Monday NFL Combine Open Thread – Defensive Linemen, Linebackers


The 2014 NFL Scouting Combine is well underway in Indianapolis and today the defensive linemen and linebackers are all doing their on-the-field drills today. You can view those results at the links below and use this thread to discuss whatever you deem fit. We will be tracking these results throughout the weekend and into next week until the annual underwear olympics are over.

Some 40 times from this morning:

Clarke, William 4.72
Clowney, Jadeveon 4.47
Crichton, Scott 4.78
Donald, Aaron 4.65
Ealy, Kony 4.84
Ellis, Justin 5.15
Enemkpali, Ikemefuna 4.90

2014 NFL Combine Results: Defensive Linemen
2014 NFL Combine Results: Linebackers

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • John

    Does anyone else wonder if Aaron Donald could play 3-4 OLB with that speed?

  • Aric Brown

    Scary fast

  • Asmitty56

    Nah. I’d only really be interested in him if the Steelers were committed to using multiple fronts. Donald would be a scary 3-tech.

  • cp72

    I know he’s not a scheme fit but we might look back on this draft in 5 years and say Aaron Donald was the best defensive player in this class. Clowney will get a GM fired and Donald will help you win championships.

  • Derick L Young

    lol really…

  • Derick L Young

    Honestly I am liking Mike Evans more and more.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Yes! I just tried to post that question on the NFL site but they don’t want any non facebook opinions.

    Has he ever covered a pass?

  • John

    aren’t our D-ends in 3 techniques in the nickel? i just see such a prospect that I want to make it work.

  • Asmitty56

    They do, but then you’re committing to drafting a specialist in the 1st round. I would want the defense to increase their multiple fronts usage in that case. Or just adopt a hybrid defense, they can still use a 4-3 scheme with 3-4 personnel and still be a 3-4 scheme by nature. It would just mean the OLBs have their hand in the dirt rather than standing up, and even then Donald could be the only one that would need to put his hand in the dirt the pass rusher opposite of him could stand up. Then slide him inside at the 3-tech in the nickel.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Honest question… Can Aaron Donald play OLB in our 3-4 defense? How is he different than James Harrison or Lamarr Woodley?

    Donald measures 6’1″, 285 pounds, with 33″ arms. He ran a 4.65 forty with a 1.59 split (unofficial) and benched 35 reps.

    Woodley (combine) measured 6’2″, 266 pounds, with 33″ arms. He ran a 4.74 forty with a 1.65 split and benched 29 reps.

    Harrison (pro day) measured 6’0″, 275 pounds. He ran a 5.01 forty and benched 28 reps.

    If Donald lost 10 pounds he’s 275. That’s basically a clone of these guys. Only Donald is faster, quicker, stronger, arguably better pass rushing technique, and has low leverage to bend the corner and get get under those tall OT’s.

  • SFIC

    Donald & Jernigan are the best interior DLinemen in this draft….yes, both are better than Nix (I don’t care what any of these self proclaimed mock specialists say). Unfortunately, both of them are strictly 43DT’s. Neither would be effective as a 34DE or a 34OLB. They are not edge rushers. They are single gap penetrators like Geno Atkins. Which is a bummer because I really like both of them a lot. They would be wasted in our system just like Hood was. He is a 43DT as well…we thought he could convert to a 34DE…didn’t work.

  • 20Stoney

    Harrison weighed 275? That’s gotta be a misprint, no?

  • shawn

    Anybody think its time to switch back to a 4-3 … only a matter of time before Lebeau goes and seems a lot easier to fill the needs of a 4-3 def … seems we are always picking projects and good players not fitting our scheme … not saying we should switch necessarily just a thought … interested in what people think

  • Matt Manzo

    I would love that! That’s a kind of move and vision I think we’ve been lacking. Don’t feel like we are as imaginative as other teams when it comes to outside the box. We’ve had our moments but I’d like to see more.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    James harrison was never 275 lbs; he also ran a 4.8 at Kent State pro day so this probably is a wrong profile.

    I have flirted with the idea as well; only Donald wouldn’t be an OLB, he’d be a true thumper for us (think Levon Kirkland) and…that’s a good problem to have considering you can’t go wrong with Aaron Donald, Khalil Mack, Dee Ford (already ranked him in top 20, wouldn’t be that much of a reach) I almost actually believe we would go LB in 1st then I remember about the TEs and WRs… unsure whether it is an excellent problem to have lol kind of makes you wish you’d trade away last year 1st for this year, huh?

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I do. 4-3 DT may be his is his “natural” position. But there are advantages with moving him outside too.
    Inside he can get doubled by a OG/OC (each guy weighing 300-320 pounds). Outside he would have more space to use his quickness. I actually think a 6’6″ offensive tackle is a more favorable match up for Donald because they’re so tall and he can get low leverage. Plus he can stunt blitz inside. LeBeau uses that all the time.

    What if our 1st round DE’s actually drew a double team once in a while (like they’re supposed to)? Can you imagine Donald matched up on a TE or RB? He would be literally unblockable.

    I think weighing 285 is going to be a problem for Donald at DT in the NFL. His frame doesn’t look like he can get much bigger. I think he’d be a lot more effective trimming down and dominating leaner guys. He has short quick strides and changes direction well.

    I look at Woodley (in his prime) and see Donald as equal or better.

  • Dr. Funkenstein

    Pretty disappointed to see this entire thread is about a player that doesn’t fit our scheme in the first place.

    For a lineman, I’m gonna cast my vote for Justin Ellis in the 5th round, if he lasts that long.

    I think our best bets for a linebacker, inside or outside, are Mosley in the 1st, Shayne Skov in the 2nd, or Kyle Van Noy in the 3rd.

  • StarSpangledSteeler
  • Addison

    Oh please someone find some dirt or a medical issue on Mack to have him slid to 15. He’s got to be top 5

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Those are same websites that gave Jerome Bettis 250 lbs, Casey Hampton 325 lbs, Big Ben 245 lbs and we all know those weights were generous. Even McLendon is still listed at 285 where he now is 325. Not to take a jab at you but… if that was true, he’d noticably look like a DT already and Harrison rumored to be weighted less because of injuries so you tell me.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Ha i got to admit, after Kevin Colbert trading for Shamarko (he seem to implied that he foreseen this class weaken for the safeties depth) what if we traded away Jarvis Jones’ pick for this year? Crazy thought.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    So where are your links?

  • 243546

    Khalil Mack had a huge day. I think he’s one of the few guys who did help himself a lot. Everyone knows he’s a good player, but he’s also shown that he’s one of the best athletes at the combine. He’s a top 5 pick.

    Ryan Shadier was impressive, even though he didn’t run the 40. 42″ vertical, and was one of the time guys at almost every drill. It also doesn’t hurt that he got his weight up to 237 lbs.

    It’s crazy to say this, but Anthony Barr could last until 15. Lou Spanos was his DC at UCLA, and was a defensive assistant for the Steelers from 1995 to 2009. I wonder what sort of things he has to say about Barr?

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Since I know that you know football’s nuances of the tape, how do you really feel about Jernigan? I think he is raw and doesn’t offer as much potential as people say. I don’t think he was even the best DT on his own team (Edwards).

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Thank you for mentioning Skov who I have rated higher than Mosley. On the other hand, no way Van Noy will be around in the 3rd let alone the 2nd possibly.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    I was just thinking the same about Barr but I am surprised someone had the guts to mention it. Post-Combine risers are usually because of eye-popping measurables, while slight fallers are because of lack thereof despite tape proving they’re good. It happened to JJ, DeCastro, etc. If it happens to Barr, champagne’s on me.

  • Matt Manzo

    This is gonna be a good draft! I can feel it in my bones!

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Cheers to that my friend. Let’s just hope Tomlin doesn’t f— it up especially the late rounders in this deep draft as he has been prone to in the past…

  • SFIC

    I really liked what I saw in him this year. Especially the Bowl game. Even though he has short arms, he uses them like a martial artist. Donald is the same. Great quickness. Stout too. Great punch. Even when guards seen to have position on him I was amazed how he uses his hands to disengage and bull thru the gap. I like him a lot. Both him and Donald are way more consistent to the likes of Hageman too.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    I’m not worried about consistency as long as the ups are many and eye-opening AND the player goes to the right system. I remember a DT many years ago that had a huge label of being “inconsistent” and “taking plays off”, and then he was drafted into a historically good D with lots of vets and no demand to give 100% on every single plays. That player’s name? Haloti Ngata (maybe you’ve heard of him).

    So I think Hageman will be fine if he gets to the right defensive system. He is raw as other high-rankers (Barr, Ealy, heck even JD Clowney). Donald is a beast and I think though his Combine will push him into the 1st round, as I had said a couple months ago, his tape should have done that itself.

  • Matt Manzo

    Yeah. I was thinking that too. We’re getting caught up in the talent available in the 1st 3 rounds, but we have to nail some late rounders too. And I haven’t scouted anyone with a lower round than 5 yet!

  • Bill Dopico

    Levon Kirkland fit. Why not Donald?

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I dont think we should switch to 4/3 i just think we should start bringing in draft/FA guys that already play in 3/4 so that the learning curve can be sooner rather than later and besides seems like more sn more teams college/nfl are morphing into 3/4 so basically we’ll bevin the same boat just on the other foot

  • Dr. Funkenstein

    I’m not necessarily saying it wouldn’t work. I just don’t want to wait until year 4 to get good production out of him. And it kinda does a disservice to the player when he could be on a team where he’s a more natural fit.

  • Dr. Funkenstein

    Yeah man, Skov has that way of always keeping the play in front of him. I’d be all about that guy.

  • shawn

    i have no preference one way or the other … just want new guys on the field faster .. with less development, sure there is always going to be project players that will take a longtime and development is always going to be needed … but 3 years to develop most guys is not compatible with today’s game … get em in early let em make their mistakes and u get benefits 2 fold … u find out pretty fast if they have a future or not (unlike Worilds & kLewis which we lost and will lose because it took so long) and if they are starter material they have gained a lot of ground and are ready to play sooner !

  • shawn

    Check out Dowling WKentucky … supposed to go late … like in the 6th or later … haven’t seen much but from what I’ve seen (he’s a florida kid-transfer) has size speed, frame (6-2, 200 4.4 or so .. ball hawk … Great Hands … Best Hands i have seen on tape and good anticipation .. would like to see more video of him and i will be checking him out at the combine if he’s there

  • Rob

    I think Mack could realistically fall to 11 depending on how these d backs run tomorrow. Maybe we make a move on him if he gets to eleven with the wisenhunt connection. I prefer mack to Barr. He kind of reminds me of Lloyd and Harrison in some ways and I think his game would complement jones better than Barr. However, I’d be just as happy with Barr at 15.

  • Rob

    You know, this is something I never considered, but his measurable are on par with the best lb prospects. I think I like the idea of Donald as buck next to Timmons

  • 243546

    I’m surprised you didn’t go for the obvious comparison, which is Joey Porter. Same size, build, length, and quickness.

  • 243546

    Barr’s 40 time was bad, only because people expected him to run a 4.4 or 4.5. However, he did show up to the combine at 6’5″ 255 lbs, which was bigger than advertised.

    Barr was my dream pick heading into the 2013 season. I love the speed and athleticism. I’ve seen people bag on him because he isn’t a finished product, and has some holes in his game. I think people overlook the fact that he moved to the defensive side of the ball less than two years ago. When you factor in NCAA rules when it comes to the amount of hours players can spend on sports related activities, what Barr has been able to accomplish is awesome. Then to find out that the guy who’s been coaching him for the last two years, also helped develop all of the great Steelers LB’s from the late 90′s, up through Timmons, Woodley, and Harrison? If he’s there at 15, Barr needs to be the pick.

  • Rob

    I agree take Barr at 15 unless you can get Mack. The reason I say that is because barr’s game while a work in progress seems very similar to jones’. I think we need a different flavor on the other side… Now how exactly did we lose this back coach who developed the great 90s backers?

  • cp72

    It’s a much different game. The days of Bettis Eddie George, and Jamal Lewis running the ball 25 times a game are over. Now quarterbacks are slinging the ball 40 to 50 times a game. Levon would be a two down linebacker in today’s game.

  • cp72

    Look out for Ryan Shazier. He didn’t run at the combine but had some crazy numbers in the vert and broad jump (42″ vert 10’10″ broad jump). I watched a handful of OSU games and he was all over place. I initially thought he might be to small but he was 6’1″ 237. That’s almost exactly Farrior’s measurements. You pair him with Timmons on the double A gap blitz that Lebeau likes to run it would be lethal.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I love Van noy, but the Steelers may want to try to find a diamond in the rough. Lokombo? Does anybody have any great ideas for OLB in the 3-5 rounds?

  • Bill Dopico

    LeBeau’s defense hasn’t changed. It relies on the QB being slowed down mentally because he can’t be sure where folks will be or where they are coming from. It wasn’t uncommon to have even Hampton drop into coverage. Last year the lack of experience reduced the element of surprise and bag of tricks, but the DL today is more athletic and versatile than the previous one. Add an ILB that can cover, bull rush, blow up a running play, or stunt and rush from the outside. The zone blitz evolves.
    Kirkland was a two down linebacker during periods of his career. He ran about a 5.0, but was still able to cover RB’s and TE’s. In 1996 he had over 100 tackles, 4 sacks, and four interceptions. The following year he often left the field on third down.

  • Bill Dopico

    Tomlin mess it up?? So now he’s getting blamed ahead of time for doing Colbert’s job? Keeping it simple for you, when it comes to personnel decisions the GM’s primary purpose is signing players, and the HC’s is to decide who makes the team.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Ugh @ how many times I have to explain it. Drafting is done by both the GM and coach. This is a common fact in the NFL. Our drafts started sucking after MT came on board, and Colbert has always been there. Use inductive reasoning on the rest. After all, you’re asking a coach who’s coached DBs and WRs his whole life to make drafting decisions for a team.

  • Bill Dopico

    You don’t have to explain, you need to understand what ‘primary purpose’ means. OF COURSE it is a group effort, and you don’t mention any scout changes, assistant coach changes, or CEO changes since Cowher left. With all due respect, you are basing your, ahem, inductive reasoning on preconceived notions and zilch critical thinking.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    There is no evidence and critical thinking for either argument in this debate! No one can prove who does what in the war room, so inductive reasoning’s all we got. If we don’t win any more SBs until Tomlin is out of office, my predictions of such will remain true (unfortunately and sadly).

  • Bill Dopico

    There are other factors that you don’t consider:
    Tom Modrak is not Jack Butler. Art Rooney II is not Dan Rooney. BLESTO moved from PGH to FLA.
    Chuck Noll is 82, Bill Nunn is 88, and Dan Rooney is 81. Ten years ago they were all major contributors to the club. Check the 2006 media guide, and compare the list of front office changes. You consider one factor, and only one.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Again, drafts’ decisions are done by 1) coach and 2) GM. There’s only 2 factors to consider.

  • Bill Dopico

    You obviously must have last word, so my last response. Your previous post you stated no one knows what goes on in the ‘war room’ and now you have become the all omnipotent knowing what goes on there, and I guess you REALLY believe there are only TWO people in that room. POOF!

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Um, can both things not be correct? No one knows for sure what all the scouts say in the war room to the GM/coach, but it is a known fact that GM and coach make the most important decision?

  • Bill Dopico

    With the Steelers recent decline in draft success there has been a lot of discussion on the message boards about who is ultimately responsible. Can you please shed some light on the Steelers power structure? Who has the loudest voice in the war room? Who makes the final call if there is a disagreement? All teams are structured a little differently. For example in New England the Head Coach has all the authority. In Dallas the Owner/GM makes all the calls. How does it work in Pittsburgh?

    EdB: In the old days, it was Chuck Noll. Since then, it’s been mostly a team effort, worked out long before the draft begins. Dan Rooney once told me if there was a dispute, he would settle it, but he said it rarely happens. He did step in during the first round in 2004 when his people – Bill Cowher and Kevin Colbert – were talking about drafting guard Shawn Andrews of Auburn with the 11th overall pick. Rooney did not order them not to, but he said he steered their conversation back to the quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. The Eagles picked Andrews at No. 16 and he never panned out. Push comes to shove, the GM can make the pick if he and Mike Tomlin do not agree and one of the Rooneys do not overrule.

  • Bill Dopico

    This just happened to be @ online Post Gazette today. I have found Mr. Bouchette to be the most reliable authority on the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Refer to my post in re Noll, Dan Rooney, and Bill Nunn, and get off Tomlin’s back.

  • 243546

    Lou Spanos. He was a defensive assistant with the Steelers, and got offered a job to be the Redskins LB coach from 2009-2011, then left to be the DC at UCLA. Wiz recently hired him to be his LB coach in Tennessee, so there’s a good chance Barr doesn’t make it past the Titans.

  • Matt Manzo

    Did Beau Allen not go to the combine? I don’t see his numbers.

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