Defensive linemen and linebackers are the strength of the 2013 NFL draft class, and those positions were on display on Day 5 of the NFL Scouting Combine.
While these men are unlikely to run as fast in the 40-yard dash as smaller players like Marquise Goodwin and Tavon Austin, watching these big bodies move down the field is quite impressive.
Which defensive lineman impressed the most at the combine?
The players are also able to show off their strength and athleticism during the on-field drills that coaches put them through.
Last season, Dontari Poe turned himself into a first-round pick after posting the best bench press score of 44 reps while also running a 40-yard dash in 4.98 seconds.
This year also featured a few eye-popping numbers, as well as solid evaluations of the top prospects in the class. While that is good news for some, it could be bad for others.
Here are the top performances, reactions and results from the fifth day of the combine.
Highlights and Best Performances of the Combine
Dion Jordan Impresses
Few prospects needed a big-time performance at the combine more than Dion Jordan. He was already a solid pick, but he came with a lot of question marks.
He can stand to add some bulk for the defensive line at 6'6", 248 pounds, and he did not put up great stats at Oregon.
However, the combine was a chance for him to show off his athleticism, and he did not disappoint.
Officially, his 40-yard dash was timed at 4.60 seconds, which was one of the fastest times at his position. You can see how effortlessly he runs here:
In addition, he also looked impressive in drills at both defensive end and as a linebacker.
NFL Network's Mike Mayock gushed about Jordan's potential as someone with great versatility that can rush the quarterback at an elite level. At one point, he compared him to Aldon Smith of the San Francisco 49ers:
Smith had 19.5 sacks this season, so this would be a nice lead for Jordan to follow.
Prospects Put Up Incredible Numbers
Although Margus Hunt was not a hot name to watch as the combine began, he is now on scouts' radars after a big day on Monday.
The SMU defensive end is 6'8", and he used his long stride to run a 40-yard dash in 4.60 seconds, which tied for third at his position.
Additionally, he tied for the lead in the bench press by lifting 225 pounds 38 times.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com gave some insight into Hunt's big day:
Margus Hunt came back to Lucas Oil Stadium last night to practice runs on field. Looks like that dedication is paying off at #NFLCombine.— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) February 25, 2013
It is unlikely that Hunt shoots into the first round. However, his pure strength and athleticism will definitely be on the minds of general managers when draft day comes.
Two other prospects that showed off in the 40-yard dash were Ziggy Ansah of BYU and LSU's Barkevious Mingo. These two players have been judged on athleticism and potential over college production entering the draft.
Ansah excelled in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.63, while Mingo was even more impressive at 4.58. The LSU star also had impressive displays in the vertical and broad jump. You can see Mingo's entire performance here:
Finally, linebacker Jamie Collins almost out-jumped the drill area in his broad jump of 11'7".
On a day where everyone is trying to show off athleticism, these men stood above the rest.
Damontre Moore Falls
Few players hurt their stock on Monday more than projected top-10 pick Damontre Moore.
While he did well in the broad jump and vertical jump, his other numbers were much more concerning.
Moore had only 12 reps in the bench press, which is two fewer than 174-pound receiver Tavon Austin. He followed that with an official time of 4.95 seconds in the 40-yard dash, much slower than his competition at the position.
To make matters worse, he appeared to hurt himself in the second run, according to the NFL Network:
Damontre Moore pulls up early on his second 40 run. Holding his leg. #NFLCombine— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) February 25, 2013
This apparent hamstring injury hurt his ability to participate in drills with the rest of the players.
Bleacher Report's Michael Schottey was pretty blunt in his assessment of Moore's performance:
That sound you hear is Damontre Moore losing money...— Michael Schottey (@Schottey) February 25, 2013
The Texas A&M defensive end had a good season, but his stock is trending down after his workouts.
Manti Te'o Stays Under the Microscope
Over the past few weeks, no prospect in this class has been discussed more than Manti Te'o.
The Notre Dame linebacker was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy after an incredible 2012 season, but issues off the field and a poor performance in the BCS National Championship Game have hurt his stock.
On Saturday, he seemed to pass the interview process, according to Todd McShay of ESPN:
Manti Te'o could not have handled his combine press conference any better!— Todd McShay (@McShay13) February 23, 2013
Still, Te'o needed to answer questions on the field too. The analysts on NFL Network felt that he needed to run a 40-yard dash in under 4.75 seconds to silence critics.
Unfortunately, he was unable to reach this goal as he finished with a time of 4.82 seconds. It is not terrible, but it will not do him any favors as teams will continue to question his ability.
Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune quoted analyst and former NFL GM Bill Polian saying that Te'o will be a late first-rounder:
Bill Polian told me Manti Te'o is a sure 1st-rounder ``unless he runs a 4.9 or something. Is he a top 10 player? Probably not. 15 on down.''— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) February 25, 2013
Only time will tell if this ends up being a correct estimate for the much-discussed player.
Sharrif Floyd Shows His Versatility
While Sharrif Floyd did not do anything spectacular, his ability to do everything well is the reason he is so high on draft boards.
His 40-yard dash time of 4.92 seconds was impressive for a man that weighs 297 pounds. He showed that he has the ability to play either at defensive tackle or defensive end in any system in the NFL.
Floyd also looked good in the drills, as he moved quickly through the obstacles. Dion Caputi of the National Football Post was high on the defender on Monday:
#UF DT Sharrif Floyd's movement skills checked out. Hips low throughout drills, strong looking lower body build. He had a good workout.— Dion Caputi (@nfldraftupdate) February 25, 2013
In addition, the young man helped out his cause after the workouts ended with an impressive interview on NFL Network.
There are some guys you simply want on your team, and Floyd seems to be in that category.
Complete List of Sunday's 40-Yard Dash Times
|Barnes, T.J.||Georgia Tech||5.30|
|Bass, David||Missouri Western||4.84|
|Boyd, Josh||Mississippi State||5.14|
|Bryant, Armonty||East Central (OK)||4.86|
|Carradine, Cornellius||Florida State||-|
|Dawkins, Everett||Florida State||5.06|
|Gholston, William||Michigan State||4.96|
|Grissom, Cory||South Florida||5.31|
|Hankins, Johnathan||Ohio State||5.31|
|Hill, Jordan||Penn State||5.23|
|Jenkins, Brandon||Florida State||-|
|Jones, Chris||Bowling Green||5.33|
|Lewis-Moore, Kapron||Notre Dame||-|
|Moore, Damontre||Texas A&M||4.95|
|Simon, John||Ohio State||-|
|Smith, Jared||New Hampshire||5.08|
|Smith, Quanterus||Western Kentucky||-|
|Taylor, Devin||South Carolina||4.72|
|Werner, Bjoern||Florida State||4.83|
|Williams, Nate||Ohio State||4.88|
|Williams, Sylvester||North Carolina||5.03|
|Williams, Brandon||Missouri Southern State||5.37|
|Williams, Tourek||Florida International||4.92|
|Barrington, Sam||South Florida||4.91|
|Brown, Arthur||Kansas St.||-|
|Collins, Jamie||Southern Miss||4.64|
|Hepburn, Brandon||Florida A&M||4.68|
|Hodges, Gerald||Penn St.||4.78|
|Holloman, DeVonte||South Carolina||4.76|
|Klein, A.J.||Iowa St.||4.66|
|Knott, Jake||Iowa St.||-|
|Magee, Brandon||Arizona State||4.74|
|Mauti, Michael||Penn St.||-|
|Moody, Nick||Florida St.||4.71|
|Porter, Sean||Texas A&M||4.75|
|Reddick, Kevin||North Carolina||4.72|
|Sabino, Etienne||Ohio St.||4.75|
|Stewart, Jonathan||Texas A&M||4.68|
|Taylor, Bruce||Virginia Tech||5.01|
|Te'o, Manti||Notre Dame||4.82|