Winners from Day 1 of Combine on-field workouts

Thursday was the first day where draft prospects took the field for on-field drills. Defensive linemen and linebackers had their chance to be showcased and there were a few players who stood out thanks to their performances on and off the field Thursday. Here are a couple of winners from the first group.

Adetomiwa Adebawore, Edge, Northwestern

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My goodness. This kid can fly. For starters, Adebawore ran an official 4.49 40-yard dash with a 1.61 10-yard split. That in itself is impressive. Add in the fact that he weighed in at 282 pounds and now we’re really talking. Adebawore totaled 9.5 sacks over the past two seasons for Northwestern, including five in 2022. He has the ability to play both inside and outside and get after the quarterback. Now that we have confirmed he is extremely fast, his draft stock just went way up.

He’s also extremely explosive, posting an insane 37.5-inch vertical and a 10.5-inch broad jump.

By the way, since his name is going to be floated around a lot now, you might as well get used to learning how to pronounce his name: (add‐E‐TOMMY‐wah add‐E‐BARR‐eh).

Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia

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We knew Nolan Smith was fast. We just didn’t know how fast. After Thursday, we can say he is sub-4.4 fast, posting an official 4.39 40-yard dash and a ridiculous 1.52 10-yard split. Obviously, some will wonder about his size (six-foot-two, 238 pounds) but when you’re as fast and athletic as Smith (10’08” broad, 41.5 vertical) you can overcome those size issues.

Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson

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Versatility is becoming key in the NFL and Simpson is out to prove he can be one of the top versatile players in the league. He can play across the board at linebacker but said his favorite spot to play is the weakside linebacker.

On Thursday, Simpson put up strong numbers (4.43 40, 1.55 10-yard split) and also moved well during the on-field drills, showing a good ability to drop into coverage and change of direction. Simpson could sneak into the back end of the first round. He’d look good for the Jets but he may not be available for them in the second round, unless the Jets want to make a move for him.

Daiyan Henley, LB, Washington State

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A player that was maybe once considered a sleeper is starting to wake people up. Henley was another linebacker that looked smooth on the field during drills. He needed it because he did measure in a bit undersized at six feet and 225 pounds.

Henley has some wide receiver background and has used that to help him with his coverage instincts.

Another interesting note, Henley’s Relative Athletic Score (RAS) is similar to that of Jets linebacker Kwon Alexander when he came into the league from LSU in 2015.

Keep an eye on Henley moving forward as an interesting day two option.

Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa

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Six-foot-five and 249 pounds with a 6.74 3-cone? Iowa’s Jack Campbell sure can move extremely well for a player with that size. And you want to talk about athletic ability? His RAS was nearly perfect at 9.98. They’re just bred different at Iowa it seems.

Campbell had over 300 tackles in his career, including 271 across 2021 and 2022. He’s also recorded five interceptions. He’s built tough and only looks better after the Combine.

Lukas Van Ness, Edge, Iowa

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Jack Campbell wasn’t the only Iowa front-seven player to impress Thursday. Lukas Van Ness had been generating some top-ten buzz. It remains to be seen if he does land in that range, but he did show he is very athletic, getting a 7.02 3-cone and a 4.32 short shuttle. Oh, by the way, he’s almost six-foot-five and 272 pounds. Teams are going to love that package of size and athleticism getting after the quarterback.

Story originally appeared on Jets Wire