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Workout Warriors: LB

Linebackers and defensive linemen participated Sunday in timing and testing drills as part of the annual evaluation of more than 300 draft-eligible prospects by scouts and coaches from all 32 NFL teams.

There are drills that use easy to understand metrics like how fast a player can run 40 yards in a straight line or how many times he can bench press 225 pounds, and there are also drills designed to reveal a player's agility and change of direction.

NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock said he uses the on-field information gathered at the combine as a cross check. The info can further validate an opinion he's formed by watching game film, or give him cause to review more tape.

Teams most likely take a similar approach when looking at defensive players, assessing traits to consider how many different ways a player can help a unit, and particularly at linebacker, whether or not the player will be a three-down player or come off the field during a sub package.

Tony Villiotti processed numbers to determine which measurable drill was most important to each position for ****. Villiotti looked at players who have started "one full season" and whether or not they were top performers among their position. He divided linebackers according to inside or outside LBs and found a moderate correlation between combine performances and likelihood of becoming a starter.

View photos from Sunday's Scouting Combine workouts.

There wasn't much of a gap between the groups on that metric, but the 20-yard shuttle and 40-yard dash had the strongest correlation for inside linebackers, and the 40-yard dash and vertical jump had the strongest correlation for outside linebackers.


40-yard dash

Vic Beasley (OLB), Clemson, 4.53 seconds
Kwon Alexander (OLB), LSU, 4.55
Stephone Anthony (ILB), Clemson, 4.56
(tied) Bud Dupree (OLB), Kentucky, 4.56
Ben Heeney (ILB), Kansas, 4.59

Bench press

Vic Beasley (OLB), Clemson, 35 reps
Mike Hull (OLB), Penn State, 31
Kyle Emanuel (OLB), North Dakota State, 27
(tied) Denzel Perryman (ILB), Miami, 27
B.J. Dubose (OLB), Louisville, 26
(tied) Bryce Hager (ILB), Baylor, 26
(tied) Davis Tull (OLB), Tennessee-Chattanooga, 26

Vertical jump

Davis Tull (OLB), Tennessee-Chattanooga, 42.5 inches
Bud Dupree (OLB), Kentucky, 42.0
Vic Beasley (OLB), Clemson, 41.0
Benardrick McKinney (ILB), Mississippi State, 40.5
Jordan Hicks (OLB), Texas, 38.0
(tied) Eric Kendricks (ILB), UCLA, 38.0

Broad jump

Bud Dupree (OLB), Kentucky, 11 feet, 6 inches
Davis Tull (OLB), Tennessee-Chattanooga, 11-0
Vic Beasley (OLB), Clemson, 10-10
Randy Gregory (OLB), Nebraska, 10-5
(tied) Zack Hodges (OLB), Harvard, 10-5

3-cone drill

Ben Heeney (ILB), Kansas, 6.68 seconds
Jordan Hicks (OLB), Texas, 6.78
Alani Fua (OLB), BYU, 6.83
Vic Beasley (OLB), Clemson, 6.91
Mike Hull (OLB), Penn State, 6.99
(tied) Shaq Thompson (OLB), Washington, 6.99

20-yard shuttle

Ben Heeney (ILB), Kansas, 4.00 seconds
Stephone Anthony (ILB), Clemson, 4.03
Shaq Thompson (OLB), Washington, 4.08
Vic Beasley, (OLB), Clemson, 4.15
(tied) Alani Fua (OLB), BYU, 4.15
(tied) Jordan Hicks (OLB), Texas, 4.15
(tied) Mike Hull (OLB), Penn State, 4.15
Eli Harold (OLB), Virginia, 4.16

60-yard shuttle

Ben Heeney (ILB), Kansas, 11.06 seconds
Jordan Hicks (OLB), Texas, 11.34
Mike Hull (OLB) Penn State, 11.52
Alani Fua (OLB), BYU, 11.54
Jake Ryan, (OLB), Michigan, 11.65

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