Josh Uche of the Michigan Wolverines will not be joining his other 10 teammates in drills at the NFL Combine this weekend, as Adam Schefter of ESPN was the first to report that the outside linebacker/edge rusher will be sitting out the workout portion of the event. He will still take part in the interview process and physical.
Uche is said to have had a hamstring injury that he suffered the week of the Senior Bowl.
Michigan LB Josh Uche will not participate in the drills at the combine due to a hamstring injury he suffered during the Senior Bowl. He will participate in the interviews and physical.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 24, 2020
Uche is considered a day two prospect and had an outside shot at sneaking into the first round (he still may have that chance). It seems as if this solidifies his current standing and maybe has him trend downward ever so slightly.
Because Uche was a bit of a tweener and not quite an every-down defender at Michigan, the testing at the combine and how he performed in drills would have given him a chance to show where his measureables stack up against the rest of the class. Michigan will hold its Pro Day on March 13, so it seems reasonable that he could return to workouts there.
Most experts seem to have him coming off the board in the second round, so if the injury does cause his stock to slide a bit, it could be good news for teams at the top of round three. Coaching staffs from the Detroit Lions (who helmed the Uche’s North team) and Cincinnati Bengals saw him all week down in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl and he also performed well for the NFL teams that came to watch.
“With the pass-rush ability that he has, the bend off the edge. I think somebody (after the Senior Bowl) said, ‘I wouldn’t be shocked if he went late-first,’ because pass-rushers go,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper said last week on a conference call.
“I’d say second (round). At worst, third. But I’m thinking second round to me.”
Scouts that turn on the film will see a guy at Michigan who did not always have a set role, but was productive regardless. Given that game film and the Senior Bowl (for now) is all they have to go on, it makes the interview and physicals even more important this weekend down in Indianapolis.
Still, there seems to be a prospect every year from Ann Arbor that fans wind up being outraged by as teams pass them over. If there is a candidate for that happening this year, it seems this might be the player to keep an eye on.