Linebackers made the media rounds on Saturday at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine to explain their self-assessments and sources of inspiration.
LSU’s Devin White’s love for horses — he owns seven, including one named Ricky Bobby — presented a whole new line of questioning at the podium and in interview rooms.
The rankings for the prospects below do not include players who are categorized at edge rushers that may wind up as outside linebackers with teams that run 3-4 defenses. Click here to see what edge rushers had to say.
Here’s a roundup from a few podium sessions:
Devin White, LSU
Pre-combine position rankings: NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks (1), The Athletic’s Dane Brugler (1)
On the influence of his cousin, Chiefs running back Charcandrick West: “That’s where a lot of my motivation comes from. Many people don’t know who he is. He was an undrafted free agent, went to Kansas City, and he made a way. He never complained, always did it with a smile, so I look at him as an inspiration and I try to model everything after him. He’s a guy with a non-stop motor as well. … I’m blessed to have somebody like him in my corner.”
On if he would bring any of his horses to his NFL city: “[They ask,] ‘If we draft you, are you going to bring your horse?’ I’m like, ‘How’s the weather?’ ”
Devin Bush, Michigan
Pre-combine position rankings: Brooks (2), Brugler (2)
On what he’s tried to convey in meetings with teams: “What you see on tape is real. It’s what you’re going to get 100 percent of the time. It’s no fluke. I’m a tough player, I play hard and my film speaks for itself.”
On if any concerns about his size are overblown (he measured at 5-foot-11, 234 pounds): “Yeah, I think they were overblown before this combine, but with everything that happened with measurables and with my testing, everything is confirmed.”
Mack Wilson, Alabama
Pre-combine position rankings: Brooks (3), Brugler (3)
On his ability: “The strength of my game, I feel like, is the ability to play any linebacker position and my ability to run sideline to sideline, cover tight ends, cover running backs, blitz, tackle. I feel like I can do it all. It’s something that I’m going to continue to work on and keep moving forward.”
Tre Lamar, Clemson
Pre-combine position rankings: Brooks (4), Brugler (10)
Note: Lamar suffered an injury during the bench press on Saturday.
Josiah Tauaefa, Texas-San Antonio
Pre-combine position rankings: Brooks (5), Brugler (unranked)
Note: Tauaefa was not invited to the combine.
Jahlani Tavai, Hawaii
Pre-combine position rankings: Brooks (unranked), Brugler (4)
Note: Tavai was scratched from the combine because of injury.
Bobby Okereke, Stanford
Pre-combine position rankings: Brooks (unranked), Brugler (8)
On if teams question his passion for football: “Not too much — I think they see from my play how much I love the game of football — but you get that question as a Stanford guy, ‘Are you going to jet out and do something on Wall Street?’ I tell coaches that I love the game of football — started playing freshman year of high school, and I haven’t turned back.”