clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2016 NFL Combine workouts: Time, live stream, linebacker prospects to watch

New, comments

Niners Nation's Greg Valerio highlights and profiles the 2016 NFL draft-eligible Linebacker prospects taking the field today for their on-field workouts at the NFL Combine.

We continue our look into the NFL Combine with Day 3 on-field workouts and agility tests for the defensive lineman and linebacker units. The past two days we have covered the offensive linemanrunning backsspecial teamersquarterbackswide receivers, and tight ends. After looking at the defensive lineman earlier today, we now move on to the linebackers.

How to watch

2016 NFL Combine
Location: Indianapolis, IN | Lucas Oil Stadium
Time: 6:00 AM - 1:00 PM PT
Channel: NFL Network
Live Stream: NFL Now

There are four critical areas the 49ers and all other NFL teams deem important during the NFL Combine process, which are medical evaluations, one-on-one interviews, verified measurements, and agility tests and drills. For viewing NFL fans, it is the on-field drills and agility tests the NFL Combine highlights, particularly with five on-field measurable drills performed by all prospects choosing to participate. These five drills consists of:

40-yard dash
The marquee event of the combine is all about speed and explosion with the timed 40-yard interval measuring vertical speed over distance and acceleration from a static start. Prospects are also timed at 10 and 20 yard intervals (10-yard split and 20-yard split), where the 10-yard split measures initial quickness and burst, and the 20-yard split measures sustained quickness and burst.

Vertical Jump
The vertical jump is all about lower-body explosion, power, and leaping ability.

Broad Jump
The broad jump is all about lower-body explosion and lower-body strength testing explosion and balance.

3 Cone Drill
The 3 cone drill is all about the prospect's athletic ability to change direction at a high speed. The drill measures agility, flexibility, and change of direction skills (COD).

Shuttle Run
The short shuttle or 20-yard short shuttle (5-10-5) is all about testing a prospect's lateral quickness, agility, burst, flexibility, balance, and explosion in short areas.

*Bench Press
Although the bench press (225 pounds) is not part of the five on-field measurable drills performed today (bench press performed the day before), it is a crucial part of measurables testing upper-body strength (not functional strength) and endurance; moreover, it gives insight for NFL clubs on how often the prospect frequented his college weight room for the last 3-5 years.

How the measurable drills translate for linebackers:
When looking at the linebackers perform their drills today, keep in mind of some minimum measurable targets linebackers should be expected to target as a minimum result. For the most part, prospects exceeding these minimal targets tend to find success in the NFL.

Inside Linebackers
40-yard dash - Minimum Target: 4.80
10-yard split - Minimum Target: 1.70
Vertical jump - Minimum Target: 33"
Broad jump - Minimum Target: 9'6"
3 cone drill - Minimum Target: 7.20
20-yard shuttle - Minimum Target: 4.20
Bench press - Minimum Target: 24
Flying-20 - Minimum Target: 2.02

Outside Linebackers
40-yard dash - Minimum Target: 4.70
10-yard split - Minimum Target: 1.65
Vertical jump - Minimum Target: 36"
Broad jump - Minimum Target: 9'9"
3 cone drill - Minimum Target: 7.10
20-yard shuttle - Minimum Target: 4.10
Bench press - Minimum Target: 23
Flying-20 - Minimum Target: 2.01

As for the drills themselves in relation to predicting future success, there is not an exact science on which drill equates to NFL success; however, specific drills for each position tend to garnish more importance than other drills. For the inside linebacker position, measurable drills aiding future success are: 10-yard split and the vertical jump. For edge rushers/outside linebackers, measurable drills aiding future success are: 40-yard dash, 10-yard split, flying-20, and the broad jump. (*The flying-20 is the measured last 20 yards of a 40-yard dash measuring separation speed. The flying-20 is a key measurable the 49ers value)

Linebacker prospects to watch:

LB14 *Myles Jack, No. 30, 6010 - 245 lbs., 33 5/8" arms, 10 1/4" hands, 19 bench - UCLA

Myles Jack's athleticism and skills are absolutely insane. He plays with tremendous vision and instincts, is extremely explosive, physical with a bully mentality, a reliable tackler, and can line up on the inside, slot, or boundary with impressive coverage skills. It's Jack's coverage and range skills that makes him dangerous, but he also possesses the quality bulk-ability (a trait required for box LB's) to take on the run too. He has an amazing skill to get lower than the lowest exploding with tremendous power through his hips jolting (bully mentality) larger blockers separating with his hands, quickness, and athleticism making the tackle hitting with explosion, which makes him an ideal candidate playing inside-out. Moreover, Jack is so athletically gifted, he could easily be a high round draft prospect as a running back, which not only adds value and versatility, but also is an asset when he utilizes his impressive ball skills on interceptions, quickly transitioning into a fierce runner with quick feet and change of direction skills, and a battering ram of a stiff arm.

One area of concern with Jack is the torn meniscus he suffered back in late September 2015, but Jack has been grinding after his surgery with no setbacks determined to have no restrictions at his Pro Day (unfortunately not working out at the Combine). Moreover, during his rehab training regiment, Jack has increased his upper body strength and size, and he says his legs are stronger than ever. Jack, a complete player, would be a stellar fit as an inside linebacker in the 49ers 34 defense, but with his versatility, he can be utilized practically anywhere.

Draft Projection: 1st

Jack's career stats: 178 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 4 interceptions, 19 pass deflections, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 forced fumble.


LB34 *Jaylon Smith, No. 9, 6020 - 223 lbs., 33" arms, 9 1/2" hands - Notre Dame

With Jaylon Smith I see a lot of similarities to Patrick Willis' game, which I know is a tall order, but Smith's speed, athleticism, and amazing sideline-to-sideline capabilities are truly impressive. He hits with explosion, displays impressive instincts, has tremendous suddenness, and insane closing speed similar to that of a heat-seeking missile. Smith showcases great size, agility, explosion, and strength and would be a great fit next to NaVorro Bowman as an inside linebacker in the 49ers' 3-4 defensive scheme. Unfortunately, Smith tore his ACL and MCL during the Fiesta Bowl in January and it has been reported ankle and knee nerve damage could also be present, which means his rookie season (at least) is in jeopardy, and possibly his football career. Further knee evaluation with the medical staff will need to be performed in order to determine his draft status (top 5 talent prior to injury), which could fall with the recent medical news.

Draft Projection: 1st-3rd

Smith's 2015 stats: 115 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 5 pass deflections, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 forced fumble.


LB10 *Leonard Floyd, No. 84, 6055 - 244 lbs., 33 1/8" arms, 10 1/8" hands - Georgia

As the defensive MVP for the Bulldogs, Leonard Floyd showcases an explosive skill-set NFL teams desire with their pass rush specialists. His speed and bend off the edge is impressive. Floyd showcases superb athleticism with good technique, excellent burst and closing speed, amazing first-step off the line, fair hands with decent pop at point of attack, quick to transition into pass rush moves (has a tremendous swim move), impressive change of direction, fair at stacking and shedding, and fair against the run. He also possesses great balance and body control, where coming out of the arc from his bend he is able to adjust with ease and take advantage of his length. He shows sound awareness, good coverage skills, and an excellent tackler in space.

Floyd needs to improve hand technique, and gain more power and strength to disengage from opponents. Although he is fair in run support, I believe the added weight gain in strength will help him to be more stout and physical. He also needs a lot more consistency to his game, where at times he was an activate participant in, Where's Waldo? He also came back from shoulder surgery he had done back in December of 2014; therefore, medical will need to be addressed.

Draft Projection: 1st

Floyd's 2015 stats: 72 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 3 pass deflections, and 1 fumble recovery.


LB32 Reggie Ragland, No. 19, 6010 - 247 lbs., 32" arms, 9 7/8" hands - Alabama

Reggie Ragland is a superb downhill plugger type of linebacker with a terrific combination of size, physicality, speed, toughness, and strength. Ragland is a fierce and terrific tackler with quality bulk-ability easily taking on bigger blockers at the point of attack winning with proper leverage separating with violent and powerful hands stacking and shedding, impressive sideline-to-sideline capabilities, and very skilled coming off the edge. A tremendously smart player with a high football IQ, Ragland showcases excellent instincts and speed easily reading run keys and has the play speed (straight-line speed with a burst) to track down the football with impressive closing speed. Shows quality ability to play in coverage as well as rushing off the edge. Moreover, he brings value on special teams where he's a strong tackler hitting with immense explosion. Ragland is the best pure inside linebacker in the draft class and could've been a top draft pick in 2015, but he wanted to go back to school and earn his degree.

Projection: 1st

Ragland's 2015 stats: 102 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 7 pass deflections, and 2 forced fumbles.


LB20 **Darron Lee, No. 43, 6010 - 232 lbs., 33 1/4" arms, 9 3/4" hands, 17 bench - Ohio State

A redshirt sophomore to keep an eye on is the amazing and explosive athlete, Darron Lee. The former high school quarterback, wide receiver, safety, and kick returner has tremendous speed running sideline-to-sideline chasing down ball carriers, wreaks havoc in the backfield as a punishing blitzer, terrific instincts, and is solid in coverage with excellent range. Lee is an absolute playmaker that I believe is a better prospect than Ryan Shazier. I also believe he could do well as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, but is also extremely versatile and can be utilized in many ways as a feared linebacker and defensive threat.

Draft Projection: 1st

Lee's 2015 stats: 66 tackles, 11 tackles for loss 4.5 sacks, 1 interception, 2 pass deflections, and 2 forced fumbles.


LB39 *Scooby Wright III, No. 33, 6000 - 239 lbs., 30 1/2" arms, 9 3/4" hands, 22 bench - Arizona

Arizona had a scare early in the season when they nearly lost their stud star player for the season. The junior ILB Scooby Wright went down in the season opener with an apparent knee injury. Luckily, Scooby escaped with only meniscus damage and showed resiliency by playing against UCLA a few weeks later, albeit a bit rusty. Unfortunately, Scooby suffered a foot injury in the UCLA match-up and was out the rest of the season until the last game of the season, the New Mexico Bowl, where he lit up the field reminiscent to his 2014 campaign of pure dominance.

Scooby has amazing elite instincts and a tremendous nose for the ball. With his continuous high effort and great tackling skills, Scooby is always a huge factor in disrupting offenses utilizing his impressive strength and athleticism. The fundamentally sound tackling machine is a good projection inside in the 49ers 3-4 scheme. His gap penetration, awareness, burst, and spin moves off blockers are no doubt impressive and appears to have a similar game of that of the retired Chris Borland. Moreover, he sheds blocks with ease and plays with a tremendous competitive fire. Scooby may not be overly athletic as say Myles Jack and will never win the measurables game, but he is a true football player with the instincts to be extremely reliable at the next level consistently providing solid production.

Round Projection: 2nd

Wright's career stats: 270 tackles, 43.5 tackles for loss, 17 sacks, 1 interception, 1 pass deflection, 1 fumble recovery, and 5 forced fumbles.


LB08 Kyler Fackrell, No. 9, 6050 - 245 lbs., 33 1/4" arms, 10 1/8" hands, 15 bench - Utah State

Kyler Fackrell is a former high school basketball and volleyball player, as well as a former high school quarterback, wide receiver, linebacker, safety, and return specialist. A true athlete, Fackrell showcases ideal size (6'5") and length for the position with a great ability to stack and shed setting the edge, impressive closing speed exploding off the edge (he's extremely fast with excellent burst), and looks very fluid and smooth in space covering a lot of ground. A blue-collar high character player with a tremendous work ethic that loves the game of football, Fackrell is adept at playing the pass and the run (perfect fit as an OLB in the 49ers 3-4 scheme), and back in October, was PFF's (Pro Football Focus) top ranked 3-4 OLB at +34.4 with the highest grade as a pass rusher, against the run, and sixth-highest in coverage. One thing of note, Fackrell is coming back from missing the entire 2014 season with a torn ACL; therefore, medical and durability will be highlighted.

Draft Projection: 2nd

Fackrell's 2015 stats: 82 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 4 fumble recoveries, and 2 forced fumbles.


LB31 Joshua Perry, No. 37, 6040 - 254 lbs., 33 7/8" arms, 10 1/4" hands, 20 bench - Ohio State

Joshua Perry is an explosive athlete with tremendous sideline-to-sideline range displaying a high motor, physicality, and great length. Perry has an excellent combination of size (6'4" - 254 lbs.), strength and athleticism showcasing impressive pass rush skills off the edge utilizing great burst, solid and strong hand technique, and excellent closing speed. Perry is also very good at setting the edge, using his length and hand strength to stack and shed, and his quickness, burst, and athleticism to run down ball carries as a reliable tackler. He has great lateral movement and is solid in coverage. Shows tremendous leadership skills, and is known as a "consummate teammate". Perry would fit in nicely as an outside linebacker in the 49ers 34 scheme.

Draft Projection: 2nd

Perry's 2015 stats: 105 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and 4 pass deflections.


LB03 Kentrell Brothers, No. 10, 6000 - 245 lbs., 30 3/4" arms, 9 3/4" hands, 19 bench - Missouri

Kentrell Brothers is a very impressive inside linebacker with solid skills defending the run, rushing the passer, and in pass coverage. Although Brothers' speed is not appealing, he utilizes his amazing instincts, awareness, intelligence, and high-motor to be a dominating force in the middle for the Tigers. An underrated prospect and playmaker, Brothers is a tackling machine and excels in all aspects of the game. Moreover, Brothers displays solid production totaling 78 defensive stops - the most of any linebacker in college last year.

Draft Projection: 2nd-3rd

Brothers' 2015 stats: 152 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 3 pass deflections, and 1 forced fumble.


LB01 *Dominique Alexander, No. 1, 6000 - 232 lbs., 32 1/4" arms, 9" hands, 17 bench - Oklahoma

Dominique Alexander, a junior, is another undersized linebacker for Oklahoma. At 6'0", Alexander shows impressive sideline-to-sideline range, excellent run and chase skills, sound awareness, and is a solid reliable tackler, but will need to build up strength for the next level in order to avoid losing battles against stout offensive lineman.

Draft Projection: 3rd

Alexander's 2015 stats: 104 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 interception, and 2 pass deflections.


LB25 Tyler Matakevich, No. 8, 6000 - 238 lbs., 31 1/4" arms, 9 1/2" hands, 22 bench - Temple

Tyler Matakevich is an intensely aggressive run and chase type high-motored linebacker playing sideline-to-sideline with tremendous instincts and awareness. He has good quickness, agility, and change of direction skills playing with aggression, excellent tackling technique, shows good short area quickness with nice lateral movement to quickly move around side-stepping defenders easily going through the trash. Shows strength in taking on blockers straight on and good hand technique in stacking and shedding. Good coverage skills with nice hip flexibility and ball skills, and is a great blitzer wreaking havoc in the backfield. Does not posses the eye-popping athletic traits or size, but Matakevich relies heavily on terrific instincts, a high football IQ, good quickness and burst, along with sound technique and physical play to make plays on a consistent level.

The former high school baseball player has tremendous production with four consecutive seasons with over 100 tackles (493 total) and always has a knack for being around the action due to his outstandingly impressive instincts and awareness. The heart and soul of Temple's defensive, Matakevich displays excellent leadership abilities and the intensity and competitiveness to play with his hair on fire.

Draft projection: 3rd

Matakevich's 2015 stats: 138 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 5 interceptions, and 5 pass deflections.


LB33 Joe Schobert, No. 58, 6010 - 244 lbs., 31 1/2" arms, 9 3/4" hands, 22 bench - Wisconsin

Joe Schobert is a tremendous instinctive player with a relentless motor to the ball easily capable of slipping past defenders with impressive quickness, body control, and change of direction skills. The former high school basketball, baseball, and track star, Schobert displays excellent athleticism and fluidity in concert with his amazing instincts showcasing a nose for the ball with excellent spacial awareness and power attacking the offense with an intense determination. A jitterbug on the field, Schobert is a slippery player with underrated strength that consistently plays with his hair on fire. A very productive player, Schobert has the versatility to play inside and out in a 34 linebacker crew. Moreover, he will bring value on special teams.

Draft Projection: 3rd-4th

Schobert's 2015 stats: 76 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, 1 interception, 2 pass deflections, 2 fumble recoveries, and 4 forced fumbles.


LB36 Eric Striker, No. 19, 5110 - 227 lbs., 31 1/4" arms, 10 1/8" hands, 23 bench - Oklahoma

Eric Striker is a rangy player with great quickness and excellent closing speed coming off the edge. A pure disrupter, Striker has shown improved instincts, discipline to his game, and solid coverage skills. One glaring weakness to Striker's game is his lack of ideal size (5'11" - 227 lbs.), length, and strength for the position. Sticker does possess versatility to his game, but he heavily relies on his quick burst off the line of scrimmage, athleticism, speed, and agility to overwhelm off the edge, getting swallowed up easily when an offensive lineman gets his hands on him.

Draft Projection: 4th

Striker's 2015 stats: 67 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 1 interception, 3 pass deflections, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 forced fumble.


* = indicates junior status
** = indicates redshirt sophomore status