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Combine: Five Defensive Players To Note

Posted Feb 20, 2014

On Wednesday, the list of six offensive players to follow at the NFL Scouting Combine was unveiled. Here are five defensive players to keep an eye on once the workouts begin Monday ...

DL Brent Urban, Virginia: The Canadian-born Urban struggled through the 2013 season and much of the Senior Bowl with a nasty ankle injury. Yet when able to play through it he was dominant. Urban, who measured just under 6-foot-7 and 300 pounds in Mobile last month, projects to a number of defensive line positions. If fully healthy, expect him to turn in a monster workout Monday.

LB Chris Borland, Wisconsin: Borland's height of 5-foot-11 usually pushes a linebacker into the draft’s last day. However, his intensity and playing ability are top 45 worthy. Combine medicals, specifically examinations on his surgically repaired left shoulder which kept him on the sidelines for most of the 2010 season, will ultimately decide his fate.

LB Shayne Skov, Stanford: Skov is another who must first pass the medical hurdle then run well during workouts. He shredded his left knee three weeks into the 2011 season, an injury so severe scouts still question the stability of the joint. Speed is another concern and word is Skov may struggle to get under the 4.9-second barrier in the 40-yard dash. 

CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State: Dennard is a shutdown corner with dominant ball skills. His kryptonite is downfield coverage as the feisty defensive back struggles staying step-for-step with opponents vertically. Dennard's 40 time is critical and could cause Dennard’s draft stock to change almost half a round.

S Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois: Ward is a terrific football player and underrated prospect moving towards the 2014 NFL Draft. But is he a great athlete? Most personnel people think the answer is no, but if Ward performs beyond expectations in testing his draft grade will move north. 

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