2015 NFL Combine: D-Line Recap

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DE Danielle Hunter, LSU (6’5 | 252 | 4.57): Tested near the top in all the athletic drills and showed off a ripped frame. Hunter is very raw and could have used one more year in school, but his athletic upside is obvious and some team will probably draft him much earlier than his tape deserves.

DE Preston Smith, Mississippi St (6’5 | 271 | 4.74): Solid showing for Smith, who ran a little better than expected, tested well, and looked more fluid than expected in the pass rush drills. He didn’t look great in the LB drills, but he’s a prototype 4-3 DE anyway. I had Smith going in the late 3rd before the combine, but he’s in the late 2nd / early 3rd territory now.

DT Xavier Cooper, Washington St (6’3 | 292 | 4.86): I had Cooper ranked higher than most in my DT rankings and he didn’t disappoint. He’s not a burner, but 4.82 is a solid time for a guy pushing 300 pounds and he looked quick in the DL drills. His lack of strength seems to be a common knock, but I don’t see it watching his tape. Could be a mid-round pick for the Bears at the LDE position in Fangio’s scheme.

DE Zach Hodges, Harvard (6’2 | 250 | 4.68): Showed some NFL speed and athleticism which is important for a kid from the Ivy league. His 4.68 40-time was faster than expected and should boost his stock, but Hodges still needs to get stronger to beat NFL tackles.

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DE Anthony Chickillo, Miami (6’3 | 267 | 4.79): This guy has had a great draft season. Chickillo dominated at the EW Shrine Game, had a good showing at the Senior Bowl, and then ran better than expected and looked quick and powerful in the DL drills at the combine. He’s gone from a late day 3 pick to having a decent shot at hearing his name called in the 3rd round.

DE Zach Wagenmann, Montana (6’3 | 247 | 4.82): Ran slower in the 40 than expected, but looked fluid in the DL drills and tied for the 2nd fastest 3-cone time. There are teams (NE, DET) who seem to value the 3-cone as much or more than the 40 when it comes to defensive lineman. Wagonnmen was very productive in college with 37.5 sacks over the last three years and could be a situational pass rusher in the league.

DE Henry Anderson, Stanford (6’6 | 294 | 5.03): Might have had the worst muscle-tone of any of the defensive lineman, but showed surprising quickness with one of the better 10-yard splits (1.63) and 3-cone times (7.2). For a borderline 300 pounder those are excellent marks. Anderson is one of the few pure 5-tech DEs in the draft which should also boost his stock.