Day five of the 2007 NFL Combine saw the defensive players hit the field at the RCA dome, as the linebackers and defensive linemen worked out on Monday.
All eyes were on Gaines Adams to see what he could do; he did not disappoint. Not only did he blaze the 40-yard dash with a 4.64, he looked great in the drills. He even looked great in the linebacker position drills. Adams solidified his place atop the defensive players in this year's draft and barring an unforeseen circumstance, he should be the first defensive player off the board in the 2007 NFL Draft.
Jarvin Moss was also impressive and for all the same reasons. Similar 40-times to Adams, and looked equally adept in the linebacker and defensive line drills. At 6'6" and 250 pounds, Moss might be a tweener, but he also might have guaranteed himself a round one selection with Monday's performance.
Quentin Moses on the other hand did not have a great day. After posting fairly pedestrian times of high 4.8's in the 40-yard dash, Moses also looked ragged in the position drills. He was quite sloppy in the linebacker specific drills, and the buzz is that he may be working himself OUT of the first round.
Just as all eyes were on Adams for the Ends, Alan Branch was the top defensive tackle to watch. While it's sometimes tough to tell the conditioning of a 328 pound lineman, Branch looked out of shape. He ran a 5.10 in the 40 which isn't bad, but he slipped in a few drills and just didn't look sharp. Branch did show good strength throwing up a very respectable 33 reps in the bench press. There's no telling just how much the performance will ultimately hurt Alan's draft stock, but it certainly didn't help when there were scores of great defensive workouts.
Amobi Okoye from Louisville is a defensive tackle that is really garnering some attention. He plays hard, is a great athlete, and will be just 19 years old when he is drafted. He's impressed enough that he may be drafted mid-first round.
Tank Tyler from North Carolina State pounded out 42 repetitions on the bench press to not only lead all defensive tackles, but to lead everyone at the 2007 Combine.
40-times Defensive Linemen
C.J. Ah You
San Diego St.
The linebackers were arguably the most impressive group that has worked out so far at the Combine. There were a lot of eye-opening performances and a few guys really helped their draft stock because of it.
Quincy Black and Antwan Barnes scorched the track with both running low 4.4s in the forty yard dash (4.42 and 4.43 respectively). Black also jumped 41 1/2" in the vertical jump to lead all linebackers and show that he has great explosive power.
There were four other linebackers that clocked in at 4.51 (Justin Durant, Chad Nkang, Tim Shaw and Patrick Willis). Tim Shaw was perhaps the biggest surprise. Shaw has taken a backseat to Paul Poslusny at Penn State, but he really took advantage of his opportunity on Monday and put up good numbers in virtually every event.