Time was on his side after all

News, notes and nuggets from NFL Network coverage of Day One of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis:

GAME-CHANGER: Georgia edge rusher Nolan Smith was livid, until he wasn't.

Smith was captured by NFL Network cameras slamming his cell phone to the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium in the aftermath of clocking an unofficial time of 4.44 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah assessed Smith's effort as "incredible,' but Smith wanted more.

"I wasn't even running full speed," Smith complained to NFL Network reporter Stacy Dales. "I've been training in the 4.3s. That wasn't up to my standards."

Smith had arrived intent on posting some eye-popping numbers in testing after having had his 2022 season at Georgia limited to eight games because of a torn pec.

As it turned out, he did.

The further review of Smith's first and only 40 revealed an official time of 4.39.

"That made my day," Smith said of the alteration. "I was just upset. I thought I didn't run my best race. I thought I had a little more juice.

"That (official time) got me a little excited."

Smith also posted a 10'8" broad jump and a 41.5" vertical leap.

Mission accomplished.

"I had a good day," Smith said.

NFL Network host Rich Eisen provided some context as to just how good a day it was for Smith:

"Since 2003 he is the heaviest player at 238 pounds with a vertical of 40 or more inches and a 40 that's sub-4.4."

The heaviest players to jump at least 40 inches and come in under 4.4 in the 40 prior to Smith were Breece Hall in 2022 (40, 4.39 at 217 pounds) and D.K. Metcalf in 2019 (40.5, 4.33 at 228 pounds).

"I think you can say with the first two it translated to the NFL quite well," Jeremiah said.

Still not at 100 percent in his recovery, Smith passed on the on-field drills.

"I'm gonna save everything else for my Pro Day," he said.

Smith had three sacks and 18 tackles in the eight games he played at Georgia in 2022.

He'll leave Indianapolis, in Jeremiah's estimation, as "a Top 20 player in this draft."

HOT COMMODITIES: The interior defensive linemen on display on Day One in Indy don't always get the notoriety most often associated with the best edge rushers available in a given draft class.

But the inside guys are nonetheless in high demand.

"To me, these guys are hard to find," Jeremiah observed. "There's 10 edge rushers, I think, in the Top 50 players (available this year). Edge rushers, every year, (are) coming into this league. It's hard to find a Quinnen Williams, obviously, Aaron Donald's a once-in-a-lifetime player. But those guys that are disruptive and dominant on the inside, I think they're the rare species."

Pitt's Calijah Kancey ran the fastest 40 among the interior defensive linemen (4.67), and also had the fastest 10-yard split (1.64).

Kancey didn't participate in the drills because he's nursing a shoulder injury, according to NFL Network analyst Charles Davis, but intends to work out at the Panthers' Pro Day.

BEAR NECESSITIES: The Bears are in possession of the first overall selection in the NFL Draft, but that situation is subject to change.

"Chicago Bears GM Ryan Poles has been very clear that No. 1 pick is for sale for the right price," the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported. "My understanding is there is significant, significant interest in that pick."

Rapoport mentioned the Texans (second overall), Colts (fourth), Falcons (eighth) and Panthers (ninth) as teams that might be especially interested in kicking the tires on a potential trade with the Bears.

LEADERS OF THE PACK: Smith was one of 12 Georgia players invited to the Combine, one shy of the 13 invites issued to players from Alabama.

The SEC led all conferences with 83 invitations issued, followed by the Big Ten's 63.

Jeremiah was impressed and appreciative:

"You know what I love about the SEC? It doesn't matter what tape you pop on, you're gonna see these guys play against other NFL players. The evaluation is so much easier."

LOCAL TIES: Steelers scout Mark Gorscak was once again back in his traditional position running the 40-yard dashes.

Steelers defensive line coach Karl Dunbar was one of those helping to put the interior defensive linemen and the edge rushers through their paces on the field.

And Duke linebacker Shaka Heyward, a cousin of Cam and Connor Heyward, was said to be looking "pretty smooth" in position drills by Jeremiah.

"The bloodlines come through, don't they?" NFL Network analyst Charles Davis offered.

UP NEXT: Defensive backs and specialists hit the field for Day Two.