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SmashMouth 02-28-2013 07:32 AM

Pass rushers: Winners and losers at the NFL Scouting Combine
It's no secret the New Orleans Saints will be looking for defensive playmakers when the 2013 draft begins in April. Before then, many of their scouts and coaches will spend long hours evaluating the talent among this year's defensive end/outside linebacker class.

That process kicked up another notch with the recently concluded NFL Scouting Combine, where the Saints, along with the rest of the NFL, got to interview players and watch them run the 40-yard dash and do some position drills.

Not all of the projected top 20-prospects performed well. Some struggled to post fast times and others had medical issues.

But there were some standout performances that could lead to players moving up the draft board.

Here's a look at the winners and losers among the top pass-rushers at the Combine.


Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU - Ansah is an extremely raw talent, who hadn't even seen a football game until arriving from Ghana for his freshman year in 2008 and didn't play the game until joining the team in 2010. But after a good senior season and a spectacular performance in the Senior Bowl, Ansah may have cemented himself as a top 15 pick with a splendid outing at the Combine. The 6-5, 271-pounder wowed scouts with his 4.63 40-yard dash. He also was solid in drills.

Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU - Mingo's speed and athleticism was one of the biggest reasons he had been considered a top 15 prospect. After arriving at the Combine and measuring 6-4 and 241 pounds, Mingo ran the second-fastest 40 among the defensive ends with a 4.58. He also ranked among the leading defensive ends in the vertical jump (37 inches), broad jump (128) and three-cone drill (6.84), cementing his position as one of the most athletic pass rushers in the draft.

Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon - The 6-6, 248-pound Jordan, who's expected to have surgery this week to repair the torn labrum that he played with for a good portion of the season, took major strides in moving himself into the top half of the first round of the draft. Jordan showcased the athleticism that should make his transition from defensive end to a 3-4 outside linebacker an easy one. Along with running a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash, Jordan also had a 122-inch broad jump and did the 20-yard shuttle in 4.35 seconds.

Margus Hunt, DE, SMU - Originally slated to be taken in the second round, Hunt may have pushed himself into the first round after clearly posting one of the top performances at the Combine. The 6-8, 277-pound Estonian lineman, dazzled scouts by running a 4.6 40-yard dash. He also showed he's strong enough to handle offensive linemen at the point of attack, as he bench pressed 225 pounds and impressive 38 times.


Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M - Moore was extremely productive at Texas A&M, accumulating 26 1/2 sacks in three seasons, including 12 1/2 sacks and 20 tackles for loss last season. All he needed to do to guarantee his name in the top 10 was to put together a solid showing for the scouts and coaches on hand at the Combine. But Moore (6-4, 250) fizzled, running a pedestrian 4.95 seconds in the 40 and managing only 12 reps on the bench press. Unless Moore can improve on his numbers at his Pro Day, he could take a major slide on draft day.

Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State - Like Moore, Werner, the German-born pass rusher, put up stellar numbers last season. But Werner, too, failed to show scouts he had elite athletic ability to make plays in the NFL. At 6-3 and 266 pounds, Werner was expected to post a better 40-yard dash than the 4.83 he recorded. His 31-inch vertical jump and 7.30-second three-cone drill also likely will limit Werner, who was expected to be a top-10 pick, to only those teams using a 4-3 scheme.

Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia - Jones was extremely productive in college, and most scouts considered him to have the talent to transition into a standout NFL player. But Jones, who didn't work out for NFL teams at the Combine, has question marks concerning his spinal stenosis condition, which is a narrowing of the spinal column. Although Jones' medical reports aren't due back for a couple weeks, some teams could decide to pass on Jones, who stills needs to showcase his athleticism at Georgia's Pro Day.

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papz 02-28-2013 07:54 AM

Re: Pass rushers: Winners and losers at the NFL Scouting Combine
I loving they have Moore, Werner, and Jones as "losers". Increases our chances of getting a potential impact rusher. Elite athleticism can be completely overrated if it doesn't translate into production. Vernon Gholston is a perfect example of this. I'm a big fan of Moore... if you watched any A&M football of the past couple of years, he's hard not to like. When I look at down lineman, I look at tackles for loss. It lets us know how well of a job he gets into the backfield... and he's always there.

TheOak 02-28-2013 08:06 AM

Re: Pass rushers: Winners and losers at the NFL Scouting Combine
40 times, bench press, and vertical leap do not always translate to "on the field" football ability.

For d-linemen/LB its not about the 40, its about the 10 yard split and his ability to change direction and anticipate where the ball carrier will be.

Crusader 02-28-2013 08:26 AM

Re: Pass rushers: Winners and losers at the NFL Scouting Combine
I love Werner and would have liked to see him and black and gold but I don't think he would be a great fit for us in a 3-4. He is more of a 4-3 DE imho.

K Major 02-28-2013 09:03 AM

Re: Pass rushers: Winners and losers at the NFL Scouting Combine
I'm still high on the Jarvis Jones kid even with the medical condition/concern. Not sure if he will fall to #15, but if he does .. I'm interested.

Vrillon82 02-28-2013 09:09 AM

Re: Pass rushers: Winners and losers at the NFL Scouting Combine
Call me crazy, But I kind would like to see us get Tyrann Mathieu in the Black and Gold.

I dont think he would be any different than when we had Shockey.

Rugby Saint II 02-28-2013 01:48 PM

Re: Pass rushers: Winners and losers at the NFL Scouting Combine
The more players drop the more interested I become. I am not for drafting a player just because he drops......usually there is a reason for that. We'll just have to trust our scouts...........oh crap, wait a minute let me rethink

vpheughan 02-28-2013 04:21 PM

Re: Pass rushers: Winners and losers at the NFL Scouting Combine
A guy named Margus? Talk about "The House of Shock" Yeah, I'm that old!

jjasso007 02-28-2013 10:23 PM

Re: Pass rushers: Winners and losers at the NFL Scouting Combine
I remember Margus Hunt doing absolutely nothing in the Senior Bowl game and not having a very strong week there as a whole. I'm not sold on him. Combine numbers are one thing, but what you do on a field, in pads, with a man in front of you is another. And, in the Senior Bowl game, he was non-existent.

Dion Jordan played this past season with the labrum injury and could be something special, but I think he just jumped out of our range.

Jarvis Jones, yeah, he's a dominant player and, if he falls to us, he's definitely a potential asset. That kid can flat out play!

hagan714 03-01-2013 09:38 AM

Re: Pass rushers: Winners and losers at the NFL Scouting Combine
Jordan was a loser and that worked well. i like film over workouts

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