It's Day 4 already of the 2015 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, but with the staggered arrivals of the various position groups today marks the first day of any public significance for the Husky draft hopefuls. Today the defensive linemen and linebackers were weighed and measured, and here are the results for our three guys:
Hau'oli Kikaha: 6'2", 253 lbs, 32.5" arm length
For those that like to track these things, Hau'oli lost an inch but has picked up 7 lbs from his listing as a Husky. The weight gain is presumably good muscle weight; for those looking at him as a rush end, the added weight projects as a potential improvement in his ability to hold up at the point of attack vs. the run (a perceived weakness); of more importance will be his agility drills and workouts as he displays whether he will be acceptable in coverage in schemes where he's more of a true OLB. Also very important will be his medical examinations and doctors test his knee to see if there's any lingering concerns after his two ACL tears.
Danny Shelton: 6'2", 339 lbs, 32" arm length
Shelton reportedly had gotten up to over 370 lbs by the time of the Cactus Bowl, so it's good to see his weight in a more reasonable range. He's already impressed folks with his work at the Senior Bowl practices and is projected in the upper half of the 1st round, so his mission is to not post any numbers in his workouts to damage that. The main questions with him are likely to revolve around his conditioning - that he allowed himself to balloon this past year will be a bit of a red flag as teams will want to know if he can keep himself in shape in the NFL and be a 3-down lineman or not.
Shaq Thompson: 6'0", 228 lbs, 33" arm length
Shaq has lost an inch off his listing on GoHuskies.com but has maintained his weight. His size is the big question mark along with his coverage skills - can he fill a big-safety type of role similar to a Kam Chancellor? Is he big enough to hold up closer to the line of scrimmage as a more traditional OLB? He's a guy expected to impress in his agility drills testing, and if he can put up good numbers there in the 40, the 3-cone and the shuttle drills, he'll have a chance to secure a shot at being selected in the 1st round.
Other news and notes regarding the Washington combine participants:
- The most interesting news is that Shaq will perform some workouts with the running backs in addition to his drills with the linebackers as he displays his versatility to NFL scouts
- Doug Farrar of Sports Illustrated names Shelton as the player he's most excited to watch at the combine
- This one is about a week old, but Bob Sturm of the Cowboys beat for Dallas Morning News has this detailed scouting report on Kikaha
- Also from the Dallas area comes this report from Jeff Cavanaugh on names to know and players that might be available for the Cowboys at #27 with mention of both Shelton and Marcus Peters
- It's a brief mention, but the official Tennessee Titans site has this piece on key questions for Combine participants showing that folks will be looking closely at the medical reports on Kikaha's knee
- Gregg Bell has a nice piece in the TNT looking at the path that Kikaha and Shelton have taken to get to this point and how far they've both already come