If there was one day of the NFL Combine to which Saints fans should pay most attention, it was yesterday as the linebackers and defensive lineman took the field at Lucas Oil Stadium for workouts. We can only assume that with their first pick of the draft, which happens to be late in the second round, the Saints will take a player from one of these two position groups.
While I wasn't able to watch yesterday's workouts live, what with work and all, I did catch the replay and subsequent wall-to-wall coverage last night on NFL Network, then scoured the interwebs for supplemental reading. So which front seven players stood out in Indianapolis and probably won't be available when the Saints are on the clock in the second round? Make the jump for a quick recap of all the NFL Combine action from Monday.
We've got to start this bad boy off talking about defensive tackle Dontari Poe from Memphis. C-USA! C-USA! C-USA! Poe was the big winner and yesterday's media darling. He'd already notched a combine-best 44 reps on the bench press the day prior but for a man of his size (6'4", 346 lbs.) it was Poe's speed that shocked everyone and had the network announcers giggling like school girls. Not only did he run a 4.87 40-yard dash, he impressed analysts with his agility and quickness in drills.
Massive Memphis DT Poe has quickness to go with strength - If the Memphis defensive tackle’s performance at the NFL Scouting Combine is any indication, Poe is going to be a nightmare for offensive linemen in the NFL.
Not be be outdone, however, was Cal inside linebacker Mychal Kenricks, who put on a show of athleticism by not only being the fastest linebacker with a 4.47 40-yard dash but also finishing first among linebackers in the broad jump (127 inches) and the vertical jump (39.5 inches). Huge showing for him.
The award for fastest defensive lineman goes to West Virginia DE Bruce Irvin, who clocked in at a lightning quick 4.50 40-yard dash. Irvin also posted the best 20-yard shuttle time, the best 3-cone drill and the third best measurement in the broad jump among the defensive lineman. A solid overall combine performance.
West Virginia DL Bruce Irvin’s unofficial 40 time is ridiculous - The first "wow" moment of Monday’s defensive line workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine came when the unofficial 40-yard dash time for West Virginia’s Bruce Irvin flashed across the screen.
Two other players that everyone agrees stood out during workouts yesterday were Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly and USC defensive end Nick Perry. Perry had the best broad jump among defensive lineman and was the third fastest, while Kuechly was a top performer among linebackers in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump and 60-yard shuttle.
Oh, I can't forget about defensive end Melvin Ingram from South Carolina. He earned top performing honors in the 40-yard dash, the 3-cone drill, the vertical jump and the 20-yard shuttle while just flat out impressing during position drills. But it doesn't matter, because the Saints have a snowball's chance in hell of grabbing Ingram.
Other names worth mentioning: LB Tank Carder from TCU, DT Kendall Reyes from Connecticut
For further coverage of the defensive lineman and linebackers at the NFL Combine check out the following links and videos:
NFL Videos: Breaking down the LBs -The "NFL Total Access" crew discusses the top performances by the linebackers from Day 3 of the combine.
NFL Videos: DL and LB impressions from Day 3 - Which DL and LB stood out to Michael Lombardi? He gives you his impressions from Monday's work at the combine.
2012 NFL Combine: Monday's winners and losers - CBSSports.com - On Monday, the defensive linemen and linebackers worked out on the field and, generally speaking, it was a good day for some guys. But not for everyone.
NFL.com news: Ingram, Bruce, Poe put on a show; Kuechly remains class at LB - West Virginia DE/OLB Bruce Irvin certainly turned some heads with a blazing 4.50 40-yard dash on Monday. Bucky Brooks highlights the biggest standouts on Day 3 of the NFL Scouting Combine.