Alabama Football News

Former Tide star Isaiah Buggs produces solid NFL Combine workout

© John David Mercer - USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban took him in as a junior college transfer in 2017 and while he repaid his head coach with a College Football Playoff national title that season, defensive end Isaiah Buggs is more so grateful for the 67-year-old teaching him how to be a man and preparing him for the next level. 

“Coming from Alabama, any NFL team that comes through knows it is going to get great players,” Buggs said on Sunday in his interview. “Under a great coach like Nick Saban, you have to trust his process and his process always gets you to the next level. If you do all the little things right, then you are going to be successful. I just want to give all the credit to Alabama.” 

After adding some weight – following the Senior Bowl – Buggs weighed in at 306 pounds to carry with his 6-foot-3 frame. It was not the jaw-dropping performance that Quinnen Williams provided; however, the Louisiana native held his own and impressed a few scouts in drills. 

RELATED: Alabama DL Quinnen Williams baffles NFL scouts with blazing 40-time

Buggs’ output in the 40-yard dash (5.15 seconds), bench press (20 reps), vertical jump (24.5”) and broad jump (8 feet) were all pretty good measurables for a 300-pounder that possesses a strong motor and good hands as a pass rusher. His best drill was the “shed and stack,” as he displayed exceptional hand strike, initial burst and explosion upon finishing the assignment. 

Former Tide defensive line coach, Karl Dunbar orchestrated the drill and it was pretty cool seeing Buggs as the first guy in rotation. He had 51 total tackles in 2018 – including 13.5 tackles for loss (among team leaders) and a team-high 9.5 sacks. Buggs showed out at the Senior Bowl, earning Player of the Week honors for defensive linemen for a productive week of practice. 

He has a grade of 5.73 per NFL.com, which means Buggs has a “chance to become an NFL starter.”

He currently projects as a Day 2 pick next month of the NFL Draft.  

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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