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Recapping the NFL Combine

How did the former Auburn standouts do in Indy?

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Jarrett Stidham, QB, 6’2” 215 lbs - As almost anyone could have predicted, Stidham looked great at the Combine. Despite a pretty average showing in counting drills (40 yard, broad/vertical jumps, etc), he looked really strong throwing the ball, and drew a ton of good reviews from scouts. He obviously won’t be asked to be a mobile QB in the NFL, but a 4.81 40 combined with his tape from the last two years shows he won’t be a statue in the pocket. Jarrett likely won’t rise any higher than the third round, but he still has the arm talent to be an NFL starter. If a team feels comfortable bringing him into their system and sitting him for a year or two (and for the love of good please be a team that can block), the former Auburn QB may have a bright NFL future ahead.

Darius Slayton, WR, 6’2” 190 lbs - In the Combine preview, I said Slayton needed a sub 4.45 to impress. Well, he posted a blazing 4.39, good for 6th best amongst receivers at the Combine. This, along with placing T3 in both the broad and vertical jump, showed scouts everything they wanted to see at the Combine, and hopefully that translates into a raised draft stock.

NCAA Football: Auburn at Mississippi Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Davis, WR, 5’9” 185 lbs - All-time Auburn catch leader Ryan Davis, unlike Slayton and Stidham, struggled in Indianapolis. Davis, already seen as too small be a true receiver at the next level, did not run the 40, only put up 11 reps in the 225-lb bench press, and put up only middling numbers in the other drills. Small slot receivers aren’t that uncommon in the NFL these days, but Davis’s best chance to make an NFL roster is likely to impress as a punt returner.

Dontavious Russell, DT, 6’3” 320 lbs - Russell could’ve had a better weekend (something that was said at the Senior Bowl), as he didn’t impress in any drills. His 5.15 40 is impressive for his size, but was only middle of the road for defensive lineman, and his 24 bench reps were well below what scouts wanted to see. He still has the skillset to be a starter in the NFL, but at this rate, he will likely be a day 3 selection in Nashville.

Deshaun Davis, LB, 5’11”, 245 lbs - Davis was another guy who didn’t necessarily hurt his draft stock at the Combine, but he didn’t really help it, either. An impressive 25 reps on the bench placed him at 4th among LBs, but he was last in the broad jump, 3rd worst in the vert, and 3rd worst in the 20 yard shuttle. That combination of results highlighted his physical limitations, but Davis’s calling card has always been his football instincts and technique. Davis will provide quality depth snaps for a team, whether as a 3rd string linebacker or a special teams player, but those types of guys with limited upside don’t often get taken highly in the draft.

Jamel Dean, CB, 6’2” 208 lbs - Perhaps the biggest winner of the weekend from the Auburn contingent, Jamel Dean got himself paid with his Combine performance. Dean, who already has great size for a corner, showed off elite 4.30 speed in the 40, best of anyone at any position in this year’s Combine, and better than any Auburn player at the NFL Combine EVER. Dean went on to place top 10 among corners in every drill except the 20 yard shuttle. He still carries the “injury risk” tag due to his knee injuries in high school, but he’ll likely move from a late round to a third or possibly second round pick with this impressive showing.