The NFL scouting combine concludes Tuesday, but the defensive line and linebackers took their turns under the microscope on Monday. We'll take a look at the defensive line here before moving on to the linebackers later this morning.
Position ranking in parentheses when available.
Sam Acho, Texas
40-yard dash: 4.68 seconds (3)
Vertical jump: 33.5 inches (9)
Three-cone drill: 6.69 seconds (1)
20-yard shuttle: 4.32 seconds (5)
Ugo Chinasa, Oklahoma State
40-yard dash: 4.71 seconds (7)
Broad jump: 9-9 (7)
Three-cone drill: 7.07 seconds (7)
Aldon Smith, Missouri
40-yard dash: 4.78 seconds (10)
Vertical jump: 34 inches (7)
Broad jump: 9-10 (6)
225-pound bench press: 20 reps
Adrian Taylor, Oklahoma
225-pound bench press: 34 reps (3)
Phil Taylor, Baylor
225-pound bench press: 31 reps (6)
A couple of thoughts, notes and observations:
Acho's time in the three-cone drill (4.68 seconds) was the most head-turning number from the group. It was the best mark in the drill by a defensive lineman in six years. Best of all, it came in a drill that has a lot of applications to his position. I was pretty surprised that Acho's agility in the drill put him in that elite class. He's always been fairly light on his feet, but I didn't peg him for a guy who could change directions that skillfully.
One has to put measurements taken in controlled situations in perspective, but of this group, it seems likely that Acho was the only player to make a significant move on any teams' draft boards. Aldon Smith is the only player in the group extremely likely to hear his name in the first round, but it'll be based on his upside, still waiting-to-be-filled-out frame and freshman season at Missouri.