Top LB and DL Combine Numbers
Sunday was the first day the defensive players took the field, defensive linemen and linebackers. I enjoy watching the big fellas workout because it's not to often you get to see them run forty yards full speed and showcase their agility. With the NFL being a passing league, pass rushers are an important need in the NFL, and this group of DLs and LBs has a few elite level prospects for teams to choose from. I expect to see 5 players from this group drafted in the first round.
Vic Beasly tied for most bench reps of 225 out of all defensive linemen and linebackers. He also had the fastest 40 time of the day. This kid is a physical specimen, who I feel should be the first defensive player off the board. Watching him at Clemson, I thought he may be to small to be an effective pass rushers in the NFL, but he has added another 10lbs of muscle to his frame, weighing in at 246. I like his feet and he doesn't have tight hips, which is something you see a lot at the combine from strong guys.
Dante Fowler isn't to far behind Beasley on my board. Fowler has the great size, 6'3 263lbs, and the speed to make for a great pass rusher in the NFL. He ran a 4.6 in the forty but only had only 19 reps of 225, which I think should be a higher number for his size. Expect him and Beasley to be top ten picks.
Randy Gregory was also a name that came up a lot during the Combine. Gregory, an edge rusher out of Nebraska, didn't have the any top numbers but he has tremendous upside. He stands at 6'5 and weighs in at only 235, which scares me a little bit, but he ran a 4.6 and threw up 225 24 times. Reading his weaknesses, I'm still trying to figure out why some would put him over Beasley but scouts are falling in love with his raw talent. He is also expected to be drafted in the top ten.
This is very deep class for defensive linemen and athletic also. It seems that each year these 280+ men are getting faster. Who I was very impressed with was Mario Edwards Jr. The defensive tackle from Florida State was a top performer in the bench press, broad jump, and ran 4.86 in the Forty. Edwards also showed some good footwork in the drills, very light on his feet for a man 279lbs. His main weaknesses is inconsistency and pass rushing. Some scouts say he doesn't have the high motor that they would like to see from him.
Leonard Williams is predicted to be the first defensive lineman off the board. The former USC Trojan stands at 6'5 and weighs in at 302lbs, and ran a 4.97 in the forty. He did not participate in the bench press but scouts say he has elite power. Williams did very well in the workouts today and at the combine as a whole. Expect him to be a top 5 pick.