NFL combine day 3: Defensive linemen, linebackers hit the track
Monday was a relatively quiet day for Pac-12 players at the NFL combine, but the best player of the 2014 draft class, Anthony Barr, stood up to the challenge of one of his fellow linebackers.
-- Barr said prior to the combine workouts that he's got a "very realistic" shot at becoming the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft. He'd have to jump the likes of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, among others, to get that honor, but he did a nice job keeping that possibility alive on Monday. It's just that Barr has competition without his own position group. The Bruins linebacker ran a 40-yard dash time of 4.66, a hundreth of a second off Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack's official time. Mack and Barr are both viewed as top-10 picks.
-- Barr, who measured out at 6-5, 255 pounds, had a 34.5 inch vertical leap but struggled on the bench press with just 15 reps of 225 pounds.
-- By running the 40-yard dash in 4.66 seconds, Barr tied with Oregon linebacker Boseko Lokombo for the 10th-best among linebackers. Cal's Khairi Fortt and USC's Devon Kennard ran 4.70 respectively, while Arizona State's Carl Bradford and UCLA's Jordan Zumwalt each ran a 4.76. Stanford linebacker/defensive end Trent Murphy ran a 4.86 40-yard dash.
-- Murphy's teammate, fellow linebacker Shayne Skov, decided not to run on Monday. Utah's Trevor Reilly made the same decision.
-- Zumwalt could be a nice pickup for an NFL team in the middle rounds of the draft. He didn't test off the charts with a 4.76 time in the 40-yard dash and a 33-inch vertical, but that's not why he'll be drafted. He's a gritty dude, and also interesting. The Orange County Register is following him with a series throughtout the linebacker's process of becoming a pro.
-- The big boys also put on their cleats to test out their speed. USC's George Uko, one of the smaller linemen at 269 pounds, ran a 4.99 in the 40-yard dash. The bigger Tenny Palepoi, a Utah Utes prospect, ran 5.10. ASU's Will Sutton ran a 5.36.
-- Sutton's weight gain during his senior season has been his biggest question mark, and according to NFL.com's Bucky Brooks, he will be taking a hit for it. However, Brooks believes Sutton showed his quick feet and agility despite the underwhelming 40-yard dash times, and it was also good to see him discuss his weight issues openly. The Arizona Republic's Kent Somers wrote about Sutton's attempt to drop the pounds.
-- Oregon State's Scott Crichton put up the 14th-best time in the 40-yard dash among all the defensive lineman. He ran a 4.84 time in that event and also ranked sixth among all defensive tackles and ends with a 7.19-second time in the 3-cone drill. UCLA's Cassius Marsh did even better, running through the 3-cone drill in 7.08 seconds.