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2024 All-Combine Team, Defense: Edge Jared Verse, CB Terrion Arnold among standouts in Indianapolis

Hundreds of draft prospects showed their stuff at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis -- and some stood out more than others. Below, Nick Shook plucks some of the top-performing talents to assemble a defensive all-star team from last week's events at Lucas Oil Stadium. Click here for the offensive rundown.


Braden Fiske
Florida State

Best team fits: Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings.

Fiske is a walking, running, cutting, bag-bashing powder keg of a football player. He packed explosiveness and intensity into his workout, filling every rep with passionate force, even going as far as to utter "OH YEAH!" when he crossed the finish line on a blazing-fast 40-yard dash (4.78 seconds). Fiske went full speed while also finding a way to stay under control and crush each drill. He put on a show that surpassed the testing results -- which were excellent. I can't wait to see where he lands in the NFL.

Best team fits: Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals.

From the very first agility-based drill of Thursday's session, Murphy showed he has the juice to succeed at the next level. His drill reps weren't exactly perfect, but the natural ability is unmistakable -- and it showed in his testing results, which earned him the best overall Next Gen Stats score (83) among defensive tackles this year. Lance Zierlein compared him to Buffalo's Ed Oliver in his draft profile, and that matched what I saw from Murphy, a player who will win with controlled power and explosion. 

HONORABLE MENTION: Kris Jenkins, Michigan; Maason Smith, LSU; Mekhi Wingo, LSU; Marshawn Kneeland, Western Michigan.


Jared Verse
Florida State

Best team fits: Las Vegas Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers.

Verse is my favorite player in this class not named Marvin Harrison Jr. He finished fourth in his position group with a 4.58 40-yard dash and tied for first in Next Gen Stats score (84), executing nearly every on-field drill with the precision of a seasoned combine veteran. His performance was controlled, sharp and explosive, matching the Florida State tape that has made him one of the best prospects of the 2024 draft. There's no reason to feel anything but good about his chances of success at the next level.

Best team fits: Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills.

Latu didn't test quite as well as some of the others who made this team, but he flashed plenty in the drills. He's long, smooth and looks the part of a future pass-rushing problem for NFL tackles. His lateral movements produced a tracing line about as flat as you'll ever see in Indianapolis, and he rarely slipped out of control, no matter what the drills asked of him. Teams scouring his medical evaluation will likely weigh his past neck injury, but based on his prolific UCLA tenure and what he produced Thursday, he could come off the board quite early in April's draft.

Dallas Turner

Best team fits: Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers.

Chop Robinson performed well enough to slot in here, but it's just too tough to look past Turner's testing results. He ran a 4.46 40 at 247 pounds, broke 40 inches in the vertical leap, tied for second among edge rushers in the broad jump (10-foot-7) and fit in perfectly while working out with the linebackers. I'd have liked to see him stacked up against fellow edge rushers, but if anything, we learned he has more range for usage in the NFL than the average edge rusher. He's going to be a star.

HONORABLE MENTION: Chop Robinson, Penn State; Darius Robinson, Missouri; Trajan Jeffcoat, Arkansas.


Edgerrin Cooper
Texas A&M

Best team fits: Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks.

I entered Thursday eager to see if Cooper's tape would translate to the combine workout, and I left rather pleased with what I witnessed. Cooper is a heat-seeking missile in pads and a rocket in workout gear, speeding through drills and appearing completely comfortable in doing so. He's fluid, and his burst is a marvel to see with the naked eye. My notes were filled with positive lines regarding Cooper's performance at each station. Some guys just stand out from the rest on the field in Indianapolis each year; in 2024, Cooper joined that group. A team will be very happy to select the linebacker, whose instincts will allow him to make a difference at the next level, even if he has to rein himself in here and there early in his career.

Payton Wilson
N.C. State

Best team fits: Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Rams.

Well, it sure helps to turn some heads by posting the fastest 40 (4.43) of the day. Wilson wasn't just a sprinter, though: He thrived in the majority of on-field drills, and he posted testing results good enough to push him into the upper tier of linebackers Thursday. His straight-line speed wasn't as visible in the drills, but he still moved with quickness, fluidity and precision. And he definitely cemented his spot on the NFL radar with that 40 time.

Curtis Jacobs
Penn State

Best team fits: Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Commanders.

This place could also belong to honorable mention Trevin Wallace, who dominated testing with astronomical numbers, but I sided with Jacobs just because he looks so prepared to play at the next level. He handled each drill with grace and ease, consistently appearing composed and executing each task as intended. Jacobs' testing numbers didn't pop all that much, but when it came to the drills, all I saw was a pro-ready linebacker who can step into a defense and make an instant impact.

HONORABLE MENTION: Trevin Wallace, Kentucky; Steele Chambers, Ohio State; Cedric Gray, North Carolina.


Terrion Arnold

Best team fits: Las Vegas Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Giants.

Arnold began his week by commanding the media assembled in front of him during his press availability, giving off an honest, assured vibe at the podium. He finished it by putting on a show on the field, reflecting the tape with a number of quality reps, including multiple catches that required him to snag passes outside of his frame. He's quick and fluid, he doesn't waste steps and he looks the part of the top corner in his class. Arnold's biggest hurdle: He was second in line to run each drill and had a few hiccups in terms of performing them properly, including taking a fastball to the face before returning to execute flawlessly. Once he settled in, he crushed his reps. Even his 40 time (4.50) stood up against his NFL player comparison: Bears corner Jaylon Johnson, who hit that mark in 2020. Johnson is in line to get paid plenty on his next contract in a week or so, and Arnold likely made himself plenty of money with his performance in Indianapolis.

Best team fits: Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions.

Sometimes, it's difficult for a player from a mid-major conference like the MAC to turn heads in Indianapolis. Not for Mitchell, who wowed onlookers with a 4.33 40, second only to Nate Wiggins (4.28) among defensive backs. Mitchell has major Division I athleticism, and he can truly fly; in the backpedal-and-45 drill, he broke into a full sprint like a cheetah racing across the Serengeti. He got a little loose and wild in some of the drills, and for a brief period, I wondered whether he was uncomfortable making catches with his hands and not his arms, but he eased those concerns by hauling in an assortment of passes in a speedy run through the gauntlet drill. When he starts working with NFL coaching, he's going to be a stud. 

Max Melton

Best team fits: Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins.

Melton crushed the testing portion of his workout, posting a Next Gen Stats athleticism score of 88, finishing in a three-way tie atop the CB board in the category. His 11-4 broad jump ranked first at the position, his 4.39 40 landed him in the top eight and a 40.5-inch vertical leap pushed him into a tie for fourth. When it came to the on-field work, Melton was solid throughout, presenting as a quality prospect who has the physical tools to develop into a premier player.

HONORABLE MENTION: Josh Newton, TCU; Myles Harden, South Dakota; Jarrian Jones, Florida State; Kamari Lassiter, Georgia; Mike Sainristil, Michigan; Nate Wiggins, Clemson; Daequan Hardy, Penn State.


Best team fits: Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams, Indianapolis Colts.

Bishop just looks the part. It started with explosive jumps (10-4 in the broad, 39 inches in the vertical), continued with a surprisingly swift 4.45 40, then carried over to the field, where he showed off his burst and top-end speed throughout the assortment of drills. Bishop was all but flawless in his on-field work, prompting me to repeatedly write "nailed another rep" in my notes. The only downside to his otherwise-fantastic day came when he pulled up lame at the end of a clean run through the gauntlet, but that shouldn't hurt his stock one bit.

Best team fits: Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Rams, New York Jets.

Taylor-Demerson grabbed the attention of those inside Lucas Oil Stadium early in his workout when he reached the end of the backpedal-and-45 drill, leapt to catch a deep pass, juggled the ball and secured it as he fell to the turf. The safety had already posted a 4.41 40 at 197 pounds, and he carried that momentum into positional drills, where he displayed precise, sharp footwork in agility-based activities and completed a clean and speedy run through the gauntlet. DTD enjoyed a solid day in a group of safeties that included plenty of deserving candidates for this spot, and he could end up revealing more talent than previously anticipated.

HONORABLE MENTION: Tyler Nubin, Minnesota; Sione Vaki, Utah; Daijahn Anthony, Mississippi; Evan Williams, Oregon; Javon Bullard, Georgia; Jaylin Simpson, Auburn.

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