Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
The combine is finally over, which is probably a good thing since I was starting to hear Rich Eisen and Mike Mayock analyzing my dreams. It was a surprisingly positive combine with fewer players hurting their stock than any recent year I can remember. Perhaps there are reports of failed drug tests and botched interviews still to come, but for the most part more players helped their stock then hurt it.
I’ve already recapped the offensive players which you can read via the links below and today I’m moving on to the defense. I’ll start with a recap of which players helped themselves on Sunday and which didn’t. The D-linemen may have been the most impressive group overall with a number of players securing early first round grades.
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Draft Stock Rising:
There were so many defensive lineman who helped their stock on Sunday that I’m going to leave off the most obvious names and focus on some guys who aren’t getting as much publicity. Guys like Dante Fowler Jr, Randy Gregory, Danny Shelton, Leonard Williams, and especially Vic Beasley all tested better than expected and are in the running for top 10 picks. It’s a really strong year for D-lineman.
DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa, UCLA (6’3 | 267 | 4.62): Is built more like a 4-3 DE but with a blazing 4.62 40-time Odighzuwa may be fast enough to play OLB on passing downs. He also has the strength and versatility to slide inside to DT in sub packages. Odighizuwa is an interesting prospect who could fit a lot of schemes and his 40-time, 39″ vertical and 33 3/4″ arm length give him a ton of upside and a late first / early second round draft grade.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
DE/OLB Eli Harold, Virginia (6’3 | 247 | 4.60): Probably should have been running with the linebackers since Harold will most likely be a 3-4 OLB, but his times would have been near the top in that group as well. Harold had the fastest 10-yard split of any D-lineman (1.56), the 3rd fastest 40-time, and tied for the 2nd fastest time in the 3-cone drill. He showed a quick first step and explosion off the edge and could be in the mix for a spot late in the first round.