This review of the linebackers at the 2010 NFL Combine analyzes the players as they were officially listed entering the combine, making several players who could potentially make a position switch absent from this column.
However, there were quite a few stand-out performers, as well as some guys who "wowed" us in the wrong way.
1. Jamar Chaney—Mississippi State (4.54)
2. Dekoda Watson—Florida State (4.56)
3. Stevenson Sylvester—Utah (4.63)
4. Kavell Conner—Clemson (4.63)
5. Phillip Dillard—Nebraska (4.64)
Keaton Kristick, Cody Grimm, and Perry Riley all tied with Phillip Dillard for fifth place.
Jamar Chaney clocked in with the fastest time, running as fast as many of the running backs and showing the kind of sideline-to-sideline speed scouts drool over. Dekoda Watson did the same, finishing just .02 seconds slower.
A.J. Edds, who saw his stock rise with a solid Senior Bowl, ran an average time, but his speed would be considered adequate for playing the outside, which he is best suited for at the next level.
Kentucky's Micah Johnson has the worst time of all the linebackers, running a horrible 4.99, slower than some of the defensive tackles.
1. Donald Butler—Washington (35 reps)
2. Sean Weatherspoon—Missouri (34)
3. Micah Johnson—Kentucky (31)
4. Mike McLaughlin—Boston College (29)
5. Kion Wilson—South Florida (27)
Boris Lee and Keenan Clayton tied for fifth place.
Donald Butler took first place with an impressive 35 reps, while Sean Weatherspoon showed his impressive strength with 34.
Micah Johnson redeemed himself (somewhat) after running a horrible 40-time by being the only other linebacker to crack 30 reps on the bench press.
A.J. Edds came in second-to-last with a very weak showing on the bench press, cranking out just 16 reps. Harry Coleman hurt his already poor draft stock with a last-place finish, recording 13 reps.
1. Keenan Clayton—Oklahoma (41.5)
2. Simoni Lawrence—Minnesota (40.0)
3. Sean Weatherspoon—Missouri (40.0)
4. Dekoda Watson—Florida State (40.0)
5. Jason Beauchamp—UNLV (39.5)
Keenan Clayton out-jumped the next three guys by 1.5 inches to take the top spot, while Sean Weatherspoon continued his solid Combine by tying for second place in the vertical leap.
Dekoda Watson also continued to display his elite athleticism, notching 40 inches along with Weatherspoon and Simoni Lawrence.
Brandon Spikes was the most disappointing player to partake in this drill, tying Micah Johnson for last place with a 29-inch leap.
1. Dekoda Watson—Florida State (11'2")
2. Sean Weatherspoon—Missouri (10'3")
3. Keaton Kristick—Oregon State (10')
4. Perry Riley—LSU (9'9")
5. Eric Norwood—South Carolina (9'7")
Dekoda Watson finished a stellar combine with the best broad jump, as he displayed his great speed, explosiveness, and athleticism in all the drills.
Dekoda Watson and Sean Weatherspoon were by far the most elite and consistent performers in this year's class of linebackers at the Combine.
The two finished neck-and-neck in all the major drills, although Weatherspoon arguably had the better Combine, finishing with 10 more reps than Watson in the bench press.
Jamar Chaney impressed scouts with his excellent speed in the 40-yard dash and has an elite vertical leap but was fairly average on the bench press.
Josh Hull and Micah Johnson were very disappointing, both running lower than a 4.9 in the 40-yard dash, while both had a vertical less than 34 inches.
Outside of Micah Johnson, Brandon Spikes may have hurt his stock the most. His vertical leap ranked dead last, he finished sixth out of six players in the three-cone drill, and he was second-to-last in the broad jump.
He was a borderline first-rounder, but will likely stick in the second round or later due to his mediocre athleticism.
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