This week, the NFL released the list of 338 draft eligible players invited to the 2019 Scouting Combine. Two Vanderbilt players—QB Kyle “Shurms McKenzie” Shurmur and CB Joejuan “Joejuan Island” Williams—received invites.
Shurms, Vanderbilt’s career leader in completions (722), passing yards (8,865), and passing TDs (64), is one of 17 QBs invited to the Combine. He will likely participate in all drills, and we are relatively certain he will beat Rich Eisen in the 40 yard dash. #CrazyLegsShurms
Shurmur’s slightly more famous father, Pat, is the head coach of the New York Giants, who finished 5-11 and will have the #6 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. I’m not saying Pat will choose Kyle there, but in a world where nepotism is rampant, we can’t say anything for sure. Regardless, the Giants have 10 picks in the draft (with an 11th likely to come after compensation picks are awarded), and a glaring need for young arms in their QB pipeline. It would not be shocking to see the G-Men pick multiple QBs in this draft, and Kyle should be in the mix for a late round pick—from his father or from any number of other NFL teams—and will have a good chance to make an NFL roster as a 3rd string, developmental, QB.
Williams, however, will try to cement his status as a Day Two pick. 36 total CBs were invited to the Combine, and in a league that routinely starts 3 in the increasingly common “Nickle as Base Defense” model, should have a skillset that is in demand. He is a long, physical corner, who should continue the trend of Vanderbilt DBs as impact starters on the next level.
Unlike Crazy Legs Shurms, Williams’ time in the 40 yard dash will directly impact the round in which he is drafted. He will spend from now until the Combine begins on February 26th training like a damned Olympian, as every single athletic measurable matters for defensive backs. However, if he can run, jump, and show the hip fluidity and change of direction during the 3 cone shuttle that we have all seen in his game tape, he should shoot up draft boards.
Neither Justin Skule nor Bruno Reagan, despite being beasts of men, received invites. It is not yet known whether they will be attending a regional combine, or will just concentrate on Vanderbilt’s Pro Day. My assumption is the latter, as scouts not only have years of game tape on them, but Skule participated in the East-West Shrine Game, and Reagan in the College Gridiron Showcase, so they have been seen by the decision makers.