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 than hurt it.
I’ve already recapped the offensive players and defensive linemen which you can read via the links below and today I’m moving on to the linebackers. I’ll start with a recap of which players helped themselves on Sunday and which didn’t.
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Draft Stock Rising:
DE/LB Bud Dupree, Kentucky (6’4 | 269 | 4.56): Answered any lingering questions about whether he had the athleticism to play as a stand up OLB. His 40-time of 4.56, vertical leap of 42″ and broad jump of 11’6″ were all shocking for a guy just a hair under 270 pounds. Those measurements and his fluid performance in the drills give Dupree a shot to crack the top 10 in the draft.
LB Eric Kendricks, UCLA (6’0 | 232 | 4.61): Has the best tape of the inside linebackers in the draft and backed it up with an excellent 40-time (4.61) and solid numbers in the vertical (38″) and broad jump (10’4″). Kendricks also looked quick in the on field drills and proved he has the athleticism to play outside in a 4-3 or inside in a 3-4 scheme.
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LB Stephone Anthony, Clemson (6’3 | 243 | 4.59): His stock has been on the rise all offseason and Anthony is solidly in the 2nd round mix after a surprisingly good combine. He ran one of the fastest 40-times in the LB group and was near the top in the vertical (37″) and broad jump (10’2″) as well. During the field drills he looked like a player who can be a sideline-to-sideline run stopper while holding his own in coverage and his tape backs it up. Like Kendricks, Anthony showed the versatility to play in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme.
LB Ramik Wilson, Gerogia (6’2 | 237 | 4.77): There was nothing special about Wilson’s 40-time but he looked very fluid in the coverage drills and has the versatility to play inside or out and in multiple schemes.
DE/LB Davis Tull, Chattanooga (6’2 | 246 | 4.59): Didn’t run at the combine, but had an impressive 42.5″ vertical and 11′ broad jump. Tull is one of my favorite small school prospects who dominated the Southern Conference for four years, but also played well against Tennessee last season with a sack and 2 TFLs. His strength, speed, and athleticism will determine whether teams think he can make the jump to the NFL and Tull is off to a good start.