September 26, 2020

NFL Combine: Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons aces 40-yard dash

Speed continues to be all the rage at the NFL scouting combine.

And on Saturday, it was the defensive players putting on a track meet.

Linebacker Isaiah Simmons, a potential Giants target who was Mr. Everything at Clemson, completed the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds — matching the time put up by the fastest running back in Indianapolis, Jonathan Taylor, and faster than all but six receivers. The 238-pound Simmons likely cemented himself as a top 10 pick in the April draft.

How fast was he? Simmons opted against taking a second attempt.

Only two other linebackers were ran sub-4.5s. Willie Gay Jr., of Mississippi State, posted a 4.46 and Davion Taylor, of Colorado, had a 4.49.

Simmons wasn’t the only one turning heads.

Three defensive linemen finished the 40 with times under 4.70. James Smith-Williams of North Carolina State ran a 4.60, Jabari Zuniga of Florida was clocked at 4.64 and Alton Robinson of Syracuse posted a 4.69.

After weighing in at 308 pounds, Khalil Davis of Nebraska ran a 4.75. Meanwhile, 304-pound Neville Gallimore, the second Canadian to play at Oklahoma, had a 4.79.

Davis also posted the second-best bench press total among defensive linemen, completing 32 reps at 225 pounds. Davon Hamilton of Ohio State and had the top mark for the big men with 33 — the fourth highest total of the week.

Offensive linemen hold the top three spots through the first three days of workouts.

But two potential first-round linebackers appeared to suffer setbacks after running well.

Isaiah Simmons

Patrick Queen of LSU pulled up on his second attempt with what appeared to be an injured hamstring after putting a 4.50-second 40 on the board. And Kenneth Murray, of Oklahoma, stopped on his second run after clocking a 4.52. Murray also is believed to have hurt his hamstring.

NFL Network also reported another possible first-round pick, receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. of Colorado, plans to have surgery on the injured core muscle that bothered him all season.

Defensive backs will work out Sunday —- the fourth and final day of the combine.

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