The NFL Scouting Combine got a little defensive Sunday as prospects from the front seven took to the Lucas Oil Stadium turn. This was far and away the best group of NFL hopefuls to perform in Indianapolis as the majority of participants performed better than expected.
DE/OLB Vic Beasley, Clemson: The day belonged to Beasley as the dominant college pass rusher set the bar early this morning. Beasley tipped the scales at 246 pounds, heavier than expected and pushed up 35 reps on the bench press. His other testing marks included a 41-inch vertical jump and a speedy 4.52 in the 40-yard dash, which included a 1.59 10-yard split time. Beasley practiced to that speed in position drills, showing a fluid change of direction and losing no momentum altering his angle of attack in pass rush exercises.
DE Leonard Williams, USC: Williams' testing marks were nothing special (5.02 in the 40, 29.5-inch vertical jump) but his position drills were the stuff of early first-round picks. Williams practiced much faster than his 40 time, displaying great speed and movement skills. He was quick changing direction and showed great power on the bags. His performance will surely give teams at the top of the draft something to think about.
DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa, UCLA: The former Bruin continues to impress NFL decision makers. His marks Sunday included a 40 time in the low 4.6s, 25 reps on the bench (better than expected) and results of 39 inches in the vertical jump and 10-7 inches in the broad jump. Odighizuwa looked good in all the drills even when used at linebacker as he easily moved in reverse and quickly flipped his hips defending the pass.
DE/OLB Randy Gregory, Nebraska: Gregory entered Sunday's workout with high expectations and he did not disappoint. His marks included 4.65 in the 40, 36.5 inches in the vertical jump and 10-5 in the broad jump. Gregory transitioned those numbers into his position drills displaying quick feet in the bag drills, easily changing direction and moving with speed in both a straight line and laterally.
DE Malcom Brown, Texas: Brown solidified himself as a first-round pick after Sunday's showing. He tipped the scales at 319 pounds then timed the 40 in just over five seconds flat, which was a terrific mark. Brown looked equally swift in position drills, displaying lateral quickness, fluid footwork and good speed for a big bodied lineman.
DE Danielle Hunter, LSU: Hunter is flying under the radar and proved Sunday why he's worthy of a top 40 choice. Measuring 6-5 and 252 pounds, Hunter timed in the low 4.5s in the 40, including a 10-yard split of 1.58 seconds. His 25 reps on the bench press were better than expected and Hunter looked athletic in drills, displaying terrific hand punch hitting the bags.
DE Anthony Chickillo, Miami: Chickillo had a solid day, showing well in both testing and position drills. His 40 time clocked in the upper 4.7s, but included a swift 10-yard split of 1.59 seconds. Chickillo also performed well in the vertical jump, touching 34.5 inches. During drills he was quick footed, easily changed direction and showed power hitting the bags.
DT Darius Philon, Arkansas: Many questioned Philon's decision to enter the draft but his workout Sunday should quell that criticism. He weighed in at 298 pounds, bigger than expected and pushed up 26 reps on the bench, a good mark considering concerns about his strength. Philon ran the 40 in five seconds flat and moved well in position drills.
DE/OLB Bud Dupree, Kentucky: Scouts were disappointed when Dupree did not participate in position drills, though it was later announced a leg injury kept him on the sidelines. Despite that, Dupree turned in an Olympian-type performance during testing running the 40 in the mid 4.5s, touching 42 inches in the vertical jump and 11-6 in the broad jump.
LB Stephone Anthony, Clemson: Anthony continues to fly under the radar despite being one of the best inside linebackers in the draft. He was terrific last season at Clemson, turned in a standout performance at the Senior Bowl then capped it off with an outstanding Combine. Anthony timed in the mid 4.5s in the 40 then looked even better during position drills. He displayed a terrific backpedal in coverage drills, showed speed and quickness moving laterally and had no wasted motion. Anthony was applauded by coaches throughout his workout.
DL Ellis McCarthy, UCLA: Eyebrows were raised after McCarthy entered the draft despite playing underwhelming football in 2014. He left the Combine after posting underwhelming results. McCarthy posted a 40 time of 5.25 seconds and completed 25 reps on the bench. The combination of poor speed and strength will push the junior deep into the draft.
LB Denzel Perryman, Miami: Perryman is a terrific football player, yet he measures under 5-11 and could not break 4.8 in the 40. The end result will push Perryman out of the draft's initial 75 picks.