NFL Scouting Combine preview: 4 EDGE prospects for Chiefs followers to observe

The NFL Scouting Combine is right here, and NFL Network will likely be protecting the exercises, which start at 2 p.m. on Thursday, with defensive linemen and linebackers. Here is extra info is the way to watch by the weekend.

After months of watching school soccer gamers on the sector, the identical gamers’ performances will likely be contextualized with measurements and testing knowledge from drills on the NFL Scouting Combine this weekend.

The Kansas City Chiefs have already been busy this week, scheduling conferences with a handful of prospects alongside the defensive entrance. The workforce has arrange official conferences with Wisconsin defensive deal with Keeanu Benton and Auburn edge defender Derick Hall.

Informal conferences with the workforce had been talked about by Kansas edge rusher Lonnie Phelps Jr., Notre Dame edge defender Isaiah Foskey and Washington State outside linebacker Daiyan Henley.

With a necessity for each edge and inside defensive linemen, it is smart that Kansas City would closely goal these teams. I wished to level out just a few names from the sting defenders on the mix that might slot in Kansas City. I began with two extra that stated they’d casual conversations with the workforce:

1. Felix Anudike-Uzomah

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On Wednesday, Kansas State defensive finish Felix Anudike-Uzomah revealed to reporters that he has had an informal interview with the Chiefs. Raised in Blue Springs, Missouri, he added that being drafted by the Chiefs “would be a dream come true.”

For many Chiefs followers, it might even be a dream come true — not only for the Wildcat followers. Anudike-Uzomah flourished in his three seasons in Manhattan, reworking from a 220-pound, ball-of-clay recruit to a 260-pound beginning defender that racked up 26.5 tackles for loss and 20 sacks in 25 profession video games. He additionally compelled eight fumbles throughout his profession.

He isn’t probably the most bodily overwhelming participant, however he has adequate dimension to benefit from his technical hand work and pass-rush IQ. He performs with good leverage, making him stout as a run defender and a handful on any go rush.

There’s each purpose to consider his finest soccer is forward of him — however he’ll nonetheless want to point out a worthwhile basis of athleticism at this weekend’s mix to be a highly-regarded prospect.

2. Nolan Smith

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Georgia exterior linebacker Nolan Smith also informally talked with the Chiefs, praising head coach Andy Reid throughout his time with reporters on Wednesday.

Smith might have been a prime decide within the 2022 NFL Draft, coming off a true-junior season the place he rushed off the sting for Georgia’s national-championship workforce and earned 4.5 sacks, eight tackles for loss, and three compelled fumbles. Instead, he returned to highschool — racking up three sacks and 7 tackles for loss earlier than a pectoral ended his senior season prematurely.

Smith performed from a stand-up alignment at Georgia, utilizing elite athleticism to make a optimistic influence as a run defender, go rusher, and in protection. He just isn’t the standard dimension of a Chiefs defensive finish, however the shorter stature hardly ever confirmed up as a legal responsibility on the sector in school.

It will nonetheless be important for Smith to hit a sure benchmark in top and weight; if not, he might not even be on the Chiefs’ board.

3. Keion White

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While the primary two names had been well-known among the many draft neighborhood all through the 2022 season, Georgia Tech defensive lineman Keion White was not. After a standout efficiency on the Senior Bowl, he has change into a attainable choice on Day 1;’s Daniel Jeremiah ranked him because the Fifteenth-best total prospect within the class.

White is a flexible lineman; he has the physique of an inside participant, one that might at the very least maintain up within the B-gap — however then strikes like a real edge defender. The physique kind comes with energy; he makes use of it to all the time give offensive linemen all they’ll deal with. He can get off the ball with urgency and beat blockers to gaps.

While the query of his true place can’t be answered on the sector in Indianapolis, he can vault himself even additional up boards by impressively leaping and working at an estimated 6 toes 4 and 280 kilos. A lackluster exhibiting might preserve him in Kansas City’s vary.

4. Mike Morris

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The least-known identify of this group was additionally probably the most completed within the 2022 season. Michigan edge rusher Mike Morris earned second-team All-American honors final 12 months by placing up 12 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 12 video games.

He unexpectedly had a powerful senior season after just one season of taking part in time. Morris’ superior dimension and size had been always an issue for opposing offensive tackles; he mixed that with a powerful motor and motion abilities to be an all-encompassing pressure on Michigan’s entrance.

Morris’ tape reveals a robust, sensible rusher that has a pass-rush plan — however one that also wants additional growth to succeed in his full potential. The Chiefs would like to mildew and form Morris, who already stands at a listed 6 toes 6 and 292 kilos; his efficiency this weekend might dictate how excessive within the draft they would want to take that gamble.

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