2015 NFL Combine: Highlights

Saturday was for the show, but Day 3 of the 2015 NFL Combine was the meat and potatoes of what will be taking place in the 2015 NFL Draft. The defensive linemen and the linebackers stepped on the field to show off their athletic ability and skills during the drills on Sunday. It is very likely that at least half of the 1st 10 players selected with in the draft will selected from the defensive linemen and linebacker group. There were numerous athletic big guys within these groups that will be chasing down the Tom Bradys, Peyton Mannings, Drew Brees’, Andre Lucks, and Aaron Rodgers of the league.


The most impressive defensive lineman of the entire day was Danny Shelton. He showed his strength with 34 bench reps of 225 pounds, to go along with a solid showing of agility on the lateral movement drills. He showed good footwork and at 339 pounds, he solidified himself as a top 10 pick. The player considered the top defensive lineman in the draft is Leonard Williams, who ran a 4.97 forty with a 1.72 split. He did not do a bench press, but he is already locked in as a top five pick and can go as high as #2 overall to the Tennessee Titans. Mario Edwards came in a lighter than most thought he would have at 279 pound, but his 32 bench press reps showed he has the power to be a solid, big 4-3 defensive end.

Of the other defensive linemen, the speed times were very good, but some of the strength totals were disappointing. Arik Armstead, who ran a 5.10 forty, only benched only 24 reps of 225 pounds, which was the same as 338 pound nose tackle Ellis McCarthy. McCarthy needs to get a lot stronger to survive as a run stuffer in the NFL but his 5.35 forty was good. Malcom Brown also showed he needs to get a little stronger as he weighed in at 319 pounds, but only did 26 bench reps. However, Jordan Philips did a little better, putting up 28 bench reps, but at 6’5 329 pounds and running a 5.20 forty, he is the exact size and speed you want from a nose tackle. Nose tackle Eddie Goldman did not participate in the on field drills.


The linebackers are stacked in this year’s draft. The size of the linebackers is a bigger question than their ability. Most have the speed and athletic ability, but can they be a three down linebacker in the NFL? One player that stood out above all the linebackers was Vic Beasley, who ran a crazy 4.53 forty with a sub 1.60 10 yard split to go with 35 bench reps. Dante Fowler only benched 19 reps of 225 pounds, but at 261 pounds and running a 4.60 forty with a sub 1.6 10 yard split, he probably will hear his name called within the 1st 7-8 picks of the draft. Another linebacker that impressed was Alvin “Bud” Dupree, who even though he didn’t do a bench press, he ran a 4.56 forty with a 1.60 10 yard split, at 269 pounds.

Randy Gregory impressed with the drills as expected with a 4.64 forty, a 1.60 10 yard split, and showed good body bend, but only weighing 235 pounds will raise some questions as to if he can be an every down linebacker. However, he did do 24 bench press reps to show some strength for his size. Another linebacker that impressed was middle linebacker Bernardick McKinney, who at 246 pounds ran a 4.66 forty with a 1.64 10 yard split. That is the type of size and ability that teams like as a middle linebacker in a 3-4 defense. Eric Kendricks was similar to as he ran a 4.61 forty and a 1.64 10 yard split, but came in at 6’0 232 pounds and only did 19 bench press reps.


Two linebackers that were very up in down in their drills were Denzel Perryman and Shaq Thompson, both for different reasons. Perryman is a short linebacker at 5’11 and only 236 pounds, who ran a 4.78 forty with a 1.68 10 yard split, which is below average, but he did show his power with 27 bench reps. Shaq Thompson did not do the bench press and ran a 4.64, but many people feel he would be better suited at running back than at linebacker, as Thompson played both positions in college. At 6’0 and only 228 pounds, Thompson’s draft stock will like drop if he continues to say he wants to just play linebacker. Two other notable linebackers, Shane Ray and Hau’oli Kikaha did not participate in the forty, but Kikaha did so some coverage drills and was a little stiff.

On Monday we conclude the draft with the defensive backs. If you cannot get a good pass with one of the players discussed in this article, the next best thing to get is a good secondary. Even though there is not a top 10 type cornerback or safety this year, the group is very deep and you can get a starter out of at least 10-15 of the players with good coaching and if they are placed in the right system. A lot of scouts may wonder why we had so many fast wide receivers, but they didn’t seem to get separation on tape, well watching the defensive backs tomorrow may give you your answer.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.