The defensive linemen and linebackers took center stage at the NFL combine on Monday. Several players impressed, including Dion Jordan and Barkevious Mingo, but Monday wasn't a positive for everyone.
The first few days of the NFL Scouting Combine draw the most attention; but although there may have been fewer media members in Indianapolis on Monday, there was still plenty of action and talent on the field. The defensive linemen and linebackers worked out on Monday, which meant several potential first-round picks were on the field.
A number of players turned heads on Monday, but LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo may have been the most impressive player on the field. Mingo finished with the second-fastest 40-yard dash among defensive lineman at 4.58 seconds. His 37-inch vertical jump was also second-best among defensive lineman while his 10'8 broad jump was tied for the longest. Mingo was already considered a possible top-10 pick and may have cemented that status on Monday.
Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan was also among the top performers. The 6'6 Jordan ran a 4.6 40-yard dash, tied for the fifth-fastest time on Monday. Jordan showed off his athleticism with a 10'2 broad jump, the fourth-best among defensive lineman. After Monday's performance, NFL Network's Mike Mayock said Jordan could be in the mix at No. 4 in the upcoming NFL Draft.
While Mingo and Jordan impressed, Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore struggled on Monday. Moore arrived at the combine as a potential top-10 pick, but may now see his stock drop. He ran a 4.95 second 40-yard dash, among the slower results for defensive ends. Strength proved to be an even bigger issue as Moore completed just 12 reps on the bench press, the fewest of any player participating on Monday. To make matters worse, Moore pulled up short in his second 40-yard dash.
When it came to the linebackers, plenty of attention was on Manti Te'o who wrapped up an eventful combine with a disappointing 40-yard dash. Te'o weighed in at 241 pounds, smaller than most expected. He then ran a 4.82 second 40-yard dash, the seventh-slowest among linebackers. Te'o was disappointed by the time, saying he had been running in the 4.5- or 4.6-second range in training. He said exhaustion played a role in Monday's poor performance.
Te'o may not have impressed with his 40-yard dash time, but Missouri's Zaviar Gooden did. Gooden ran the fastest 40 on Monday at 4.47. He performed well in the other drills as well, finishing no lower than sixth in the bench press, vertical jump and broad jump. After measuring at 6'1 and 234 pounds, Gooden needed a strong combine performance and he delivered.
If Gooden was the most impressive linebacker on Monday, Georgia's Cornelius Washington may not have been far behind. Considered a potential late-round pick, Washington tested out extremely well on Monday. He finished second to Gooden among linebackers with a 4.55 40-yard dash. He led all linebackers with 36 bench press reps while finishing second in the vertical jump and third in the broad jump. Some NFL Draft analysts pegged Washington as a potential undrafted free agent, but his performance on Monday likely boosted his stock considerably.
A complete look at Monday's results for defensive linemen can be found here with linebacker results available here. While not every player worked out, Monday's group of defensive linemen and linebackers may have been the most talented of any combined group. In SB Nation's latest NFL mock draft, 14 linebackers or defensive linemen are projected to go in the first round.
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