This is the 2018 NFL Combine Stock Report for the defensive linemen. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
Dorance Armstrong, DE/OLB, Kansas
Dorance Armstrong didn't get off to a good start Sunday, as he ran a 4.87 with a 1.70 split. Those numbers weren't great, but he improved from that point onward. Armstrong was stellar in the drills, looking very fluid. Then, he posted a 7.12 3-cone time, which is a strong figure for a 257-pound linebacker.
Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
Taven Bryan is an extremely explosive athlete. His 40 (4.98) was fine for a player his size (6-5, 291), but his better numbers were his 35-inch vertical and 7.12 3-cone. He also posted 30 reps on the bench. Even better, Bryan was explosive in the drills. He was a borderline first-round prospect entering Indianapolis, but he has likely cemented his Thursday status.
Kylie Fitts, DE, Utah
Kylie Fitts was solid in the drills, and he also ran faster than expected. He posted a 4.69 40 with a 1.61 split, which was a strong figure for a 263-pound lineman. Fitts' best moment Sunday was in the 3-cone, when he flashed with a 6.88 time, which tied Harold Landry for second-fastest of the players at his position. Keep in mind that Fitts is 11 pounds heavier than Landry, so he was even more impressive than the potential first-rounder in that regard.
B.J. Hill, DT, N.C. State
B.J. Hill looked way more athletic than some 311-pound run-stuffer. He ran a 4.99 40 and notched a 7.28 3-cone time. He didn't disappoint in the drills either.
Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
Sam Hubbard didn't run the 40, citing that he wasn't ready for it. Despite this, his combine performance was exceptional. He was extremely smooth in the drills, and he also posted some great numbers to help his stock. Hubbard leapt 35 inches and secured a phenomenal 6.84 in the 3-cone, the fastest time for anyone at his position, which is extra impressive considering that he weighed in at 270 pounds. Hubbard was seen as a borderline first-round prospect entering Indianapolis, but he should have cemented his Thursday status.
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
Maurice Hurst was sent home from the combine because an EKG showed an irregular heartbeat. This may not cause him to slide in the 2018 NFL Draft, but it obviously won't help. My guess is that Hurst will fall 15-20 spots because of this, but I'll be surprised if there's a major slide. He should go in the middle of the second round.
Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College
Harold Landry was one of the top performers at his position Sunday. Landry ran a 4.64 with a 1.59 10-yard split. He also posted a 36-inch vertical, and, as mentioned, he tied for second in the 3-cone time. Landry also thrived in the field drills. Teams have had second-round grades on Landry, but I wonder if this will allow him to sneak into Thursday night.
Hercules Mata'afa, DE/OLB, Washington State
The talk surrounding Hercules Mata'afa entering the combine was that he would show some great athleticism in the testing drills. That didn't turn out to be the case. His 4.76 was just fine, but his other numbers were poor. He notched just 31.5 in the vertical and was even worse in the broad jump (9-0). His 3-cone (7.24) was underwhelming as well.
Da'Ron Payne, NT, Alabama
It's a tight race between Da'Ron Payne and Vita Vea to see who will be the first defensive tackle chosen in the 2018 NFL Draft. Some teams like Payne better, while others prefer Vea. Payne was the better of the two in Indianapolis. He was outstanding in the drills, and he also posted a 4.95 40 with an exceptional 1.67 split.
Tim Settle, NT, Virginia Tech
Tim Settle's combine performance resembled a wreckage, and not only because he fell down during one of the bag drills. That wasn't his only lowlight, as he ran a 5.37 40, posted a vertical of just 23.5, and had a 3-cone of only 7.95. Settle was getting some hype entering the combine, but he took a step backward.
Nathan Shepherd, DT, Fort Hays State
Nathan Shepherd improved his stock in Indianapolis. In addition to thriving in the drills, Shepherd ran a 5.09, which was impressive at his size (6-4, 315). His agility tests weren't as good (7.50 3-cone), but Shepherd certainly helped himself overall.
Josh Sweat, DE/OLB, Florida State
It was disappointing that Josh Sweat didn't run the 3-cone, but he made up for it elsewhere. He started with a 4.53 40 with a 1.55 10-yard split. He then destroyed the drills, and followed that up with a 10-4 broad jump and a 39.5-inch vertical.
Vita Vea, NT, Washington
Vita Vea tweaked his hamstring during the 40s and couldn't do anything else Sunday. This itself isn't a strike against Vea, but it's worth noting that Da'Ron Payne was impressive at the combine, so the Alabama product may have passed Vea in what happens to be a very close race to be the top defensive tackle chosen.