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NFL Combine: Scouting the Linebackers

Posted Feb 25, 2013

An in-depth analysis of the linebackers who worked out at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Ricky Henne’s Take:  I might as well get the obligatory Manti Te’o portion of this scouting report out of the way early, since I’d be remiss if I didn’t address it. The much-hyped linebacker wasn’t expected to run a fast 40-yard dash and he ended up clocking one of the worst times in his position group with a 4.82.  Still, I liked what I saw from Te’o in the actual football drills.  He moved well and showed excellent hands, which was expected as he had seven interceptions this past season for Notre Dame.  The Heisman Trophy runner-up is still a first-round talent, but it will be interesting to see where he ends up.  I was personally impressed with Georgia’s Alec Ogletree, who is another highly rated linebacker with baggage.  I thought he tested very well and flashed tremendous speed, and based on his football skills alone, I’d expect him to go in the first round as well. One under the radar guy who caught my eye was Connecticut’s Sio Moore.  He tested very well, ranking second in the bench press (29 reps) and fifth in the 40-yard dash (4.65).  Moore also looked strong in the linebacker drills, showing good feet and strong instincts.  I’d expect him to rise up draft boards after his performance.  The other guy who stood out that I didn’t know a lot about heading into the day was Georgia’s Cornelius Washington.  There’s no way around it; his athleticism is through the roof.  He had the most reps on the bench press (36), seven more than the nearest linebacker, posted the second best 40-yard dash time (4.55), the second highest vertical jump (39.0) and third longest broad jump (128.0).  Looking at his college stats, Washington didn’t have the production that many of his peers had. Still, based on his performance today alone, I’d expect many teams to be willing to take a chance on him to develop his raw abilities.  Finally, the most impressive metric of the day, and probably the entire combine, was Southern Mississippi’s Jamie Collins’139-inch broad jump, which fell just short of the actual 12-foot marker.  It was one of the most athletic feats I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes.

Ryan Schuler’s Take: The day has finally arrived. After weeks of facing questions about his involvement in a fake girlfriend hoax, Notre Dame inside linebacker Manti Te’o was finally able to get back on the football field and prove to NFL head coaches and general managers what he could do. Though Te’o’s 4.82 40-yard dash was very disappointing, he excelled during the football drills. He had by far the best hands of anyone in the group, snatching the ball out of the air with ease, while many others caught the ball against their bodies. He did stumble once during a shuffling drill, but that was a mere hiccup in an otherwise productive day. He seemed much more comfortable and fluid in the actual football drills compared to the 40.  Georgia inside linebacker Alec Ogletree, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock’s No. 1 rated inside linebacker, was impressive in the measurable drills, running a 4.70 40-yard dash and recording 20 reps in the bench press. He is a converted safety and plays the linebacker position like he still is a safety with great sideline-to-sideline speed. He is a top 15 talent, but teams may shy away because of his off-the-field problems. But it was Ogletree’s teammate at Georgia, Cornelius Washington, who stuck out to me. Washington ran a 4.55 40-yard dash, while putting up 36 reps at the bench press, seven more than the next person. Florida’s Jon Bostic is another linebacker who caught my eye. He ran a 4.61 40-yard dash and looked very fluid in the shuffling drill, showing good explosion when changing direction. Mayock believes Washington and Bostic had the best days of all the linebackers.



40-Yard Dash
1. Zaviar Gooden, Missouri – 4.47
2. Cornelius Washington, Georgia – 4.55
3. Jon Bostic, Florida – 4.61
4. Jamie Collins, Southern Miss – 4.64
5. Sio Moore, Connecticut – 4.65

Bench Press
1. Cornelius Washington, Georgia – 36
2. Sio Moore, Connecticut - 29
3. Michael Mauti, Penn St. - 28
T-4. Zaviar Gooden, Missouri - 27
T-4. Jelani Jenkins, Florida - 27

Vertical Jump
1. Jamie Collins, Southern Miss – 41.5
2. Cornelius Washington, Georgia – 39.0
3. Sio Moore, Connecticut – 38.0
4. John Lotulelei, UNLV – 35.5
5. Sean Porter, Texas A&M – 35.0

Broad Jump
1. Jamie Collins, Southern Miss – 139.0
2. Zaviar Gooden, Missouri 0 131.0
3. Cornelius Washington, Georgia – 128.0
4. Sio Moore, Connecticut – 127.0
5. Brandon Hepburn – Florida A&M 0 124.0

3-Cone Drill
1. Jamie Collins, Southern Miss – 6.71
2. John Lotulelei, UNLV – 6.91
T-3. Steve Beauharnais, Rutgers – 6.99
T-3. Jon Bostic, Florida – 6.99
5. Jamie Collins, Southern Miss – 7.10

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