For as incredible as Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf’s 2019 NFL Combine workout was, Mississipi State edge defender Montez Sweat’s was even better.
Sweat ran a blistering 4.41 40-yard dash, good for a modern-day record, after weighing in at 6-6 and 260 pounds. Simply remarkable. He added a 36-inch vertical jump, 10.5-foot broad jump and a 7.0-second three-cone drill.
Sweat was already considered a first-round prospect before his record-setting Combine performance, and now there’s a real debate about whether he’ll end up a top-10 pick. ESPN’s Mel Kiper had Sweat going eighth overall in his last mock draft, a projection that most draft analysts critiqued, but now seems like a really good bet.
With players like Nick Bosa (Ohio State) and Josh Allen (Kentucky) long pegged as the first two edge defenders likely off the board, Sweat’s dominant performance Sunday will force scouts to go back to the tape to make sure they didn’t miss a critical clue about his NFL upside. Players as big as he is simply don’t move the way he did at the NFL Combine; His athletic traits can’t be ignored.
And let’s not forget that Sweat had 12.5 sacks in 2018. He isn’t just a Combine guy.
Other EDGE winners at the 2019 NFL Combine
Sweat wasn’t the only edge defender who did well Sunday. Brian Burns (Florida State) turned in a great Combine performance that included his all-important weigh-in.
Burns weighed in at 6-5 and 249 pounds, a weight that really helps his draft stock. He looks a lot lighter than that on tape, so the fact he’s hovering around 250 pounds is great. Burns’ athletic testing was equally great for him; he ran a 4.53 40-yard dash and had a 7.01 three-cone time. He’s as explosive as his tape suggested he is and he’ll be a top-15 pick in April because of it.
Iowa’s Anthony Nelson (6-7, 271 pounds) had an incredible three-cone time (6.95 seconds) for his size and projects as an ideal 4-3 defensive end. His 9.5 sacks in 2018 are a result of his incredible length (nearly 35-inch arms) and the above-average quickness and change of direction skills he put on display in Indianapolis.