Evan Silva

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NFL Combine Risers

Tuesday, February 26, 2013



7. Oregon LB Dion Jordan -- Some teams use the Combine to create first impressions, before going back to watch tape until April's draft. Clubs of that mindset will be initially smitten with Jordan. At 6-foot-6 1/4, 248, with 33 7/8-inch arms, he has a freaky size-athleticism combo. His 4.60 forty tied for third among defensive linemen, and Jordan ranked third behind only Mingo and Ansah in the ten-yard split (1.57). His 10-foot-2 broad jump was fourth best at the position. Jordan regularly lined up over the slot receiver in Oregon's defense and might be the most pro-ready cover linebacker in the draft. Rotoworld draft guru Josh Norris has likened him to Julian Peterson.

Realistic Landing Spots: Eagles at No. 4, Browns at No. 6, Jets at No. 9.

8. Arkansas RB Knile Davis -- Davis rushed for just 377 yards on 112 carries (3.37 YPC) coming off a major ankle injury in 2012, but some of his measurables indicate he could be a gem. Weighing in at a rocked-up 5-foot-11 3/8 and 227 pounds, Davis ran the second fastest forty time (4.37) and second best ten-yard split (1.49) among running backs in Indy. He also ranked second in bench reps (31) and ninth in the broad jump (10-foot-1). More sobering were Davis' 20-yard shuttle (4.38) and three-cone times (6.96), which ranked 15th-of-24 and 11th-of-23 participants, respectively. Obvious concerns for Davis are his agility, small hands (8 5/8"), and poor production.

Realistic Landing Spots: Titans, Falcons, Cowboys in the fifth round.

9. Arkansas-Pine Bluff OT Terron Armstead -- Armstead set a new Combine record for offensive linemen with a 4.71 forty, and his 1.64 ten-yard split ranked second behind only Lane Johnson. With lengthy 34-inch arms, 6-foot-4 3/4, 306-pound Armstead also repped 225 pounds 31 times on the bench. His 34 1/2-inch vertical leap again paced the O-Line field, and Armstead tied for third in the broad jump at 9-foot-4. Armstead is considered raw coming out of a small school, but NFL teams will be enamored by his untapped potential and rare athleticism at his size.

Realistic Landing Spots: Redskins at No. 51, Dolphins at No. 54, Seahawks at No. 56.

10. SMU DE Margus Hunt -- Hunt is an extremely raw, 26-year-old former track and field junior Olympian. In terms of being a legitimate NFL prospect, he certainly has the workout-wonder part down. A top D-Line performer in essentially every measurable, 6-foot-8, 277-pound Hunt finished third in the forty (4.60), first on the bench (38 reps), seventh in the broad jump (10-foot-1), ninth in the ten-yard split (1.62), and seventh in the vertical leap (34 1/2") among 54 defensive linemen who showed up in Indy. Old, unlikely to contribute as a rookie, and limited to one position (end) in one scheme (3-4) with little to no quality football film, Hunt will likely be targeted as a mid- to late-round project. There was even post-Combine buzz that some clubs prefer Hunt on offense, playing tight end.

Realistic Landing Spots: Chiefs, Browns, 49ers in the sixth round.

11. Mississippi State CB Darius Slay -- Overshadowed by more heralded teammate Johnthan Banks in college, Slay turned heads when he was credited with the fastest forty time among cornerbacks (4.36). Measuring in at 5-foot-11 7/8 and 192 pounds, Slay also produced a 10-foot-4 broad jump, 1.53 ten-yard split, and 6.90 three-cone time. Little known but no slouch, Slay led the Bulldogs in interceptions (5) last season and is a sleeper to be drafted in the top 75.

Realistic Landing Spots: Bucs at No. 73, 49ers at No. 74, Chargers at No. 76.

12. Rice TE Vance McDonald -- McDonald amassed 119 receptions for 1,504 yards and 15 career touchdowns in Rice's spread offense, and he now boasts workout numbers to support his production. At 6-foot-4 1/8 and 267 pounds, McDonald paced his position on the bench with 31 reps despite measuring in with the longest arms (34 3/8") among all tight ends at the Combine. McDonald also ranked fifth in the forty (4.69), sixth in the vertical (33 1/2"), fourth in the broad jump (9-foot-8), and third in the three-cone drill (7.08). McDonald is headed for the second round.

Realistic Landing Spots: Rams at No. 46, Bears at No. 50, Redskins at No. 51.

13. Texas A&M WR Ryan Swope -- Swope was a possession receiver at A&M, averaging 12.4 career yards per catch, but has drawn Eric Decker comparisons during draft season. He helped himself greatly at the Combine with a 4.34 forty, tying Tavon Austin for second fastest by a receiver after weighing in at 6-foot, 205. Swope also showed well with a 37-inch vertical (fifth best among wideouts), 10-foot-5 broad jump (sixth), and 6.76 three-cone time (sixth). Teams will likely recheck Swope's game tape after the performance. He may begin to generate second-day grades.

Realistic Landing Spots: Bills at No. 71, Jets at No. 72, Dolphins at No. 77.

14. Arkansas TE Chris Gragg -- Gragg needed a way to open eyes after an injury-ruined senior year, and he accomplished that in Indy. At 6-foot-2 3/4 and 244 pounds, Gragg paced the tight end field in forty time (4.50), ten-yard split (1.53), and vertical leap (37 1/2"). Only two tight ends were more efficient in the three-cone drill (7.07), and Gragg also showed adequate strength on the bench with 18 reps of 225 with 33 5/8-inch arms. Gragg caught 41 passes as a junior, so he's not entirely without production. The head-turning Combine is very likely to get Gragg drafted.

Realistic Landing Spots: 49ers, Falcons, Redskins in the fifth round.

15. Cal CB Steve Williams -- Not taken especially seriously in draft circles after leaving school a year early, Williams will get noticed off his Combine. The Cal Bears' 2012 Defensive MVP finished tied for first in the vertical leap (40 1/2"), eighth in the broad jump (10-foot-8), and ninth in forty time (4.42) among 54 cornerbacks. Williams was just an honorable mention pick in the Pac 12 as a junior. At a coveted NFL position, he may have vaulted his stock from a UDFA to fourth- or fifth-rounder.

Realistic Landing Spots: Ravens, Steelers, Jaguars in the fifth round.



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Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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