Missouri headlined by Okwuegbunam's 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine

4 months 13 hours 40 minutes ago Sunday, March 01 2020 Mar 1, 2020 Sunday, March 01, 2020 8:18:21 PM CST March 01, 2020 in Sports
By: Jack Soble, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer

INDIANAPOLIS - Missouri sent six players to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine this week, but only one - redshirt junior tight end Albert Okwuegbunam - made headlines for his testing.

Okwuegbunam ran a 4.49 40-yard dash at 6'5", 258 pounds, which ranks fourth among all tight ends at the combine since 2003. The next-best tight end time this year, produced by Purdue's Brycen Hopkins and LSU's Stephen Sullivan, was a 4.66.

The Tigers' top red zone threat over the last three years was considered a first round pick heading into the 2019 season, but a poor year marred by drops and low production has him sliding down draft boards. The 40 time will help his status, but scouts will have legitimate questions about if it can translate to play speed. For much of last season, it did not.

Cale Garrett, a fan favorite and dominant linebacker who missed the second half of last season with a torn pectoral muscle, came into Indianapolis healthy and ran a 4.92 40. As Missouri fans know, Garrett's instincts, toughness, and nose for the football are excellent.

Garrett moved well in on-field drills at the Combine but teams may be concerned about how well he can cover the league's premier running backs and tight ends down the field. He is likely to be drafted, but which round is a mystery.

Other Tigers at the combine were offensive linemen Yasir Durant and Trystan Colon-Castillo, quarterback Kelly Bryant, and defensive tackle Jordan Elliott. Many believe that Elliott will be the earliest Tiger drafted, with more emphasis on interior pass rushers than ever and Elliott attracting overwhelmingly positive reviews of his junior year performance.

Bryant's 40 time of 4.69 was impressive, as was his 35-inch vertical jump, but they probably won't be enough to get him drafted higher than the sixth or seventh round, if at all.

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