Shaquem Griffin stole the show at the NFL Scouting Combine and may be on the Green Bay Packers radar as a day three pick. But which pass rusher should the Packers be considering at No. 14?
University Texas-San Antonio’s Marcus Davenport showed off his freakishly athletic ability at the combine.
The 6-foot-6, 264-pound hybrid linebacker/defensive end ran the fastest 40-yard dash time for the defensive line group, at 4.58 seconds. He posted the second-best broad jump at 10 feet, four inches.
Davenport completed 22 reps in the 225-bench press and had a vertical jump of 33.5 inches.
According to NFL Research, Davenport’s 2018 combine measurements and numbers were similar to former number one overall pick, Jadeveon Clowney.
In his final year at UTSA he recorded 55 total tackles, 17.5 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, four passes defended, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He was named the 2017 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year award, the first player from UTSA to ever win the accolade.
The former UTSA Roadrunner is considered a raw prospect, but his athleticism, strength and size will have NFL teams intrigued.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has Davenport being selected by the Packers in his post-combine mock draft. NFL Spin Zone and NFL mocks both agree with Miller and believe Davenport will be playing in Green Bay.
Another linebacker that caught Green Bay’s eyes was Boise State’s Leighton Vander Esch.
In his lone season as a starter, he finished the year with 141 tackles, 8.5 tackles for losses, four sacks, four forced fumbles and three interceptions.
Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst noted the Packers are very high on Vander Esch.
He dominated the combine in his position group. Vander Esch finished in the top five in the vertical jump (39.5 inches), broad jump (124.0 inches), three-cone drill (6.88 seconds) and 20-yard shuttle (4.15). At 6-foot-4, 256 pounds he ran a 4.65-second 40-yard dash, a respectable time for his size.
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Pauline was also told the former Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year won’t get passed the Pittsburgh Steelers in round one.
Vander Esch’s has solidified himself as a first-round pick with his performance at the combine. We’ll have to wait until draft day to see how high the Packers really are on the linebacker.
Boston College’s Harold Landry joined a list of NFL playmakers with his 6.88-second 3-cone drill performance.
According to Pro Football Focus, only six defensive linemen of 250-plus pounds were drafted in the first round: DeMarcus Ware, J.J. Watt, David Pollack, Melvin Ingram, Joey Bosa and T.J. Watt.
Landry ran a 4.64-second 40-yard dash, sixth-best in his position group and had the best time in the 20-yard and 60-yard shuffle.
The former Boston College Eagle’s biggest weakness is his lack of size, but he makes up for it with his athleticism and ability to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
Finally, it is impossible to talk about the linebackers at the combine without discussing Shaquem Griffin.
Griffin shocked the football world when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds, the fastest linebacker time since 2006.
It didn’t stop there. The 6-foot-1, 227-pound linebacker, who had his left hand amputated at the age of four, recorded 20 reps on the bench press with a prosthetic connected to his left arm.
The former UCF standout was originally not invited to the combine but now his impressive performance has his stock rising. No, Griffin will not be a first or second round pick. But he may have positioned himself as a third-fifth round selection.
“At the end of the day, if you have one hand or 30 hands, you can do anything you can set your mind to,” Griffin said after his combine performance.
He confirmed the Seattle Seahawks were the only team to have a formal interview with him.
Bottom line is Griffin has inspired many and will continue to do so. He’ll also continue playing football at the next level because he has the skill-set to play a role on an NFL roster.