Combine Changes: Defense

Vontaze Burfict may only be able to point the finger at himself after Indianapolis

Earlier this week we listed out all the changes we made offensively after the combine was over. Now we present to you all the defensive changes. For the most past the changes are small adjustments but a few big changes happened including one player dropping five spots and another changing positions all together.

DE Melvin Ingram-South Carolina

6010, 264 lbs., 31 ½ Arms, 9 5/8 Hands, 28 Reps, 4.66 40, 6.7 3 Cone, 4.03 Shuttle, 33.5” Vertical, 10’3” Broad

Moved from DE to OLB

We are moving Ingram off the DE rankings simply because we don’t feel like he can play DE in the NFL. He’s an exceptional athlete who is fluid in his motion and changes direction extremely well. That is exemplified in both his 3 Cone and Short Shuttle times which ranked near the top for down lineman. We don’t think he’s quite big enough to get off blocks in the NFL and would be better if allowed to stand up and rush the passer.

FULL DE RANKINGS

DT Fletcher Cox-Mississippi State

6040, 298 lbs., 34 ½ Arms, 10 3/8 Hands, 30 Reps, 4.79 40, 7.07 3 Cone, 4.53 Shuttle, 26” Vertical, 8’7” Broad

Moved from #5 DT to #1 DT

No DT has seen more positive movement than Fletcher Cox, a complete unknown coming into this season Cox was dominant in the SEC giving interior OL nightmares trying to block him. He came into Indy with high expectations that he not only met but exceeded. With Michael Brockers struggling Cox seized the opportunity and may have put himself into position to be the first DT taken in April.

DT Dontari Poe-Memphis

6040, 346 lbs., 32 Arms, 9 5/8 Hands, 44 Reps, 4.87 40, 7.9 3 Cone, 4.56 Shuttle, 29.5” Vertical, 8’9” Broad

Moved from #3 DT to #2 DT

Alright anytime you weigh 346 lbs and run the 40 in under 5 seconds we’re impressed. None of us here are anywhere near 346 lbs nor can any of us run the 40 in under or even close to 5 seconds. Poe moved up not only because he had a good combine but also because Brockers did so poorly. Neither player has dominant film and that’s a concern, but not having dominant film and not testing well? Then you have to wonder if the draft status is propped up based on where he played rather than how he played in the case of Brockers.

DT Kendall Reyes-UConn

6040, 299 lbs., 33 ¼ Arms, 9 ½ Hands, 36 Reps, 4.79 40, 7.43 3 Cone, 4.53 Shuttle, 34.5” Vertical, 9’5” Broad

Moved from #18 DT to #13 DT

We honestly are not the biggest fans of Kendall Reyes. We think he flashes plenty of potential but is woefully inconsistent. That’s the reason we rated him so low heading into the combine but in Indy he again showed why we should have him higher. We adjusted his ranking due to a combination of his potential and his workout. He got a big jump because he was already so low on our rankings.

FULL DT RANKINGS

OLB Vontaze Burfict-Arizona State

6010, 248 lbs., 31 ¼ Arms, 9 ¾ Hands, 4.93 40, 30″ Vertical, 8’8″ Broad, DNP Bench, 3 Cone, or Shuttle 

Moved from #5 OLB to #10 OLB

We really just don’t know anymore when it comes to Vontaze Burfict. The guy looks so violent and explosive when he hits people that it almost blinds you to some pretty big flaws. The issue here is that he was supposed to be this uber athletic LB prospect who was going to crush the combine and begin to rebuild his stock. Well that didn’t happen and he’s falling like a rock right now. For a guy who we struggle to project as an ideal fit in any system he had to test well, he didn’t and his draft status is suffering right now. He has one more shot on March 16th to make it better.

FULL OLB RANKINGS

ILB Luke Kuechly-Boston College

6030, 242 lbs., 31 Arms, 9 ¾ Hands, 27 Reps, 4.41 40, DNP 3 Cone, 4.19 Shuttle, 39.5” Vertical, 10’7” Broad

Moved from #3 ILB to #2 ILB

Let us get one thing straight right now, we don’t hate Luke Kuechly. In fact we actually like him a lot we just aren’t sold on him as a 1st Rounder and struggle to see him as an impact ILB in the mold of a Rolando McClain or Patrick Willis. What we did see was a better athlete than his film showed and a guy who appears to be working very hard at his craft. If he can continue to get stronger and help himself in getting off blocks then he has the ability to become the best ILB from this class.

FULL ILB RANKINGS

CB Jamell Fleming-Oklahoma

5105, 206 lbs., 31 ¼ Arms, 9 ½ Hands, 23 Reps, 4.43 40, 6.71 3 Cone, 3.97 Shuttle, 34” Vertical, 10’5” Broad

From #16 CB to #10 CB

Another prospect whose rise has been a long time coming. We held out of Fleming because we had concerns about his size and speed. He never impressed us when we watched him play in Week 1 v. Tulsa but he was consistent in his coverage all year long. He looked smooth in his drills and was really able to separate himself from the pack with his consistent testing.

CB Cliff Harris-Oregon

5111, 175 lbs., 30 1/8 Arms, 8 7/8 Hands, DNP Reps, 4.59 40, 6.81 3 Cone, 4.19 Shuttle, 36” Vertical, 9’9” Broad

From #20 CB to #25 CB

Cliff Harris is known both off and on the field for going fast certainly didn’t look very fast in Indianapolis. His 4.59 40 was the 6th slowest time of any CB and given how badly Harris needed a good combine this was not what we had in mind. We hope Harris interviewed well because with as much football as he missed last year he needed to run much faster. As of right now we aren’t sure he’ll even get drafted.

FULL CB RANKINGS

SAF Jerron McMillion-Maine

5111, 203 lbs., 30 5/8 Arms, 9 3/8 Hands, 17 Reps, 4.42 40, 6.69 3 Cone, 4.22 Shuttle, 36.5” Vertical, 10’ Broad

From #20 SAF to #15 SAF

Jerron McMillion is a player who has been quietly tucked away in the frozen state of Maine. Despite playing in the CAA neither McMillion nor his team got the respect they deserve. With his size and athleticism McMillion projects as a possible demon on the field in the mold of Jarius Byrd. We move McMillion to the fringe of getting drafted as a SAF prospect.

FULL SAF RANKINGS

Tags: 2012 NFL Draft, CB, DE, DT, ILB, NFL Combine, OLB, SAF

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