The 2010 NFL Combine has come to a close, and after watching NFL Network for the better part of the last five days I can finally blink.
This year’s combine was filled with several notable moments including: Tim Tebow rocketing for a 38.5 inch vertical leap (tying the quarterback record as I’m sure you’ve all heard a thousand times), the NFL showing an inability to correctly time the 40 yard dash despite it being electronic, and NFL Network’s Rich Eisen failing to run the forty under six seconds (I personally think he should have returned for his senior season).
Now that the Combine has come and gone, the real Draft speculation can begin. With the 16th Pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, I see the Tennessee Titan’s Selecting…
Dunlap has an incredible combination of size, 6 foot 6 and 277 pounds and speed 4.71 forty, which will surely garner Dunlap tremendous attention in the first round. After posting 11 sacks, 34 tackles and 6 passes defended last season, Dunlap has shown that he is an adept pass rusher. Not only this but he plays well against the run, and has the long arms to bat down the ball at the line of scrimmage. Dunlap is eerily similar to Titan’s defensive end Jevon Kearse, who was selected 16th overall by the Titan’s in the 1999 NFL draft. In Kearse’s rookie season he sparked the Titan’s defense with 14.5 sacks and helped lead them to the Super Bowl. Dunlap could be the second coming of one of the most popular players in Titan’s history, and become the anchor of a defensive line looking for a leader. Under Titan’s defensive line coach Jim Washburn, Dunlap could truly flourish at the next level, becoming the missing piece on the Titan’s defensive line.
Haden is an example of a player who hurt his draft stock at the NFL combine. Haden ran a lack luster 4.58 forty at the NFL Combine, causing many coaches to fear he will be vulnerable to speedy downfield receivers. As Chris Low of ESPN pointed out, “Haden was rarely torched in the SEC the last two seasons.” With a low forty time, teams in the top ten may be hesitant to pull the trigger on Haden, especially after safety Taylor Mays ran a 4.43, quieting concerns about his speed. Haden would be a tremendous value in the middle of the first round, and would certainly compete to start from day one at corner for the Titans. If Haden is around when the Titan’s are on the clock, expect to hear his name called.
Weatherspoon had an excellent combine, and surely cemented himself as a first round pick. The Titan’s have a huge need at linebacker, with the probable departure of starter Keith Bulluck. Weatherspoon was recorded as six foot and 239 pounds at the combine, but plays much bigger than he looks. Weatherspoon blew scouts away with a 40” vertical leap, 34 reps at 225 pounds on the bench press, as well as a forty clocked as fast as 4.57. This tells us not only that Weatherspoon was a tremendous player in college, racking up 376 tackles, 12 sacks, 4 interceptions and 3 forced fumbles in three years as a starter, but he is a tremendous athlete as well. Weatherspoon has all the intangibles a team looks for in a starting linebacker, and would fit in perfectly as an outside linebacker in the Titan’s 4-3 scheme.
Only time will tell who the Titan’s will select in the first round this year, but now that the combine is over let the speculation begin.