Moving on at the NFL Scouting Combine, we switch over to the defensive side of the ball. If the Dallas Cowboys do not go with a quarterback at the fourth-overall pick, then it's likely they will go with a defensive player. The next two days are very important.
From NFL.com, a rundown of some of the top-tier defensive linemen showing off on Saturday:
Alabama's A'Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed will certainly garner attention as potential run-stoppers, but scouts will also pay close attention to Louisville's Sheldon Rankins, Louisiana Tech's Vernon Butler and UCLA's Kenny Clark to see if they are worthy of top status.
At defensive end, Ohio State's Joey Bosa, Oregon's DeForest Buckner, Clemson's Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd will command attention as explosive pass rushers. Eastern Kentucky's Noah Spence will also attract interest from scouts looking for dynamic sack artists off the edge.
The linebackers will be showing out too, but potential Cowboys target Myles Jack will not participate as he is still recovering from his knee injury.
The NFL Network will be showing the on-field workouts starting at 9 AM EST and will go all day until 4 PM EST. Later today they will have Combine Primetime from 8 PM EST to 11 PM EST where they will show highlights and recap the days events. You can also stream it at NFL.com.
This is an open thread for discussion of the today's combine action.
The 40-yard dash is the marquee event at the combine. It's kind of like the 100-meters at the Olympics: It's all about speed, explosion and watching skilled athletes run great times. These athletes are timed at 10, 20 and 40-yard intervals. What the scouts are looking for is an explosion from a static start.
The bench press is a test of strength -- 225 pounds, as many reps as the athlete can get. What the NFL scouts are also looking for is endurance. Anybody can do a max one time, but what the bench press tells the pro scouts is how often the athlete frequented his college weight room for the last 3-5 years.
The vertical jump is all about lower-body explosion and power. The athlete stands flat-footed and they measure his reach. It is important to accurately measure the reach, because the differential between the reach and the flag the athlete touches is his vertical jump measurement.
The broad jump is like being in gym class back in junior high school. Basically, it is testing an athlete's lower-body explosion and lower-body strength. The athlete starts out with a stance balanced and then he explodes out as far as he can. It tests explosion and balance, because he has to land without moving.
3 cone drill
The 3 cone drill tests an athlete's ability to change directions at a high speed. Three cones in an L-shape. He starts from the starting line, goes 5 yards to the first cone and back. Then, he turns, runs around the second cone, runs a weave around the third cone, which is the high point of the L, changes directions, comes back around that second cone and finishes.
The short shuttle is the first of the cone drills. It is known as the 5-10-5. What it tests is the athlete's lateral quickness and explosion in short areas. The athlete starts in the three-point stance, explodes out 5 yards to his right, touches the line, goes back 10 yards to his left, left hand touches the line, pivot, and he turns 5 more yards and finishes.