- LB Shaquem Griffin is a darn good football player.**
Griffin may be the best story of the Combine. He's a story of overcoming obstacles and never giving into excuses. Beyond that, he absolutely crushed some of the on-field workouts. He broke the record for fastest linebacker ever in the 40-yard dash since they started recording the statistic in 2003. At 6'1" and 227 pounds, the Central Florida product ran a 4.38. That's the third fastest 40 time so far this Combine period and beats out the times of the Seahawks' Richard Sherman, Falcons' Julio Jones and Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliot, per the NFL's simulcast. He also managed 20 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press the previous day. Unfortunately, he started cramping up for the beginning of the coverage drills and didn't perform perhaps as well as he would have liked in the wave drill specifically, but redeemed himself throughout the others, showing off his athleticism and adaptability. One thing is for sure on Shaq - he certainly became a household name after his Combine performance.
2. The top-two edge rushers showed out on Day 3.Defensive end Bradley Chubb confirmed those evaluations that made him the top defensive prospect in this year's draft. Mike Mayock of NFL.com remarked if this draft wasn't presumably going to be so front-loaded with quarterbacks, that Chubb would perhaps be the first overall pick much like Myles Garrett was a year ago. Chubb is right there with Garrett and another comparable player in Chargers' Joey Bosa, except Chubb's 4.65 40-yard dash was significantly better than Bosa's 4.88. Chubb also managed the second-best vertical jump of the linemen group, jumping 36 inches. UTSA's Marcus Davenport isn't as much of a household name as Chubb, but Bucs' fans should be pretty familiar with him. The number two pass rushing prospect ran a 4.58 40-yard dash, which puts him between Texans' Jadeveon Clowney and Lions' Ezekiel Ansah, with Clowney beating him out by five-tenths of a second. Davenport even outjumped Chubb in the broad jump, besting the NC State DE by three inches at 10'4". It was the second-longest of any defensive lineman this year. Many experts have been predicting the Bucs to take Davenport in mock drafts, with the assumption Chubb will be off the board at pick No. 7, but after the Combine though, Davenport showed he isn't anyone's consolation prize.
- Vita Vea is no longer a (not so) well-kept secret.**
It seems Washington's defensive tackle Vita Vea may be one of the most athletic DTs in this year's draft. At 347 pounds, the guy ran a 5.10 40-yard dash – an extremely impressive feat for a dude that size. He also pressed 41 reps on the bench press, giving him second-best among defensive linemen at the Combine. He's been on most people's radar as an interior lineman but after seeing him in Indianapolis, he may be athletic enough to rush the passer on the end. Unfortunately, a hamstring issue would cut his day short but either way, seems Vea could be extremely versatile and deserving of the growing hype around him.
4. Tremaine Edmunds proves age is just a number.
The linebacker out of Virginia Tech is only 19 years old but has been touted as the top linebacker prospect in this year's draft. He certainly backed it up with his testing drills and coverage drills. He ran a 4.54 40-yard dash at 253 pounds. The analysts also said that despite his youth – Edmunds is remarkably mature and did well in meetings earlier in the week. They also talked about how he could come off the edge and be a great third-down sub for a team who's scheme that would fit.
5. Da'Ron Payne from Alabama exceeded expectations.
At 311 pounds, the defensive tackle from Alabama ran a 4.95 40-yard dash – that's right, an interior lineman at over 300 pounds ran a sub-5 40-yard dash. Perhaps even more telling is his 10-second split, which was a quick 1.67 seconds. NFL Network showed some of Payne's tape from Alabama and it was evident how explosive he is and how quickly he is able to get across the line of scrimmage once the ball is snapped. That getoff seemed reminiscent of one Bucs' defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who is known for his getoff and ability to get through an opposing offensive line, even while being held up by two offensive linemen. Payne certainly made himself noticed in Day 3 and upped his stock, with Mike Mayock of NFL Network saying he was one of the best interior defensive linemen he's seen come out of Alabama in a long while.