Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat ran a blazing 4.41-second 40-yard dash Sunday to set a modern record (since 2003) for defensive linemen at the NFL Scouting Combine.
The previous mark was 4.44 seconds, shared by North Carolina State’s Manny Lawson (2006) and Isaac Hilton from Hampton (2004), per NFL Research.
Sweat ranked among the SEC leaders in sacks and tackles for loss in each of his two seasons with the Bulldogs, tallying a combined 22.5 sacks and 30.0 TFL in 2017-18. At 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, Sweat’s time was faster than all but one of 23 running backs tested.
Sweat wasn’t the only prospect who broke a record in Indianapolis on Sunday. TCU’s Ben Banogu set a new event record for defensive linemen in the broad jump with a leap of 11 feet, 2 inches. Banogu ranked second in the Big 12 with 18.0 TFL in 2018, adding 57 tackles and 8.5 sacks for the Horned Frogs.
—Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence injured his left hamstring running the 40-yard dash at the combine, ESPN reported.
After clocking a time of 5.05 seconds in his first 40 attempt, the 6-foot-4, 342-pound prospect suffered the injury on his second try and did not complete the workout. NFL Network ranks Lawrence as the No. 31 player available in the 2019 NFL Draft.
On Saturday, he led all defensive linemen invited to the showcase with 36 repetitions of 225 pounds in the bench press. Clemson’s pro day is scheduled for March 14.
—Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams ran the 40-yard dash in 4.83 seconds in Indianapolis, the fourth-fastest time by any 300-pound player at the NFL Scouting Combine since 2003.
The 6-foot-3, 303-pound prospect’s time trailed only Jaye Howard (4.82 in 2012), Luis Castillo (4.80 in 2005) and Tank Johnson (4.69 in 2004) among 300-pounders, per NFL.com.
Williams, a potential top-5 draft pick, tallied 8.0 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in 15 games last season at Alabama. The Crimson Tide standout ran faster than Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins (5.04 seconds) this weekend.
—The Dallas Cowboys and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence are running out of time to work out a long-term deal and are “not close” as a March 5 deadline looms, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
If the Cowboys do not reach agreement by Tuesday, the deadline for franchise tags, they may be forced to use that option to keep him — albeit at a hefty price tag.
The Cowboys tagged Lawrence last season and he made $17.1 million. This year, under the franchise tag, he would earn $20.5 million. The following year under the tag would be worth nearly $30 million.
—New England Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers underwent a recent shoulder surgery that sources characterized as a “cleanup” procedure, ESPN reported.
Set to become an unrestricted free agent later this month, the 25-year-old pass rusher led the Super Bowl LIII champions in sacks for the third straight season with a career-high 7.5 in 2018.
Draft Analyst reported last week that the Miami Dolphins are the front-runners to sign Flowers. Miami hired former Patriots defensive play-caller Brian Flores as their head coach last month.
—The Jacksonville Jaguars “absolutely expect” to sign quarterback Nick Foles when NFL free agency opens on March 13, Les Bowen of Philly.com reported.
No other teams have reportedly emerged as serious suitors since the Philadelphia Eagles announced they would not use the franchise tag on the former Super Bowl MVP. Foles, 30, was 6-2 in the regular season and 4-1 in the playoffs over the last two years as a replacement for injured starter Carson Wentz.
Jacksonville expects to move on from starter Blake Bortles, the No. 3 overall pick in 2014. The Jaguars fell to 5-11 in 2018 after reaching the AFC Championship game a year earlier. New Jacksonville offensive coordinator John DeFilippo was Foles’ quarterbacks coach during the Eagles’ run to the Super Bowl LII title.
—Field Level Media