One of the big winners of the NFL Scouting Combine was Taven Bryan, who proved to be quite the freak of nature. He finished in the top-10 of all defensive linemen in a bunch of categories, including having the seventh-most reps on the bench press, as he put up 225 pounds 40 times.
In addition to putting up a lot of reps on the bench, Bryan also showed incredible physical gifts. He finished second in the three-cone drill, fourth in vertical, and had the 14th-best 40-yard dash time. We knew he was going to have a good Combine going in, but he really stepped up in front of so many executives this past weekend.
Bryan is a fantastic blend of size and speed, and he would be a nice fit in Guenther’s system. He could play on the inside, or out, as he has that kind of versatility. He has been compared to both Derek Wolfe and J.J. Watt, so the Raiders could find a gem if they decide to select Bryan in the second round in April.
At 6-foot-4, 291 pounds, the fact that he ran under a 5.00 40-yard dash is very impressive. He is a bit of a project, but could wind up being the top defensive tackle in this draft class before all is said and done.
Many believe the defensive tackle is the team’s biggest need heading into the Draft, but as we enter the new league year, free agency is going to play a huge role in shaping rosters. This 2018 NFL Draft class is loaded with defensive talent, and the Raiders are certain to get better on that side of the ball if they focus their draft efforts there in the first couple of rounds.