Penn State Football

How DL Shareef Miller, Kevin Givens fared at the NFL Combine — and why Givens’ praise didn’t last

Penn State defensive lineman Kevin Givens runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Sunday, March 3, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Penn State defensive lineman Kevin Givens runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Sunday, March 3, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) AP

Thanks to a testing error, no defensive player saw a more up-and-down day at the NFL Combine than Penn State’s Kevin Givens.

Both Givens and Shareef Miller took part in Sunday’s portion of the combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and experienced success in different areas. But Givens initially sent Twitter ablaze after NFL Network’s telecast showed an unofficial 40-yard dash time of 4.87 seconds — a time that, nearly an hour later, was corrected to 5.08 seconds.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa,” NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said following the 4.87.

“I’m shocked,” Jeremiah added at the time. “When I watched Givens, I thought he played a little bit small and he’s 285 pounds — we’ve seen a bunch of guys over 300 — so he’s a little bit on the lighter side of this group, but I had some garbage sacks in the games I studied. I did not give him a huge grade, but apparently I got to go back and watch a little bit more after seeing that number.”

Apparently not. Given’s 10-yard split, incorrectly it turns out, was identical to NFL star Von Miller’s — and was quicker than Pro-Bowler Aaron Donald’s. His true 10-yard split was not made known on the telecast but, after the 40-yard dash was corrected, there wasn’t much more talk about the Penn State junior who declared early.

Still, it wasn’t all bad news for Penn State’s two defensive linemen. Givens was smooth and quick during on-field drills, and he performed 32 bench-press reps — tied for third-best among defensive linemen. Miller might have even boosted his draft stock after performing above on-field expectations among a solid group of EDGE rushers.

Jeremiah, a former NFL scout, commented on how Miller was a bit thin in his lower body. But he had nothing negative to say during any of the drills. Miller ran an official. 4.69-second 40 and, when the unofficial time came in two-hundredths of a second slower than that, Jeremiah still said, “Not bad; good time.”

During position drills, Jeremiah again commented, “Not bad,” when Miller flashed his change of direction. And, during another drill, Miller hit the pads hard and drew some praise from NFL Network’s analyst.

Here's how quarterback Trace McSorley performed at the NFL combine.

“You see some of that pop and snap in his hands at Penn State,” Jeremiah said. “He just destroys tight ends.”

Added National Football Post’s Dion Caputi, via Twitter: “He’s got far better footwork than I had expected to see today, and it’s left me with the belief he’ll be able to cover some NFL TEs in space if needed.”

He didn’t fare so well in other departments, however, finishing dead-last among defensive linemen in the bench press and last among other EDGE rushers in the vertical jump.

Overall, here’s a closer look at how Givens and Miller fared at the NFL Combine and how their measurables stacked up with the rest of their respective position groups:

Kevin Givens, DT

Height: 6-foot-1 1/4

Weight: 285

40-yard dash: 5.08 seconds (T-8 out of 16 DT)

Bench: 32 reps (T-3 out of 44 DL/EDGE)

Vertical jump: 31 inches (T-29 out of 48 DL/EDGE)

Broad jump: 115 inches (T-23 out of 47 DL/EDGE)

3-cone drill: 7.63 seconds (12 out of 22 DL)

20-yard shuttle: 4.62 seconds (T-15 out of 24 DL)

Shareef Miller, EDGE

Height: 6-foot-4 1/2

Weight: 254

40-yard dash: 4.69 seconds (T-10 out of 19 EDGE)

Bench: 16 reps (44 out of 44 DL/EDGE)

Vertical jump: 29.5 inches (T-38 out of 48 DL/EDGE)

Broad jump: DNP

3-cone drill: DNP

20-yard shuttle: 4.45 seconds (20 out of 37 DL/EDGE)

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