July 28, 2014

Combine Day Three

picby Chris Warner
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OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

Remember When I Was Kind of Down on Connor Barwin? Yeah. Well, if there’s still room on the bandwagon, I’d like a seat. We can even give it a new name, like “The Connor Barwagon.” Barwin excelled in five categories, including the 40-yard dash (as expected) in 4.66 seconds and the 20-yard shuttle (as hoped) in 4.18. As one of the fastest, quickest OLBs at the combine – and listed as a defensive linemen, lest we forget – let the “Is Barwin worth a first-round pick?” talk resume.

Remember When I Was Kind of Into Clay Matthews? Yeah. Still am. Matthews ran a 4.6 40 and clocked in at 4.18 in the shuttle. At only 240, his weight makes him less than ideal for a 3-4 defense, but for a second-round pick he’s worth looking into. Still.

Paul Kruger’s Nightmare: Maybe not that bad, but the Utah end with the ideal OLB size (6-4, 263) ran a 4.84 40 and failed to show the strength expected of him in the bench press. On the positive side, this makes him a mid-Day Two project rather than a late Day One pick with pressure to produce right away.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

The Brinkley Report: It looks like Jasper Brinkley has recovered from his 2007 knee injury. The 6-2, 252-pound stopper ran a 4.72 40 and tossed up 26 reps of 225 pounds. Not shabby at all for a guy projected as a late-rounder.

It’s a Shame About Rey: Right before suffering a hamstring injury, USC alum Rey Maualuga was listed with an unimpressive 4.87 time in his 40 and an even less impressive bench of 23 reps. Questions abound: Did the injury affect the 40? Does athleticism or instincts make a football player? Does Maualuga have enough of the former to complement the latter? Maualuga and James Laurinaitis have something in common (besides clusters of vowels in their surnames), as both put off leaving school to play their senior years. Laurinaitis ran his 40 in the 4.8 range and put up only 22 reps in the bench. The ending of these players’ college careers is looking more and more like the ending to Thelma and Louise. Without the hand-holding.

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