NFL Regional Combine Invitational/

The Combine Report: NFL Regional Combine Invitational Talents – Where They Best Fit Defensively?

Projecting Draft Status For Defensive Standouts From The Regional Combine Invitational

In addition to utilizing the NFL Draft to solve an immediate need, teams look to the selection process to build depth and construct a solid roster of teachable, hungry players. This is why the NFL Regional Combine platform is significant.

The NFL Regional Combine became an invitational this year with sessions that were notably shorter in order to showcase more quality athletes. While the RCI trials went well, the true success of the 2018 class will ultimately be determined by the performance of those participants selected to play in the NFL.

An NFL team needs to build its roster according to the style of its division. Not every football player is suited to perform for certain teams due to their divisions.

According to team needs, NFL squads can, better yet, will find productive standouts from this year’s NFL Regional Combine showcase.

Ninety-five players from the RC discovery stage are currently on NFL rosters, and forty of them play on the defensive side of the ball.

With the 2018 NFL Draft about to commence, let’s examine some of the defensive talents from the RCI and where they can be effective for an NFL team.

Most of the talents will be available for the fourth day of the draft via phone call for undrafted free agent opportunities, however, some are draftable for the later rounds – where the true selection process begins.

Where will they fit? Let’s find out.

                                           DRAFT WORTHY

                                          DEFENSIVE BACKS

Mike Cirino – Adams State. (Projected Round(s) 4th – 6th Round) At 5-11 and 191-pounds, Cirino has great speed and hands. His ability to stop, start and go is on an elite level, and he should never lose track of any pass catcher. Very instinctive.

Mar. 24, 2018 (Tampa, FLA) – Cornerback Mike Cirino leaping high for a pass during a defensive back drill at the NFL Regional Combine Invitational. (Photo by: John Moore –



ANY NFC North squad

ANY AFC East squad

Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals, Seattle Seahawks


Reggie Hall – Jacksonville State. (Projected Round(s) 6th or 7th Round) Standing 6-3, 197-pounds, Hall could be a solid defensive back for years to come. A calculated talent with strong hands, he demonstrated solid game day speed at his trials when tracking the ball.


ANY AFC South squad

ANY NFC South squad

Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers


Zedekiah Brown – West Georgia. (Projected Round(s) 5th or 6th Round) The 5-11, 186-pound safety is a born leader with great speed and instincts.  He is fundamentally sound and has good hands. As a defender, Brown has playmaking abilities as he can track the deep ball well to challenge any pass catcher or create a turnover.

Mar. 24, 2018 (Tampa, FLA) – Safety Zedekiah Brown anticipating a pass during a defensive back drill at the NFL Regional Combine Invitational. (Photo by: John Moore –



ANY AFC North squad

ANY NFC West squad

Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans


                                        DEFENSIVE FRONTS

Donnie Alexander Jr. – LSU. (Projected Round(s) 6th or 7th Round) Alexander is a sure-tackler who has a nose for the ball. He possesses a quick first step, is balanced, has control and good hands for a linebacker.


ANY AFC North squad

ANY AFC East squad

ANY AFC and NFC South squad


Pat Afriyie – Colgate. (Projected Round(s) 5th to 7th Round) Afriyie is explosive off the edge and very polished. He can drop back into coverage if needed and has great leaping ability. The 6-0, 233-pound edge rusher has soft hands. He is physical, instinctive and powerful with great leverage.


ANY AFC and NFC East squad

ANY NFC North squad

Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders. San Francisco 49ers


Justin Lawler – SMU. (Projected Round(s) 5th to 7th Round) Lawler has a high motor and is extremely aggressive. He uses his hands well and has good balance and control. Very instinctive and good reach and leverage.

Mar. 24, 2018 (Tampa, FLA) – Defensive end Justin Lawler at the NFL Regional Combine Invitational. (Photo by: John Moore –



ANY AFC East squad


Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, San Francisco, Cleveland Browns


Mason Gentry – SMU. (Projected Round(s) 6th or 7th Round) Gentry is nearly flawless in all his movements. With a quick first step and power, he can lead a ball carrier into the open field. Gentry is extremely physical, has great feet and hands, possesses solid instincts and the ability to play on both sides of the line.


ANY NFC West squad

ANY AFC or NFC South squad

Cincinnati Bengals, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs


Mike Love – South Florida. (Projected Round(s) 5th to 7th Round) Love possesses solid closing speed, decent hands and excellent tackling ability.  He is physical, intense, loves to hit and is built for any division.

*Skill set translates to any division

Mar. 24, 2018 (Tampa, FLA) – Defensive end Mike Love at the NFL Regional Combine Invitational. (Photo by: John Moore –


Joe Ostman – Central Michigan. (Projected Round(s) 5th to 7th Round) Extremely athletic, powerful, agile and instinctive, Ostman can drop back into coverage to make a play on the ball. In addition to excellent leverage around the edge and great hands, he has superb balance and control.


ANY AFC or NFC West squad

ANY AFC or NFC East squad

Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions


                                    UNDRAFTED, TEAM WORTHY

Ja’Quez Bowser – Faulkner. Bowser has good feet and balance. The 5-8, 171-pound cornerback moves well in the open field and has good tracking speed. Very aggressive and attacks the ball, decent hands.


NFC South squad

Buffalo Bills


Tyrin Holloway – Western Illinois. Holloway is a special talent who has a combination of finesse and physicality. Possessing great hands and solid tracking ability, he is fluid in all his movements and not afraid to bring the pain.

*Note – If Holloway was a tenth faster, he would absolutely get drafted. Chances are that the 5-11, 194-pound defensive back will get selected and he will sign quickly.

Mar. 24, 2018 (Tampa, FLA) – Cornerback Tyrin Holloway catching a deep pass during a defensive back drill at the NFL Regional Combine Invitational. (Photo by: John Moore –



ANY AFC or NFC East squad

ANY AFC or NFC South squad

Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs


Marvin Hart – Stonybrook. Hart is aggressive, strong and has decent speed. He is instinctive and has the ability to track the ball. Loves physicality.


New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans


Deatrick Nichols – South Florida. Nichols is highly instinctive and aggressive. Not afraid to make a mistake, he has decent speed and hands and is light on his feet. Quick, tracks the ball well.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts


Abdullah Anderson – Bucknell. Highly intelligent with great leverage to get to the quarterback or ball carrier, Anderson has an explosive first step, solid technique and strong hands.

Mar. 24, 2018 (Tampa, FLA) – Defensive end Abdullah Anderson at the NFL Regional Combine Invitational. (Photo by: John Moore –



ANY AFC of NFC East squad

ANY AFC or NFC West squad



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