>\n\nNFL Scouting Combine Report-Day Three. \n\n\n\n

NFL Scouting Combine Report-Day Three.

Written by Curt Popejoy on 02/28/2012


First off, I had to say that for the most part this is my favorite day of the combine.  I have always felt like the combination of size and athleticism was best among these guys.   And in many cases that was the case this year as well. 

Defensive linemen

Let me get this out of the way.  Dontari Poe is the fastest fat man ever.  And he’s an amazing bench presser as well.  But let me say this.  I don’t think Poe is as good a football player as he showed in drills.   His game film doesn’t show him to be the guy we saw in Indianapolis. 

Michael Brockers was big.  Like hit the Golden Corral big.  Almost too big even.  With everyone bowing at the altar of the triangle numbers, I’m not sure why he chose to come in bigger and a little softer and slow himself down.

If you want a guy people aren’t talking about, take Shea McClellin.  I love his ability to rush the passer and I think his exposure this weekend will force teams to go back and watch him play and see just how good he is at multiple spots and in multiple schemes.

The player who surprised me most in a positive way is Ronnell Lewis.  And I’m a Sooner guy.  He like the other Sooners at the Combine showed explosion and power that they did not show during the season.  If Lewis can continue to show that on the field, he could find himself a starting spot somewhere very quickly.

Will anyone be shocked if Nick Perry and Fletcher Cox are the best defensive linemen to come out of this draft in the long run?  I know I won’t be.  Both were better than advertised and what I saw at the combine backed up everything I saw from them on the field this year.  I think both made themselves some money this weekend.

Quick thought on Melvin Ingram.  Mike Mayock has a crush on you.  If you have feelings for him, you might want to keep an eye on Jordan Jefferson. 

Quinton Coples bugs me.  He’s a triangle monster.  Physically imposing and reminds me of Julius Peppers.  But he had no qualms about tanking this season.  And watching the past two seasons, I see no other explanation for it.  Some say he was bitter about coaching changes, others say he was saving himself for the NFL.  Either way his commitment and work ethic have to come into question.  You don’t want a player who only shows up when it’s good for them.   Right Albert Haynesworth?

Devon Still is going to need to count on film.  And trust me the film is great.  But he didn’t do what needed to be done this weekend to back it up.  I have no doubt Still can be a great pro.  But if you didn’t see him play and only saw the combine, you’d not be impressed.

Overall the defensive linemen were impressive.  Quite a bit of sloppy technique, but don’t hurt ‘em.  They don’t do a lot of these drills ever.  Guys are getting bigger, faster, stronger, and more explosive every year.  This is a very athletic group.

Linebackers on the other hand did less for me.  Some guys shined, and others were a bit more dim.

Best linebacker at the combine?  Easy.  Lukey Kuechly.  He’s straight up pure football player.  The kid hit the Boston College campus making plays and that is not going to change.  He’s a born leader, he was out coaching up the other linebackers on the drills, and he showed up for everything.  He’s my 2012 NFL Draft man crush.

Next best linebacker I saw?  Probably Mychael Kendricks.  He’s not going to end up going in the first round, but he easily did enough to get teams pulling up Cal game film to see if he can make plays.

A quick thought on the Alabama linebackers.  First I want to meet Courtney Upshaw’s pharmacist.   This young man looks like some kind of super hero.  But having that much bulk on a squatty frame makes for problems.  I think if he wants to play at that weight, he’s going to be relegated to a 3-4 team where he can play north and south and use his power rather than quickness either inside or outside.  Dont’a Hightower on the other hand looked very impressive.  Carries his weight well and I think he can play a 4-3 or 3-4.  I have had Upshaw high in the first round, but I am starting to rethink it.

Worst combine by a linebacker is a tie.  I know everyone is saying Vontaze Burfict was a train wreck.  And no doubt he was.  He stunk in the interviews and he stunk in the drills.  He’s a kid with a bad rep as a person who could have helped his case by being great as a player, and Burfict didn’t do that.  But right up there for me is Zach Brown.  He’s a player who was going to revolutionize the position with a sub 4.4 time and be the new prototype for the linebacker position.   And after playing his way to the bench during the season he need that.  And surprise he fell flat on his face.  He was still fast, and he’s still explosive.  But for as good as he looks, he isn’t committed to the game and nothing that happened this weekend changed that.

Check back tomorrow night for my final wrap up on the defensive backs.  Here’s a preview.  I was not impressed.

Last Edited: 02/28/2012

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