The defensive tackles at the top of the class did enough to stay there.
2023 NFL Combine opened their practices on the field Thursday, starting with the defensive linemen and linebacker groups. Traditionally, one group began by running the 40-yard dash, then switched to positional drills, while another group performed agility drills and measured jumps.
While the measurables from the skills drills are slowly being released, let’s take a closer look at the interior defensive linemen who stood out.
Bryan Bresee, 4i/3T, Clemson, 6-foot-5 1/2, 298
40-yard dash time/10-yard split: 4.86/1.71
Bresee checked the boxes for size and speed, but he also showed well in the athletic drills on the field. Bresee showed quick feet when moving laterally, was able to stay low and flat when cornering in pass rush drills, and was able to stack his pass rush moves, all while staying under control and balanced .
Overall, he did enough to stay in the Round 1 conversation, which should have been the goal for the day.
Calijah Kancey, 3/5T, Pittsburgh, 6-foot-1, 281
The show stopper for Kancey, of course, was his 40/10 yards. Coming out of Pittsburgh and checking in at 6-foot-1, 281 pounds, Kancey naturally gets the Aaron Donald comparison. And after his split, those comparisons are sure to continue.
Donald: 6-foot-0 3/4, 285, 4.69/1.63
Kancey: 6-foot-1, 281, 4.67/1.64
The big difference is arm length (Donald 32 5/8 vs Kancey 30 5/8) and we’ll have to see how many reps Kancey can do on the bench press—Donald did 35 reps.
Kancey also didn’t do any drills on the field, which could have really helped him boost his stock.
- Keeanu Benton, Wis (6-foot-4, 309) improved with each practice, and by the end of the combine, he had shown his balance, power and ability to change direction at top speed.
- Jerrod Clark, Coastal Carolina (6-foot-4, 334) was significantly more fluid than I expected him to be, and his ability to maintain body control at 334 pounds was very impressive.
- Zach Pickens, South Carolina (6-foot-4, 291) looked very smooth in sideline drills and his length showed in rushing drills.
- Jacqueline Roy, LSU (6-foot-3, 305) showed smooth feet when cutting into small spaces, and was able to get his body up and down easily, but he struggled in space.
- Gervon Dexter, Florida (6-foot-5 1/2, 310) had a Combi that reflected his Florida career, flashes of appealing qualities followed, but rough patches that left you wanting more.