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2023 NFL combine workouts Day 4 - running backs and offensive linemen: TV, time, and players to watch

Your open thread for Sunday’s Combine workouts

Iowa State v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Good afternoon, New York Giants fans!

Welcome to the fourth day of the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. Today the running backs and offensive linemen will take the field. Scouts and fans alike eagerly await the testing metrics and on-field drills from the bell-cows, change-of-pace-backs, and the hog-mollies.

Considering the uncertainty with Saquon Barkley, and the omnipresent need for offensive linemen, the Giants are sure to be interested in today’s workouts.

How to watch

TV Channel: NFL Network, and NFL+ (streaming)
Time: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET

Fans who subscribe to NFL+ can also get live coverage of on-field drills.

Players the Giants should be watching

Devin Achane (RB, Texas A&M)

If I were a betting man, I would put a few dollars on Achane running the fastest 40-yard dash of the running back group. He may not usurp DJ Turner II’s 4.26 (CB, Michigan) from Friday’s workouts, but Achane is primed to turn heads in Indianapolis. He finished college with a 6.4 yards per carry mark. He also resided on Bruce Feldman’s 2022 freak list. Speed and explosive playmaking ability are traits possessed by Achane, and they’re something the Giants desperately need, especially if Saquon Barkley is not somehow retained.

Deuce Vaughn (RB, Kansas State)

A 5’6, 176-pound running back with exceptional burst who handled a hefty workload in college. Vaughn is compared a lot to Darren Sproles for their size and playmaking ability. It’s an easy parallel to make, but it’s no slight; Vaughn's ability to absorb contact while redirecting his weight effortlessly allows him to pick up extra yardage. He’s an interesting player who could help the Giants create explosive plays but wouldn’t be relied on as a bell cow.

John Michael Schmitz (OC, Minnesota)

There aren’t many centers that find themselves drafted on day one, but the Giants may have to take JMS there if they want him to don blue. John Michael Schmitz is a smart, physical, efficient moving center who is an excellent run blocker with range. His ability to reach block is ideal for zone-rushing teams, but he can easily play in any system. Schmitz exercises good overall body control, footwork, and Combo blocking ability while playing like a famished pitbull with uncooked sirloin at stake (ha, puns).

Steve Avila (IOL, TCU)

There are several interior offensive linemen who may interest the Giants on day two. Avila was the foundation of TCU’s national championship offensive line. He’s a big, strong interior offensive lineman with a lot of experience. Looks good exploding out of his stance and does a good overall job positioning himself between the defender and his responsibility (run & pass). He takes good angles into contact and is a good overall pass protector. He won’t run the fastest forty at the event, but he’ll surely fix up your offensive line.

Who needs a big day?

Mohamed Ibrahim (RB, Minnesota)

Ibrahim was one of the more productive backs in college football over the last several seasons. He scored two touchdowns and rushed for 163 yards in Week 1 of the 2021 season against Ohio State but unfortunately ruptured his Achilles late in the game. He was able to return for a fifth year in 2022, and he finished that season with 1,675 yards and 20 touchdowns; it was his second time with more than 15 touchdowns in a given season. Ibrahim won’t likely test well, but he’s a good running back who understands how to play the position. If he can test better than expected, it could help his draft stock immensely.

Workout we want to see the most

Bijan Robinson (RB, Texas)

It’s debatable, but Robinson may be the most highly touted running back to enter the draft since Saquon Barkley in 2018. He won’t run as fast as some of the other backs, but few players possess the overall competency in playing their respective position as Robinson did at Texas. His 104 missed tackles in 2022 were the most missed tackles by a running back since the stat started being collected by Pro Football Focus. Those short-area change of direction skills pop on tape; how will it translate running in one’s underwear on the fast-track of Lucas Oil Stadium?

Zach Charbonnet (RB, UCLA)

A powerful thick back with excellent contact balance and nifty footwork for a 6’1, 220-pound runner. Charbonnet’s power allows him to run through defenders, but he’s shifty enough to make players miss in confined areas. He’s not thought of as fast, so he has a lot to gain if he can test well at the event.

Tyjae Spears (RB, Tulane)

Spears was an electric lightning rod at the 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl. He combines breakaway speed with elusiveness and explosive ability. He should test well on Sunday, and that could continue his ascension up draft boards.

Dawand Jones (OT, Ohio State)

I want to see Jones doing positional drills, and I’m curious to know how the 6’8, 360-pound tackle will test. Jones took the NFL by storm when his arm length was revealed at the Senior Bowl. He had the wingspan of a seven-foot-five-inch man - his wingspan was 89.5 inches, which was a record for the longest player in Senior Bowl history. Jones has components of Robert Wadlow, and he’s controlled enough to play football. Who wouldn’t love to see him operate in space and test?

Andrew Vorhees (OG, USC)

Vorhees was a resident on Bruce Feldman’s freak list heading into the 2022 college football season. He reportedly has done 40 reps of 225 pounds on the bench. It appears like less and less players are performing the bench press workout at the combine. However, if Vorhees can do 40 reps of 225, wouldn’t he want to show type of raw power off at the event? The most reps every done at the combine was defensive tackle Stephen Paea in 2011 out of Oregon State. Paea did 49 reps.

Small schooler to watch out for

Keaton Mitchell (RB, East Carolina)

Mitchell is undersized at 5’9, and 184 pounds, but the junior is a homerun threat out of the backfield. He led the FBS in 10-plus yard runs with 54 this past season. He’s elusive and difficult for defenders to track down. His size is an issue, but the speed he possesses will attract NFL teams, and he’s a player to watch out for on Sunday.

Cody Mauch (OL, North Dakota State)

Absolutely looks the part of an offensive lineman. He was a starting tackle who will likely play inside at the next level, as he did for much of the week in Mobile for the Senior Bowl. Mauch is a controlled player with good athletic ability. Over the last few drafts, there’s always an offensive lineman who steals the show at the combine. It was Ben Bartch and his red Gatorade/grits-filled shake concoction in 2020 and Quentin Meinerz training in the wilderness in 2021. For 2023, my money is on Mauch being that player.

Names to know

  • Jahmyr Gibbs (RB, Alabama)
  • Roschon Johnson (RB, Texas)
  • Tank Bigsby (RB, Auburn)
  • Kendre Miller (RB, TCU)
  • Zach Evans (RB, Mississippi)
  • Israel Abanikanda (RB, Pitt)
  • Peter Skoronski (OT, Northwestern)
  • Broderick Jones (OT, Georgia)
  • Parris Johnson Jr. (OT, Ohio State)
  • Matthew Bergeron (OT, Syracuse)
  • O’Cyrus Torrence (OG, Florida)
  • Emil Ekiyor Jr. (OG, Alabama)
  • Joe Tippman (OC, Wisonsin)
  • Luke Wypier (OC, Ohio State)