2013 NFL Combine results: Defensive end benchmarks

Joe Robbins

The Seattle Seahawks looked for certain things at defensive end and the Jaguars could follow suit.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be looking for a pass rusher in the 2013 NFL Draft and we're assuming we have an idea of what the team is going to be looking for, as far as the measurables of the player. As I've mentioned before, until we see general manager David Caldwell make some draft picks, we're kind of flying blind.

"He needs the ability to be a great pass rusher. You’re looking for a traditional right end but with great speed and get off. He can be a little bit lighter than most 3-4 defensive ends." -Gus Bradley

We do know that head coach Gus Bradley plans to bring a similar style of defense that he ran in Seattle with the Seahawks, or at least he's seemed to indicate that much. With that being said, we can kind of look at some of the bench marks that Seattle seemed to look for in their defensive ends, based off some study that Danny Kelly of Field Gulls has done and what the Seahawks have used/drafted at the position.

Given that, I've come up with some benchmarks that I think the team may be looking for in their defensive ends, especially at the LEO position. The player will need to have arms measuring at least 33 inches, preferably longer. The player will need to run at least a 1.6 in the 10-yard split in the 40-yard dash, preferably lower. The player will also need to clock a sub 7 and a sub 4.4 in the 3-cone and shuttle drills, respectively.

Unfortunately this table is incomplete because for some reason NFL.com is taking forever to release the results for the defensive line drills, but the Top 10 results scrolled at the bottom of NFL AM this morning, so I am assuming the players who didn't show up in the Top 10 didn't hit the benchmarks.

Here's how the ends that could fit at the LEO at the 2013 NFL combine stacked up to these benchmarks:

Player Arm Length (33"+) 10-yard Split (1.6) 3-cone (7) Shuttle (4.4)
Ezekial Ansah 35.18 1.56 7.11 4.26
Jamie Collins 33.68 1.56 7.1 4.32
Michael Buchanan 34.08 1.59 6.91 4.44
David Bass 33.48 1.67 7.07 4.33
Armonty Bryant 35.68 1.66 7.32 5
Dion Jordan 33.78 1.57 7.02 4.35
Corey Lemonier 34.48 1.57 7.14 4.4
Barkevious Mingo 33.68 1.55 6.84 4.39
Sam Montgomery 33.78 1.64 7.18 4.51
Devin Taylor 36.08 1.6 6.89 4.3
Bjoern Werner 33.28 1.66 7.3 4.4
Nate Williams 34.18 1.67 6.99 4.44
Ty Powell 32.48 1.59 6.98 4.4

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I couldn't include Jarvis Jones, Larentee McCray, Cornelius Washington, Tank Carradine, or Quanterus Smith because they did not run at the combine. There were a couple of other players who didn't run the other drills so I removed them from the table.

The only players who hit all four benchmarks were Barkevious Mingo, who should be in play for the No. 2 overall pick, and Devin Taylor. I was surprised Taylor hit all the marks, because he certainly doesn't play that fast on the football field and is very stiff/upright when rushing the passer. Powell caught my eye in drills yesterday because he looked so fluid on his feet, which makes sense considering he played defensive back for Harding in 2011.

Dion Jordan and Ezekiel Ansah, two other fits at No. 2 overall, just barely missed hitting them all. I'd guess if Ansah wasn't 275 pounds he'd have hit the 3-cone drill benchmark and Jordan was just 0.02 seconds off.

Again, this isn't necessarily a requirement of what either Seattle or Jacksonville look for at the position, but keeping track of it and relating it to who's drafted could eventually point towards more likely candidates going forward. We know nothing about Bradley and Caldwell right now, so finding out a trend would be nice.

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