Penn State Football

Here’s how Penn State RB Miles Sanders turned heads, boosted stock at NFL Combine

How Miles Sanders fared at the NFL Combine

Former Penn State running back Miles Sanders looked to turn heads at the 2019 NFL Combine.
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Former Penn State running back Miles Sanders looked to turn heads at the 2019 NFL Combine.

Miles Sanders is the latest Nittany Lion to have scouts gushing at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Sanders impressed fans, reporters and general managers alike Friday after finishing near the top of every measurable and running smoothly during the on-field drills. He was even named NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s top Combine performer Friday.

“You can’t have a better day than what Miles Sanders out of Penn State did today,” Jeremiah said during the telecast.

Added host Rich Eisen: “He looked terrific, for sure.”

Sanders ran an official 4.49-second 40-yard dash at the Combine. That was tied for the sixth-fastest among running backs and exceeded expectations. Coming into the Combine, one former scout told the CDT that anything 4.55 or better would help Sanders.

But Sanders impressed even beyond the measurables. His cuts were clean during on-field drills, he barely decelerated, and he definitely caught the attention of on-lookers.

Eisen went so far as to compare Sanders, potentially, to New Orleans Saints Pro-Bowler Alvin Kamara and Chicago Bears dynamo Tarik Cohen.

In one memorable comparison, NFL Network showed a “simulcam” that featured Saquon Barkley’s 40-yard dash last season with Sanders’ dash Friday. And, surprisingly, Sanders’ 10-yard split was actually faster than the Penn State great’s — before Barkley pulled away over the final 30 yards.

That spoke to Sanders’ explosive burst, and he almost certainly ensured a bigger paycheck this season as a result Even before Sanders’ 40-yard dash was official, Bleacher Report’s Ian Kenyon listed Sanders as one of the “winners” of Friday.

Most experts seemed to agree.

“I’m all aboard the Miles Sanders express train,” Jeremiah added. “He’s smooth, and he’s explosive.”

Sanders, along with offensive linemen Ryan Bates and Connor McGovern, were Penn State’s representatives on Friday. (Trace McSorley will participate Saturday.) Here’s an overview of how the trio fared and how they stacked up with the rest of their respective position groups:

RB Miles Sanders

Height: 5-foot-10 5/8

Weight: 211

40-yard dash: 4.49 seconds (T-6 out of 23)

Bench: 20 reps (14 out of 26)

Vertical jump: 36 inches (T-6 out of 24)

Broad jump: 124 inches (6 out of 23)

3 cone drill: 6.89 seconds (1 out of 16)

20-yard shuttle: 4.19 seconds (3 out of 16)

OL Ryan Bates

Height: 6-foot-4 4/8

Weight: 306

40-yard dash: 5.09 seconds (T-10 out of 38)

Bench: 28 reps (T-9 out of 47)

Vertical jump: 27 inches (T-28 out of 39)

Broad jump: 102 inches (T-33 out of 41)

3-cone drill: 7.45 seconds (7 out of 9)

20-yard shuttle: 4.53 seconds (T-5 out of 10)

OL Connor McGovern

Height: 6-foot-5 3/8

Weight: 308

40-yard dash: DNP

Bench: 28 reps (T-9 out of 47)

Vertical jump: DNP

Broad jump: 112 inches (T-8 out of 41)

3-cone drill: 7.66 seconds (T-1 out of 9)

20-yard shuttle: 4.57 seconds (2 out of 10)