INDIANAPOLIS, IN (WIS) - Four University of South Carolina Gamecocks football players received an invite to the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, including star tight end Hayden Hurst. Below is a breakdown of when you can expect South Carolina to be represented on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Saturday, March 3:
- Hurst (6'4", 250lbs) and the rest of the tight ends took the field to go through the measured workouts. Mike Mayock for NFL Network listed Hurst as his No. 1 ranked tight end in the draft, noting his route running and his willingness to come back to the ball.
40-yard dash: 4.67, tied for third-fastest among tight ends.
Broad Jump: 10'0, tied for fourth-best among tight ends.
3-cone drill: 7.19, top-10 among tight ends.
20-yard shuttle: 4.37, top-6 among tight ends.
60-yard shuttle: 12.15, tied for sixth-fastest among tight ends.
Hurst is the top NFL prospect from USC and is considered by some pundits to be one of the best tight ends in this year's draft class. A recent mock draft by NFL.com draft analyst Chad Reuter put Hurst as a likely second-round pick by the Green Bay Packers, which makes perfect sense with only Lance Kendricks and Emanuel Byrd under contract for 2018 and both on the final years of their deals. So even if Green Bay aggressively approaches the tight end position in free agency, they'll still be in the market for a young player at the position.
Hurst finished the 2017 college football season with 44 catches, 559 yards, and two receiving touchdowns. While his receptions and receiving yards were both Top-10 amongst tight ends in 2017, stat watchers will balk at his low touchdown numbers. That could have more to do with scheme and utilization rather than athletic ability and it'll be a big opportunity for Hurst to show his natural gifts to NFL scouts. Hurst was named First Team All-SEC at tight end.
Sunday, March 4:
- Linebacker Skai Moore (6'2", 221lbs) and defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth (6'2", 305lbs) will go through their positional drills on Sunday. Coverage by the NFL starts at 9 a.m.
SKAI MOORE RESULTS:
40-yard dash: 4.73 seconds
Broad Jump: 9'9"
Vertical Jump: 36.0", tied for seventh-best among linebackers
TAYLOR STALLWORTH RESULTS:
40-yard dash: 5.28 seconds, fastest defensive lineman ran a 4.58.
Bench Press: 18 reps, most reps by a defensive lineman was 42.
Broad Jump: 8'5", best by DL was 10'8"
Vertical Jump: 23.5", best by DL was 38.5"
3-cone drill: 7.95 seconds, best by DL was 6.84
20-yard shuttle: 4.75 seconds, best by DL was 4.32 seconds
Moore currently has the lowest prospect grade of the four Gamecocks at the combine at 5.17 which the NFL lists as a "better-than-average chance to make an NFL roster." Moore finished his third consecutive season of 90+ tackles and a career-high eight tackles for loss. A herniated disk sidelined Moore for the 2016 season and back issues continue to be a sticking point for NFL teams in regards to a player's longevity. If Moore can prove he's healthy, then he has a real chance to push someone for a roster spot. It'll be a wait-and-see approach to find out if the speed of the NFL game won't be too much for Moore. Pro Football Focus said that he leads ALL linebackers in the draft when it comes to their coverage grade in the 2017 season. Skai Moore was also named First Team All-SEC.
Stallworth has the most to gain from the combine. As a defensive tackle, playing nose tackle at the heart of the defense, there aren't a lot of stats to be had, but instead, their impact on the field needs to be measured beyond raw numbers. Stallworth, who has a 5.56 grade from the NFL, received an "elite" pass-rushing grade in an October game against Vanderbilt this season from Pro Football Focus, which if he puts on a good show at the combine could see teams take a flyer on him in the late rounds of the draft.
Monday, March 5:
- Cornerback JaMarcus King (6'1", 186lbs) and the defensive backs get their own day to go through everything. Coverage starts at 9 a.m. from the NFL.
40-yard dash: 4.7 seconds, best by a secondary player is 4.32 seconds
King has a 5.42 grade from the NFL, which is listed as "NFL backup or special teams potential." With five career interceptions and 21 passes defended, King doesn't have the raw stats to make a case as a top cornerback but had an incredible grade (one of the best in years) for a USC cornerback in the Gamecocks game against Georgia in November with an 89.0 from Pro Football Focus. PFF says that anything over 85.0 is considered "elite."
Gamecocks have a pro day scheduled for the end of March where players can have an opportunity to run more drills and improve their numbers!