A trio of Tennessee skill players – receiver Josh Malone, quarterback Josh Dobbs and running back Alvin Kamara – got their opportunity to work at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis over the past couple days, and the results were impressive.
Kamara proved to be one of the most explosive running backs in a stacked group this year, posting the best vertical leap (39.5 inches) and broad jump (10’11”) of all the backs. Those incredibly impressive leaps helped offset a mediocre 40-yard dash time (4.56). He also was in the middle of the running back pack with 15 reps (225 pounds) on the bench press.
Kamara also drew positive reviews from scouts and analysts for his personality and demeanor in Indy. One of the most liked players in recent Tennessee history, Kamara had a chance to show that off to all 32 teams in Indianapolis. He showed he’s more quick and explosive than top-end fast with his test scores, but all-in-all seemed to do enough to keep himself very much in the conversation to be a first-round pick in April.
Alvin Kamara's vertical is better than yours! pic.twitter.com/ybj6xi6FXq
— Andrew Wood (@AndrewHWood) March 4, 2017
Malone posted one of the most impressive numbers at the combine when he clocked in at 4.40 seconds in the 40, posting the third-best time for a receiver and a blazing time overall for a 6-foot-3, 208-pound athlete.
Josh Malone 40 time was great pic.twitter.com/f5OIcBbRVe
— Chris Collier (@chris1988champs) March 4, 2017
Projected as a mid-round pick after coming out of UT a year early, Malone left no stone unturned in Indianapolis, participating in every drill in an effort to show that he should be a higher pick, posting the following numbers: Bench: 10 | Vertical: 30.5 | Broad Jump: 10’1′ | 20-yard Shuttle: 4.19 | 60-yard shuttle: 11.77.
Dobbs reinforced the notion that he’s one of – if not the top – quarterback in the draft in terms of pure athleticism. He ran the second-fastest 40 among QBs (4.64), had the third-best vertical leap (33 inches), the third-best broad jump (10’2″) and the sixth-best 20-yard shuttle time (4.31 seconds). For context, Dobbs either beat or matched Clemson’s Deshaun Watson in every one of those events.
The throwing portion, of course, might be the most important part of the combine for quarterbacks, and Dobbs seemed to hold his own there, perhaps easing some fears NFL scouts have about overall accuracy.
While the throwing portion if a bit more subjective, Dobbs drew mostly favorable reviews and threw some nice passes:
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) March 4, 2017
Scouts aren’t confusing Dobbs as a total quarterback prospect with some of the likely top picks in the draft such as Watson or UNC’s Mitch Trubisky, but Dobbs continues to show that he’s a draftable prospect with some upside. At the very least, teams know they’re getting one of the best quarterback athletes in the draft and should at least be interested in him from the standpoint.
Defensive end Derek Barnett and linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin are scheduled to go through on-field tests on Sunday, though Barnett has been battling illness and may not participate. Cornerback Cam Sutton will go through drills on Monday.