Previewing The Combine: Offensive and Defensive Line

We hope to see Coples go into straight beast mode

Here is the full list of DE participants;
DE Frank Alexander-Oklahoma
DE Jake Bequette-Arkansas
DE Jamie Blatnick-Oklahoma State
DE Andre Branch-Clemson
DE Quinton Coples-UNC
DE Jack Crawford-Penn St
DE Tyrone Crawford-Boise State
DE Vinny Curry-Marshall
DE Justin Francis-Rutgers
DE Trevor Guyton-Cal
DE Akiem Hicks-Regina
DE Melvin Ingram-South Carolina
DE Bruce Irvin-West Virginia
DE Jamar Jarrett-Arizona State
DE Cam Johnson-UVA
DE Chandler Jones-Syracuse*
DE Ronnell Lewis-Oklahoma*
DE Brandon Lindsey-Pitt
DE Jonathan Massaquoi-Troy*
DE Shea McClellin-Boise State
DE Whitney Mercilus-Illinois*
DE Donte Paige-Moss, UNC*
DE Nick Perry-USC*
DE Derrick Shelby-Utah
DE Jacquies Smith-Missouri
DE Scott Solomon-Rice
DE DeAngelo Tyson-UGA
DE Olivier Vernon-Miami*
*Early Entrant into the 2012 NFL Draft

Here is our estimate at who will be the top workout warriors from the DE position:
40 Yard Dash-Bruce Irvin-4.51
3 Cone Drill-Ronnell Lewis-7.05
Short Shuttle-Melvin Ingram-4.32
Bench Press- DeAngelo Tyson-34

For DE’s the 40 time will be their most highly scrutinized time but for many of these guys the three cone will be just as important. You need to be able to show not just explosion off the line in the 40, but the ability to turn the corner in the three cone.

Some of the DE’s who should really shine during the 40 and 3 Cone Drill are ends like Jack Crawford, Bruce Irvin, Melvin Ingram, Cam Johnson, Chandler Jones, Ronnell Lewis, Nick Perry, and Jonathan Massaquoi.

Two underclassmen we are really curious to get a look at will be Olivier Vernon and Donte Paige-Moss. Vernon had to serve a suspension this year due to his acceptance of illegal benefits from Nevin Shapiro while Donte Paige-Moss was at one time considered to be the next explosive pass rusher but struggled all year long. Vernon will need both a good workout and great team interviews to rehab his struggling draft stock. DPM however will only be able to go through the interview process after tearing his ACL late in the season. DPM then went on a Twitter rant bashing UNC players, coaches, and fans. He will have to explain those actions to teams and convince them he has the maturity to handle himself in the NFL.

For as many people as were down on Coples during his senior year you can almost take it to the bank that he’ll have a good workout during the combine. He’s a good athlete who may not win any of the tests but he should finish consistently in the top half or third of the DE’s.

Opposite of Coples we could see Vinny Curry really struggle in this event. He’s not the most athletic prospect and he may not fair very well in drills that will ask him to change direction a lot like the 3 cone drill.

Two guys to watch will be DeAngelo Tyson and Akiem Hicks. Neither guy is going to blow up the 40 but both are 34 DE prospects who could up big numbers on the bench along with strong 10 yard splits. Both guys are seen as Day 3 picks right now but with the premium put on 34 DL prospects they could see their stock rise with a good combine.

This is our last Combine Preview piece before we get everything set for the workouts and testing. The final set of previews will look at both the LB’s and DB’s in this class. The LB’s will actually get measured and workout with the DL on the 25th and 27th respectively. The DB’s however will get their days all to themselves as they get measured on the 26th and workout on the 28th.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft, DE, DT, NFL Combine, OC, OG, OT

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