INDIANAPOLIS --- The final two days of the NFL Combine in Indianapolis featured the defensive positions, with the front seven working out Sunday and the secondary positions closing out workouts.
At linebacker, Ohio State's Darron Lee (6'1", 232 pounds) became just the 3rd linebacker since 2012 to run a 4.47 in the 40-yard-dash. Lee was the Defensive MVP of the Sugar Bowl against Alabama two seasons ago as a freshman and has entered the NFL Draft after his redshirt sophomore season.
Lee's athleticism was on full display at the Combine, also logging the highest mark among linebackers in the broad jump at 11'3", three inches more than the next best linebacker. Lee also tied for 6th in the vertical jump, at 35.5 inches. Lee is curently projected in NFL.com mock drafts to go in the first round between picks 11 and 31, possibly making him a candidate for the Colts with the 18th pick at outside linebacker.
2016 Top-10 40-Yard-Dash Times: Linebackers
Darron Lee (Ohio St.) - 4.47
Travis Feeney (Washington) - 4.50
De'Vondre Campbell (Minnesota) - 4.58
Deion Jones (LSU) - 4.59
Leonard Floyd (Georgia) - 4.60
t6. Montese Overton (East Carolina) - 4.61
t6. Stephen Weatherly (Vanderbilt) - 4.61
8. Joshua Perry (Ohio St.) - 4.68
9. B.J. Goodson (Clemson) - 4.69
10. Devante Bond (Oklahoma) - 4.70
At the defensive line positions, Oklahoma's Charles Tapper (DE, 6'3", 271 pounds) posted the best 40 time of 4.59 seconds, but that was the slowest time for the top defensive lineman at the Combine since 2010. Tapper is being projected anywhere from the 3rd round to a day three draft pick.
Projected mid-to-late first round pick Shaq Lawson (DE, 6'3", 269 pounds) ran a 4.70 40-yard-dash but also posted the 2nd fastest time in the 20-yard short shuttle, something former Colts Defensive Coordinator Rick Venturi told us before the Combine is something he really likes to see in defensive players. The question for Lawson is whether he could play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.
Keep an eye out for Florida's Alex McCalister too, who had a top-10 40 time at his position but beat Lawson's 2nd best 20-yard short shuttle time by .21 seconds, a wide margin. That 4.00 mark posted by McCalister in the short shuttle is the fastest by a defensive linemen in the past 11 years, beating Bruce Irvin's time of 4.03 and Frank Clark's 4.05.
McCalister notched 12.5 sacks, despite playing in less than 40% of Florida's defensive snaps. He does have some character concerns, after being suspended twice and dismissed from the team at the end of the year. Depending on those concerns, his Combine performance probably got him drafted, after some projected him as a borderline 7th round pick.
2016 Top-10 40-Yard-Dash Times: Defensive Linemen
Charles Tapper (Oklahoma) - 4.59
Emmanuel Ogbah (Oklahoma St.) - 4.63
Kamalei Correa (Boise St.) - 4.69
Shaq Lawson (Clemson) - 4.70
Matt Judon (Grand Valley St.) - 4.73
Dadi Nicolas (Virginia Tech) - 4.74
Yannick Ngakoue (Maryland) - 4.75
t8. Noah Spence (Eastern Kentucky) - 4.80
t8. Alex McCalister (Florida) - 4.80
10. Anthony Zettel (Penn St.) - 4.81