Tag:Luke Kuechley
Posted on: February 27, 2012 8:45 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 11:33 am
 

2012 NFL Combine: Monday's winners and losers

Poe looked light for a 348-pound beast. (US Presswire)
By Will Brinson

The media section of the combine is done and we've made our way back from Indy. But that doesn't mean there aren't still judgments to make. On Monday, the defensive linemen and linebackers worked out on the field and, generally speaking, it was a good day for some guys. But not for everyone. Let's examine.

Winners

Dontari Poe: The Memphis defensive lineman's stock is skyrocketing right now. Poe was great in interviews over the weekend, ran a 4.98 40 time, led all defensive linemen with 44 reps on the 225-pound bench and had a respectable 29.5 vertical. A veteran offensive-line coach told our colleage Bruce Feldman that he took plays off, but "has definite first-round talent." Poe was previously considered likely to land in the latter part of the first round, but with the Panthers desperate to improve their run defense and pass rush by plugging a powerful defensive tackle in the middle of their defensive line, Poe's a sneaky candidate for a top-10 pick.

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Melvin Ingram: Ingram's our top outside-linebacker prospect and currently the 16th-overall prospect in the draft. That shouldn't change after his Monday combine workouts. Ingram ran a 4.79 40, benched 28 reps and flashed athleticism with a 34.5 vertical jump and a 109 inch broad jump. Ingram also surprised in his interview portion; we'd spoken with him on the phone and weren't particularly impressed, but he was quite engaging with the media on Saturday. Ingram could quite easily push himself into the top-15 of the draft.

Luke Kuechley: Did you know that last year, the Boston College linebacker had seven games with 15 tackles or more? His lowest output of the season was nine tackles in BC's final game, but he managed to pick up a 45-yard interception for a touchdown. And that was coming after he injured his elbow late in the season against NC State. Keuchley was fantastic at the podium Sunday, and even better on Monday. He ran a 4.58 official 40 time, the third-fastest time for all linebackers. He pressed 225 pounds 27 times. He had the third-highest vertical jump at 27.5 inches. And he had the fifth-highest long jump at 123 inches. If the only knock on Keuchley was his athleticism, what's there to dislike now?

Mychal Kendricks: Kendricks rated as the sixth-best inside linebacker on NFLDraftScout.com's prospect board coming into the combine. His stock got a huge boost as he dominated Monday's combine workouts for linebackers. Kendricks finished first in the broad jump (127 inches), first in the vertical jump (39.5 inches), first in the 40 (4.47) and he also benched 225 pounds 24 times. His workout in Indy could very well make him the third inside linebacker off the board come April, behind only Kuechley and Alabama's Dont'a Hightower.

Nick Perry: The USC defensive end, ranked as the No. 2 DE by NDS, is tagged with the while "one-year wonder" concern and there are also issues with him potentially taking plays off. Before the combine, he was pegged as a potential late first-round pick, but he could climb draft boards between now and April. He was faster than UNC's Quinton Coples in the 40, he benched more reps and he finished with the best measurements of all defensive linemen on both the vertical jump as well as the broad jump. In a weak defensive-end class, Perry could lock himself into the first round with a strong push towards the draft.

Losers

Vontaze Burflict: When listing the weekend winners and losers from the combine, we noted "Arizona State" as a loser. Well, Burflict, the most notable Sun Devil prospect, really separated himself on Monday. And not in a good way: Burflict ran an official 5.09 40 time, which was 12th-slowest among all defensive linemen and linebackers. He was the only linebacker who topped five seconds on the 40, and as Feldman reported Monday, one scout said simply, "I wouldn't touch him." Rob Rang thinks he could be falling to into "third-day" territory for the draft.

Quinton Coples: Coples had a decent 40 time, but he was unimpressive on the broad jump (109 inches), the vertical jump (31.5 inches) and the bench press (just 19 reps). Coples is a guy that's taken heat for his on-field hustle, so seeing him come in to the combine motivated and dominate teams would've been a reason to allay some of those fears. Instead, Coples is proving that this defensive end class simply isn't that impressive.

Michael Brockers: Yesterday, Brockers was the big winner. Then Monday happened, and Brockers just didn't look like the athlete we expected him to be. As Rang noted, Brockers has "plenty of red flags" and looked surprisingly slow during his 40-yard dash, clocking a snail-like 5.36. Brockers joked on Saturday that he's seen his 40 time dip since adding weight, but he never mentioned anything about a 5.3-second range. Expecting him to blow up the workouts with his freaky athleticism, we were prepared to plop him into the No. 9 spot in our next draft to the Panthers. Now, that's much less certain.

Anyone Who Wants Robert Griffin: The Browns, Dolphins and Redskins are the three most popular landing spots for RG3. But the Seahawks and the Chiefs -- and the ever-popular "mystery team" -- are out there as well. In short, with RG3 now gone from Indy, the market is even crazier than it was before he got there. Griffin, in our mind, will go No. 2 overall. There's a 99.5 percent chance, with the only way he doesn't go second being a 0.5 percent chance that the Colts bypass Andrew Luck. And when he does, it's going to cost whoever got there a pile of picks to do so.

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