NFL Combine Simulcam Shows Georgia EDGE Nolan Smith Beating Stefon Diggs And DeAndre Hopkins In The 40-Yard Dash


You can only learn so much about NFL Draft prospects by watching them go through drills in spandex at the Scouting Combine, but Georgia's Nolan Smith was a real standout during the first day of workouts featuring defensive linemen and linebackers. That 4.44-second 40-yard dash in the video above actually wound up being an official 4.39 seconds.

Check out the ups, too:

Been working on that top-100 big board that will drop sometime after the Combine wraps up, and I had Smith at No. 22 overall before today. Had cooled on him a touch since posting this mock draft where I had him going in the top 10 to the Eagles

I didn't think Smith would be this fast. His Combine-wrecking performance might vault him up another several spots. In any event, you factor in all the drills Smith did run through and it's clear he's been keeping himself in elite shape in the midst of recovery from a torn pec.


Smith was the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2019, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. He's backed up freaky athleticism with steady improvement on the gridiron as part of Georgia's historically loaded defense. If you look at Smith's numbers with the Bulldogs, they won't blow you away. He then missed the closing stretch of their national championship run this past year. But this is a classic case of someone going on to be better in the pros than they are in college.

I fully grasp that a 40-yard dash time does not guarantee someone to be a perennial All-Pro player. Look no further than Bengals bust John Ross III, who ran a 4.22s 40 and became the ninth overall pick in 2017. He's still only 27 years old, which is hard to believe. Wonder where he is now.

Acknowledging the silliness and stock or lack thereof that's put into Combine numbers, it's still insanely impressive that Smith was able to beat two of the best wideouts in the sport in a footrace. Like come on. Another good sign regarding Smith's draft stock: His teammates are absolutely loving seeing him rip up the 40:

Based on his testing numbers today, I'd be fascinated to see Smith line up at H-back or tight end. Dude is so aggressive and contact-seeking at the point of attack that I could see him having a blast paving running lanes, or leaking out to catch a pass. His speed and explosion at 6-foot-2, 238 pounds would suit him well enough to play both ways.

OK back to reality. Smith will shine in a defense that embraces his versatility and lets him align at multiple spots. He can be a three-down player that way. He'll be able to bulk up more once his chest heals fully, and Smith has the functional play strength and tenacity to where you're not concerned he'll get big-boyed at the NFL level.

Just saying, if Smith somehow falls to 28th overall, I'd loooooove Lou Anarumo and the Bengals to pick him up. If his size bumps him out of Day 1, I could see teams like the Cardinals, Rams and Panthers all be very interested in Smith at the top of the second round.

PS…Smith somehow beat Saquon in the 40 and the vert, too!


Twitter @MattFitz_gerald/TikTok