior lineman (292 pounds) and possesses shorter arms (31 inches). The former Western Michigan and Florida State lineman looked a bit tight in the hips during drills but put forth the same hustle on every rep that he showed during his career.

Jalyx Hunt
Houston Christian University · Edge

Hunt staked his claim to a Day 2 selection with his size (6-foot-3 3/4, 34 3/8-inch arm), jumps (37 1/2-inch vertical, 10-foot-8 broad) and 4.64 40. His smooth movements in pass rush drills and linebacker work might have opened eyes for defensive coordinators. Hunt flashed the hands to create turnovers and has the speed to chase down quarterbacks. 

Byron Murphy II
Texas · DT

Murphy was widely considered a first-round prospect when he arrived in Indianapolis. His performance on Thursday might force DT-needy teams to consider taking him in the top dozen selections. He ran a 4.87-second 40, which was impressive at 297 pounds. On the field, Murphy displayed the best combination of agility and heavy hands in drills, thumping the bags while smoothly changing direction well for his size. He didn't really get a chance to use his thick lower body during drills, but teams undoubtedly noticed his build, which will serve him well on Sundays.

Chop Robinson
Penn State · Edge

Robinson needed to show off his athleticism at the combine after posting middling production at Penn State (9.5 sacks in two seasons). His 4.48-second 40 (with a 1.54 10-yard split) was impressive, especially at 254 pounds. His agility in drills also provided a look at his potential as a scheme-versatile edge rusher. Robinson's ability to turn around the bags and cones during drills portend an ability to win against NFL offensive tackles. His average height (6-2 7/8) and length (32 1/2-inch arm, 76 1/4-inch wingspan) might still be an obstacle for him against bigger blockers.

T'Vondre Sweat
Texas · DT

The Outland Trophy winner (top interior lineman) passed on weighing in at the Senior Bowl in January, which led to intrigue about what his weight would be at the combine. He checked in at 366 pounds in Indianapolis, close to his listed weight at Texas (362). The massive defensive tackle ran a 5.27 40, not matching Jordan Davis' 4.78 40 from 2022 (at 341 pounds) but not too far off Vita Vea's 5.1 (at 347 pounds) in 2018. He put forth full effort during drills, understandably taking a couple of steps to change directions in some drills but showing a bit more flexibility and balance than I expected at his size in others. I believe he did exactly what he needed to do to stay in the top-50 conversation.

Dallas Turner
Alabama · Edge

Turner starred at the combine, running a 4.46 40 and jumping 40 1/2 inches in the vertical at 247 pounds. He might add more weight to his frame now that he's put the speed number on the board. Combining that size with his excellent length (34 3/8-inch arm, 83-inch wingspan) means he's going to be imposing as a rusher and against the run. Turner worked out with the linebacker group and looked like he belonged in the position drills. He was predictably smooth in pass rush drills but popped pads with surprisingly powerful hands and snatched passes out of the air, showing the overall game to be a top-10 selection.

Stock down

Tommy Eichenberg
Ohio State · LB

Eichenberg was the 2023 Big Ten Linebacker of the Year despite missing three games due to an arm injury, so teams know he's a solid football player. He chose not to run the 40 at the combine, though, and his length (31 5/8-inch arm, 77 1/8-inch wingspan) and jumps (32 1/2-inch vertical, 9-foot-8 broad) were average for the position. While he was solid moving in coverage drills, Eichenberg did not do much to dispel concerns scouts might have about his overall athleticism. His chances of being picked on Day 2 of the draft now rest largely on his pro day performance.

Jer'Zhan Newton
Illinois · DT

It was no surprise Newton was among the smaller defensive tackles at the combine (6-1 5/8, 304 pounds). However, it's his average length that might be more of an issue for some teams (32 3/8-inch arm, 75 7/8-inch wingspan). Newton did not run the 40-yard dash or participate in drills, as NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the former Illinois star will wait to work out at his pro day. Newton underwent surgery on a Jones fracture near his pinky toe after the season, per Rapoport. It's certainly understandable that he would want to give himself more time to prepare, but now there is a lot riding on his pro day as he looks to prove he's worthy of a first-round pick.

Darius Robinson
Missouri · Edge

Even at 285 pounds, Robinson's 4.95-second 40 was disappointing. He looked somewhat out of place in agility drills in comparison to smaller edge rushers, leading me to believe his best role at the next level is as a power defensive end. Robinson did show some explosiveness in his jumps (35-inch vertical, 9-foot-3 broad), and his ability to win with power and short-area quickness will still earn him praise across the league. His overall showing in Indy did not scream first-round pick to me, so any improvements he can show at his pro day could go a long way. 

Bralen Trice
Washington · Edge

Listed at 274 pounds on the Huskies' website, the 6-3 1/2-inch edge rusher weighed in at 245 pounds in Indianapolis. His average length (32 1/2-inch arm, 77 5/8-inch wingspan) might be a concern for some teams and his 40-yard dash time of 4.72 seconds was not exceptional for a player of his size. He struggled to complete the bag drill and eventually stopped to massage a troublesome quad injury during the workout. His performance didn't appear to aid his case to be a top-50 pick.

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