The 2014 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis is a chance for college athletes to show coaches and scouts why they should give them the chance of a lifetime with one of their team’s coveted draft picks.
Linebackers and defensive linemen took the field Monday to showcase their abilities. The big stars of the combine—like South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney and Alabama’s C.J. Mosley—made some noise, but what about the guys the media hasn’t been talking about?
Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland impressed scouts in the bench press drill by putting up 27 reps, which earned him the fifth place among linebackers, according to NFL.com. The Badger is the all-time leader in forced fumbles for Wisconsin; however, his small frame worries some scouts. Borland, who stands in at a 5’11’’, 247 pounds, has been compared to former Redskin London Fletcher.
Kevin Pierre-Louis out of Boston College made his name known at Lucas Oil Stadium after running the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds. He finished second only to Florida State’s Telvin Smith. Pierre-Louis has been praised for his motivation in his four years as an Eagle. There are talks of him moving out of the linebacker role and becoming a safety to adhere to his small size.
Inside linebackers Max Bullough out of Michigan State and Khairi Fortt of Cal are currently tied for first in the bench press drill with 30 reps apiece.
Bullough is coming off a huge season with the Spartans despite missing the Rose Bowl this year due to disciplinary reasons. He garnered first-team All-Big Ten honors and was a Butkus Award semifinalist. His keen sense of the game of football makes him a well-rounded player. The 249-pound 'backer is a tough tackler and vocal leader.
Fortt’s performance in the bench press drill shows why his muscular build and 6’2’’, 248-pound frame is the ideal size for an NFL linebacker. The Cal Bear is known for his safety-like speed and his incredible finesse. His college potential was cut short when he decided to declare for the draft.
Here are some Twitter reactions to the players’ day in Indy:
Questions about these players’ skills are being answered each and every day, but the big one is still looming: Where will these kids end up?
The Baltimore Sun has reported that Borland been talking with the Baltimore Ravens, which could be a very viable landing spot alongside Terrell Suggs.
We could even see Fortt head to the same division, as the Browns are looking for a companion to D’Qwell Jackson and Barkevious Mingo.
As the age-old saying goes, only time will tell. Come May, we will find out where these guys and everyone else involved in the 2014 NFL draft will call home to start their careers.
All stats provided by NFL.com unless otherwise noted.