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3k's combine combinations, day 3 - D-linemen, LBs

  Oh combine, how I love you so.  You're not really all that important are you?  You are?  Remind me why?  Wait, nevermind.  Let me enjoy just the way you are.

  I start throwing out defensive names after the fold.


Brian Price - DT, UCLA

  I really like Price -- he finished the year very well and moved up my board significantly.  My only concern is his lower body strength.  He's got great technique and wonderful quickness for his size, I just wonder with the endurance issues he's shown whether or not that's a reflection of general stamina or leg strength.

Cam Thomas - DT, North Carolina

  Is he more than a smaller Terrence Cody (DT, Alabama)?  I'm not sure.  Thomas benefitted GREATLY by playing with Marvin Austin (who I'm big on.  Watch him next season; if the Rams take Bradford this year and get a late single digit pick in next year's draft, Marvin Austin becomes a target).  Yes, he won't put up any numbers in the athletic drills, but in his position work, if he can flash some technical improvements, he becomes an honest prospect for teams who miss out on Dan Williams (DT, Tennessee). 

Vince Oghobaase - DT, Duke

  Not a target for the Rams, as he should play DE in a 3-4, Oghobaase could open some things up for the Rams if someone takes a shot on him early on day 3.  He has a long frame that could use some more healthy bulk, so if he shows up in the 315-pound area and flashes some athleticism, he could help push some value down toward the Rams in rounds 4 or 5.


Carlos Dunlap - DE, Florida

  If he doesn't impress everyone in every drill and show up looking great, it will only further his reputation as an underperformer.  He has to wow his audience from start to finish.  Especially behind the scenes.

Corey Wootton - DE, Northwestern

  A hard-working injury-flagged DE, Wootton lacks the athleticism of many of his peers.  He has a James Hall-like career ahead of him.  Where he lands could depend on how he performs in his agility drills.  If he does well, it would suggest he's recovered from his knee injury, an issue that plagued him in college. 

Willie Young - DE, North Carolina St.

  I've still got young just behind Wootton on my big board (which has changed slightly since Jan. 11th); what hasn't changed it how opposite the two are.  Where Wootton plays bulky and powerful, "Slick" Willie is quick and shifty.  I think he could get some name recognition if he performs well in the athleticism drills.

Nawa'akoa Lisiate Foti Analeseanoa Misi - DE, Utah

  If only to force Van to try to pronounce it, Misi slips in here (despite the fact I expect him to move to OLB).  He's a bit of a combo guy -- good bulk, good athleticism, hard worker, above average tools.  He could open some eyes in Indy, but when they look at the tape, they'll be disappointed.  I see him in the 5th round, but an explosive performance could move him to the top of that round, maybe even bottom of the 4th.


Sergio Kindle - OLB, Texas

  Maybe the toughest projection in the draft depending on his measurements.  If he comes in bulked up, his value jumps.  If not, I still see him as a mid to late 1st rounder, but I'm not sure who pulls the trigger.

Navorro Bowman - OLB, Penn St.

  Bowman would do well to impress in the interview portions given his (deserved) reputation.  He's got plenty of off-field baggage to deal with, and while his on-field exploits have been very, very impressive, you can't discount character in the Goodell's NFL.  His agility drills could be vital for his draft stock.

Patrick Angerer - ILB, Iowa

  If nothing else, he has the coolest last name for a MLB in the last decade at least.  A classic Big Ten MLB,, he reminds me of Paul Posluszny more than James Laurinaitis, although he's shorter than both.  His technique is great, but does he have the athleticism to be a 4-3 MLB?  If he performs well to show above average acceleration, I'd say yes.

Thaddeus Gibson - OLB, Ohio St.

  Gibson's the exact kind of prospect that befuddles me when they declare for the NFL.   I love his athleticism and instincts, but I think he still could grow into his frame (which is already NFL-level).  IMO, he's a great prospect if someone's willing to take a shot, but the shot at reward carries plenty of risk (see: Vernon Gholston).

Donald Butler - ILB, Washington

  Butler's got size, power and athleticism, and he progressed wonderfully in his senior year.  He'll need some refinement at the next level, but I like his chances.  He could get the workout warrior tag among MLBs this year.

Micah Johnson - ILB, Kentucky

  He big, real big.  Measurements and power drills, especially lower body drills like broad jump, could help him at least in my eyes.  I think he'd fit better as a powerful weakside ILB in a 3-4, but an impressive showing in the agility drills could push a team to make him their 2011 starting MLB.

Rennie Curran - OLB, Georgia

  Oh, Lil' Rennie.  Can you call somebody the Rudy of a draft without that being an insult?  I'm not sure.  Measurements are key for him.  He might not be more than a situational guy at first, but someone's going to give him a shot around round 4, especially if he runs well.

Jason Worilds - OLB, Virginia Tech

  An undersized, technically unsound DE turned 4-3 OLB with injuries aplenty.  Yeah, not the most glowing assessment, but I'm not high on him.  He's going to need help, but with his size, he could be a powerful SLB option.  Moving to OLB, I'm eager to see him in the agility drills.  Of course if he's hurt all the time, it won't matter much anyway.

One more to go.