2012 NFL Draft Sleeper: Utah State LB Bobby Wagner Runs 4.45 at His Pro Day

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2012 NFL Draft Sleeper: Utah State LB Bobby Wagner Runs 4.45 at His Pro Day
Teams will talking to Utah State LB Bobby Wagner about taking him very high in the draft (courtesy of Cache Valley Magazine)

Bobby Wagner missed the combine because he was sick. Friday, in Logan, UT, Wagner put together a sick set of numbers to grab the NFL's attention after missing his golden opportunity in Indianapolis.

NFL.com's dean of the draft Gil Brandt has the report:

Wagner was supposed to work out at the NFL Scouting Combine but couldn’t due to pneumonia. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds and recorded a 39-1/2-inch vertical and 11-foot broad jump. He completed the short shuttle in 4.24 seconds, did the three-cone drill in 7.03 seconds and did 24 strength lifts. Wagner had a fantastic workout, and will probably be selected in the middle of the second round. He’s been very productive in college. Wagner has been playing inside, but I think teams would like to play him as an outside linebacker.

CBS Sports draftnik Rob Rang gives us some perspective on those numbers:

That mark [4.45] would have beaten Cal's Mychal Kendricks' 4.45 time at the Combine. Wagner also matched Kendricks' 39.5" vertical jump, which led all linebackers at the Combine and posted a jaw-dropping 11'0 broad jump that not only beat all linebackers tested in Indianapolis (beating Kendricks' position-best effort by five inches), it was just one inch behind the best efforts put forth at the 2012 by any prospect. Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill and Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson recorded broad jumps of 11'1". 

[Hendricks' 40 time was actually 4.47.]

Wagner is clearly one of the top two or three athletic talents in the draft at linebacker, and his film matches his abilities. The versatility to play inside or outside, and speed to run with the new breed of tight ends in the NFL will only enhance his value.

While Brandt projects him as a mid-second rounder, I have to agree with Ryan Lownes of DraftBreakdown.com, who projects Wagner as a top-40 pick and potential first-rounder. There aren't that many linebackers in this draft with scheme versatility and the tools to never leave the field. Don't be surprised if Wagner or Nebraska LB Lavonte David (who is a similar talent) hear their names called in the first round.

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