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2015 NFL Scouting Combine: Defensive Line & Linebackers - Stock Report

So, who helped or hurt themselves among the defensive line and linebackers?

Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

We've had a full day of workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine, we have a lot more information on the defensive line and linebacker prospects. What all that information means, and where it fits into the puzzle as a whole is up to the various scouting departments to decide.

But, here's my impressions of how some players may have helped or hurt themselves among the DL and LB's

Defensive Line


Joey Mbu (DT, Houston) - Mbu came in to the combine hoping to make some money as a long, explosive penetrating defensive tackle. While his arms did measure out as long, his lower-body explosiveness did not live up to billing. A 22.5" vertical jump just isn't going to get it done. Not when Jordan Phillips and Danny Shelton are turning in 30" verts.

Leon Orr (DT, Florida) - Orr measured out well with terrific height and length, and turned in a good 40 time and jumps. However he looked particularly stiff in drills. He has the size to be a 2-gap defensive tackle, but the money is in being able to stay on the field regardless of the down and distance.

Za'Darius Smith (DE, Kentucky) - Z Smith is the 'other' defensive end from Kentucky, and he didn't do himself any favors today. His measureables were disappointing and he looked stiff on the field. Smith, however, does have some good tape, including a strong showing at the East-West Shrine Game.

Nate Orchard (OLB, Utah) - Okay, let me explain a bit before folks jump on me: I like Orchard. However, as a linebacking prospect, I have him as a faller. To me he looked stiff and just unnatural in the linebacker drills. However, I thought he looked good as a 4-3 defensive end, and that's where I think his future is. To me, he is a pure 4-3 right defensive end.

Shane Ray (DE/OLB, Missouri) - Ray's workout didn't hurt him, but being unable to work out might. With the work done by Beasley, Folwer, and Dupree did, Ray could have used a strong showing to keep pace.


Vic Beasley (OLB, Clemson) - Beasley worked out with the DL's, but to me he's a 34 rush linebacker. But, he helped himself a ton today. A week ago, everyone was talking about Randy Gregory, Dante Fowler, and Shane Ray as the top edge rushers in the draft. Today, Beasley bulled his way back into top-10 conversation.

Xavier Cooper (DT, Washington St) - Cooper came in to the combine as an unheralded defensive tackle prospect. He made people stand up and take notice with some excellent performances across the board. His measurables were good and his field drills were very smooth.

Lynden Trail (DE/OLB, Norfolk St) - Coming from Norfolk St, there has to be serious questions about how Trail will deal with the jump in competition. Well, after today there aren't any questions about Trail's athleticism. He performed well in the drills and looked smooth on the field, particularly considering his size (6-7, 270).

Owamagbe Odighizuwa (DE - UCLA) - First: That is the last time I will be typing his name out. He will henceforth be known as "Double O". With that said, Double O did a great job today. He measured out well and was tremendous in the drills. He came in to the combine with some concerns about past injuries affecting his movement, but it didn't seem to be an issue today.

Preston Smith (DE, Miss St.) - Smith started checking off boxes as soon as he showed up. He measured out extremely well, then backed that up with solid displays of athleticism in the measurable drills as well as the field drills. He looked unnatural as a linebacker, but as a 4-3 defensive end, he looks like an NFL player.

Kyle Emmanuel (LB, NDST) - It's always fun when somebody nobody's heard of shows up and makes people take notice. Emmanuel was an undersized defensive end in college, but he looks like a linebacker at the next level. He wasn't fast, but his explosive numbers are there and his field work just looks like a linebacker. Also, I know Tom Coughlin's ears perked up when they reported that Emmanuel was practicing drills while everyone else was just watching.

Bud Dupree (DE, Kentucky) - A groin injury kept Dupree from competing in the field drills, but he measured great -- though his arms are a bit short by the Giants' standards -- and blew up the 40 and jumping events. His numbers, 1.6/4.56 second 40, 11'6" broad jump, and a 42 inch vertical, compare very well to 2014 first round pick Jadeveon Clowney's (1.59/4.51 dash, 10'4" broad jump, 37.5" vertical).



Paul Dawson (LB, TCU) - The linebackers were underwhelming as a whole, but Dawson took some serious lumps today. With questions swirling about his commitment and character, Dawson needed to ace the tests. Instead, he tested out only a little better the offensive linemen. His tape is excellent, but if he performed as well in his interviews as he did in the drills, Dawson's stock could take a dramatic tumble.


Shaq Thompson (LB, Washington) - I will respectfully disagree with Mike Mayock on what to call Shaq Thompson. He didn't run as fast as we were expecting, but his quickness and supreme smoothness in the field drills made his athleticism apparent. Thompson didn't need to prove anything, but he certainly confirmed what his tape showed. I also have to give him credit for standing up and declaring himself a linebacker.

Stephone Anthony (ILB, Clemson) - Anthony proved to be one of the most athletic linebackers out there, which is quite an accomplishment for an inside linebacker, and one of the biggest linebackers at that. His measurables are good, and his movement on the field is smooth and natural.

One last thing: I feel I have to give one final "Kudo" to NFL Network's own Mike Mayfunk. Despite all the excellent performances, his had to be the single highlight of the afternoon.