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2023 NFL Scouting Combine Positional Analysis - Linebackers

(Jack Campbell / LB / Iowa)

2023 NFL Scouting Combine Positional Analysis


High Riser

Jack Campbell / Iowa

6045 / 249 / 10.2” hands / 31.7” arms

Campbell is a big, old school LB with great instincts and tackling ability. Those characteristics are not at question. Is he athletic enough to play off the ball in space? Can he provide man coverage on a TE? Those are the questions scouts were asking going into Indianapolis this week. At least in this scout’s mind, all questions have been positively answered - 37.5” vertical; 10’ 8” broad jump and a stunningly quick 6.74 seconds three-cone drill – the best time of any DL or LB at the combine. The three-cone drill assesses a prospects balance, body control, and agility and a 6.74 is an indication of superb lateral quickness for his size. The numbers, much like Campbell’s film, proves he has the athleticism to play in space as well as play all three downs at the next level.

The Best Player in This Draft is a LB – In Name Only

Will Anderson / Alabama

6036 / 253 / 33.7” arms

Although he had nothing to gain, and a lot to lose, by working out at the combine, Anderson decided to fully participate in every Edge and every LB drill even though no one seriously considers him anything but an Edge Rusher. He looked smooth and perfectly capable of playing off the ball LB and his willingness to participate in anything asked of him just further solidified his standing as the best player in the draft. Anderson chalked a good 40 time (4.60), including a blistering 1.61 10-yard split, and looked naturally athletic in space. Anderson is THE best prospect in this draft.

Disappointing Performance

Noah Sewell / Oregon

6015 / 246 / 31.5” arms

To be clear, Sewell did not really struggle this week in Indianapolis. The way he moved and the athletic skills he displayed at the combine are consistent with how he performs during games. But in a combine where Yasir Abdullah, Trenton Simpson, and Owen Pappoe blew the doors off of Lucas Oil Stadium, Sewell looked human. Sewell ran a 4.64 40 (fine speed for his size), recorded a 33” vertical, a 9’7” broad jump, and an outstanding 27 bench reps at 225 pounds. Sewell is one of the best LB prospects in this draft. Others just work out better. Sewell’s instincts and tackling ability should have him selected early on day 2 in April.

What? Guess I Need to Watch More Film…

Owen Pappoe / Auburn

6002 / 225 / 31.6” arms

Pappoe entered the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine as an extremely athletic enigma who never quite produced the way he was expected to at Auburn. Well, his combine performance will only lead to more uncertainty because Pappoe BLEW UP the combine. What a performance! He blazed an amazing 40-yard dash time of 4.39 seconds, 35.5” vertical, 10’6” broad jump, and bench pressed 225 pounds 29 times! So, back to the film room for the entire NFL scouting community!

(Owen Pappoe / LB / Auburn)


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