2011 Scouting Combine Report: Linebackers


As the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine unfolds, I’ll be passing along the rankings of the players that worked out as they relate to Patriots’ needs. Yesterday, I posted the top performers among the defensive linemen, some of which project to play outside linebacker in the Patriots’ 3-4. Sunday, I brought you the top performers among the runningbacks and any Patriots-related news regarding the position. Saturday, I brought you the top performers among the offensive linemen. Monday, the defensive linemen and linebackers ran through the various drills and positional workouts. Linebacker, specifically OLB/pass rusher, is my #1 need for the Pats, so today’s focus will be on the linebacker group as a whole. For a pretty good explanation of the various workout and positional drills, click here. Here are the top performers among the linebackers for the various drills:

40-Yard Dash

  1. Martez Wilson, Illinois – 4.49 sec
  2. Von Miller, Texas A&M – 4.53 sec
  3. Brian Rolle, Ohio State – 4.56 sec
  4. Adrian Moten, Maryland – 4.62 sec
  5. Douglas Hogue, Syracuse – 4.63 sec

Bench Press

  1. Ross Homan, Ohio State – 32 reps
  2. Justin Houston, Georgia – 30 reps
  3. Mark Herzlich, BC – 29 reps
  4. Brian Rolle, Ohio State – 28 reps
  5. Orie Lemon, Oklahoma State – 27 reps

Vertical Jump

  1. Scott Lutrus, Connecticut – 38.0″
  2. Akeem Dent, Georgia – 37.5″
  3. Von Miller, Texas A&M – 37.0″
  4. Justin Houston, Georgia, and Colin McCarthy, Miami – 36.5″
  5. Douglas Hogue, Syracuse – 36.0″

Broad Jump

  1. Von Miller, Texas A&M – 10’6″
  2. Justin Houston, Georgia – 10’5″
  3. Martez Wilson, Illinois – 10’4″
  4. Akeem Dent, Georgia – 10’3″
  5. Douglas Hogue, Syracuse, and Scott Lutrus, Connecticut – 10’1″

3-Cone Drill

  1. Von Miller, Texas A&M, and Mike Mohamed, California – 6.70 sec
  2. Scott Lutrus, Connecticut, and Brian Rolle, Ohio State – 6.89 sec
  3. Colin McCarthy, Miami – 6.93 sec
  4. Justin Houston, Georgia, and Chris White, Mississippi State – 6.95 sec
  5. Nick Bellore, Central Michigan – 6.98 sec

20-Yard Shuttle

  1. Nick Bellore, Central Michigan, and Mike Mohamed, California – 4.00 sec
  2. Von Miller, Texas A&M – 4.06 sec
  3. Scott Lutrus, Connecticut – 4.09 sec
  4. Colin McCarthy, Miami – 4.20 sec
  5. Adrian Moten, Maryland – 4.21 sec

60-Yard Shuttle

  1. Von Miller, Texas A&M – 11.15 sec (Miller set a new best time in this drill for linebackers)
  2. Scott Lutrus, Connecticut, and Mike Mohamed, California – 11.25 sec
  3. Adrian Moten, Maryland – 11.28 sec
  4. Colin McCarthy, Miami – 11.38 sec
  5. Justin Houston, Georgia – 11.46 sec

Patriots-related Linebacker News/Notes

  • As many of you who are New England sports fans know, BC MLB Brian Herzlich had a stellar 2008 season, then was diagnosed with cancer and missed the 2009 season, only to return and start all 13 games this past season. It’s an amazing story of perseverance and an inspiration to those not only fighting the disease, but those who have beaten it and are trying to get their old lives back. You can read about Herzlich’s amazing story, including Tedy Bruschi’s involvement, here and here.
  • Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston talks about Georgia OLB Justin Houston, who actually played in a 3-4 in college. That’s a rarity, as teams have to project most college players to how they may fit into a 3-4 defense. Houston made the switch from DE to OLB in college and played the position last season, so projecting is as big of a concern. Houston’s also gotten decent size, standing at 6’2″ and weighing 270 pounds. While 270 is kind of heavy, it didn’t affect him much because as you can see above, he was a Top Performer in many of the Scouting Combine drills. If he lasts, he could be a target at 28 or 33 for the Pats.
  • ESPN Boston passes along comments from UCLA’s Akeem Ayers, who feels that he can make the transition from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense. Mike Mayock has said in the past that Ayers could be a fit for the Pats with the 17th pick.
  • The consensus best LB in the draft, Texas A&M’s Von Miller, did nothing but help himself working out at the Combine. He was a Top Performer in several categories and will most definitely be the first LB off the board, and that will come in the top 10. Any hopes of  Miller slipping out of the top 10 into a range where the Pats could trade up to snag him is pretty much gone now.

Side note: In my runningbacks report, I passed along the impressive numbers from Alabama WR Julio Jones’ workouts. Jones is reportedly having foot surgery to repair a broken foot. That likely boosted his draft status. Why you ask, when he won’t be able to work out for teams before the draft? Simple: he ran a 4.39 40 with a broken foot, in addition to a Top Performer in most of the other drills. That’s impressive, and he showed that he can be a reliable performer on the field despite an injury.

Later tonight I’ll bring you a report on the corners, my #5 need for the Patriots.