Temple University’s record 4 players at the 2017 NFL combine put on quite the performance this past week. Headlined by DE/LB Haason Reddick and OL Dion Dawkins, the duo successfully elevated their NFL draft stock on the biggest stage. CB Nate Hairston and RB Jahad Thomas rounded out the Owls’ participants, and they will both hope to remain in the first 7 round conversation to NFL scouts.
Reddick finished among the top three at his position group in three events: the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump. Haason Reddick’s 4.52 40 is fourth-fastest in last 10 combines at his position, and it makes him the fastest Temple participant of this year (over Thomas and Hairston). A 4.52 40 is faster than current NFL superstars Le’veon Bell, Mike Evans, and Antonio Brown.
In addition, Reddick had the longest broad jump at the combine (since 2003) by a defensive linemen.
Bleacher Report released an article on Monday naming Reddick as the top linebacker in the draft. That is serious praise for this past season’s AAC leader in TFLs, and he will likely find himself off of the big board fairly quickly come draft day in in April on Ben Franklin Parkway. “As a result, the former walk-on is now in position to become a potential top-15 selection.”
Dawkins received 10th best NFL.com Offensive Line grade, a graded total factoring all of the combine measurables in one score. The first team All-Conference LT ran the 2nd fastest 3 cone drill time among offensive lineman. Dawkins is still retaining his draft status somewhere in the mid second round area.
NFL.com added this about Dawkins’ current draft stock:
“Quality tackle who operates with good balance and solid technique. Shows some good initial quickness and a smooth kick-slide out of his stance, but might be better in short areas as a guard rather than in open space as a tackle. He’s athletic enough to operate in space, but power appears to be his calling card. His wide-hand approach in pass protection could be a difficult habit to break, but he has the natural power to withstand bull rush that might come with that. Dawkins is a well-schooled, three-year starter who has chance to transition into an early starter.”
Thomas’ performance at the combine didn’t exactly wow NFL scouts at the combine, and none of the 2nd leading scorer in conference combine test results landed in the top-10 of 2017 RBs. This is the same player who came into the NCAA with as an underdog without many other big time division 1 offers (Boston College, Monmouth).
According to NFL.com here is the low-down on his draft value as of today:
“Productive running back lacking in NFL-caliber size and strength but who makes up for it with his quickness and ability to help as a pass catcher and return man. While it’s hard to imagine him handling more than just a few carries per game as an NFL runner, his roster flexibility could work in his advantage. With his ability to operate from the slot and as a jet-sweep runner, he could be an interesting toy for a creative play-caller.”
Hairston was recruited as a wide receiver, and even logged offensive snaps under coach Matt Rhule for two seasons before converting to defense his junior year. The Frederick, MD native’s 4.53 40-yard dash was 8th best for a corner. Hairston’s quality performance in the East-West shrine game brought attention to in-game impact of the CB, but NFL scouts are uneasy with the low targets Hairston received from opposing QB’s during the Owl’s 2016 championship season.
NFL.com pegged Hairston’s bottom line as the following:
Raw but very moldable prospect. Hairston shows good awareness from zone and his physical style and willingness to come tackle make him an immediate fit for primarily zone cover teams. However he may have the tools to eventually become a solid bump-and-run cornerback as he becomes more experienced at the position. Hairston is a projection-based talent who should become a much better player in two years than he is today.”