LSU defensive end, Barkavious Mingo - USA TODAY Sports
With the Al Davis All-Combine Freak Offensive team named, it's time to honor those who made their mark at this year's combine on the defensive side of the ball.
Al Davis was known for being a man who didn't discriminate... unless you were talking about physical abilities and athleticism. That is what the combine focuses on more than anything. If you showed yourself to be able to physically dominate, you were high on Al's draft board.
So, with that in mind, we name the 2013 Al Davis All-Combine Freak 1st team Defense.
Josh Boyd, DT, Mississippi
The most athletic defensive tackle in this draft. He had the best 3-cone drill among the defensive tackles (7.16) and was 4th in reps on the bench press among all defensive linemen (32).
Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
For a guy pushing 300 pounds to run a sub 4.92 40-yard dash is impressive. He also showed in position drills the kind of technique and footwork that have him now viewed as the top defensive tackle product in this draft.
Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
He surprised many with his 3rd best time in the 40-yard dash (4.60). But he really impressed when he had the most reps in bench press (38) among defensive linemen. That includes defensive tackles. He showed great speed and power to continue to raise his stock.
Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
Mingo has been a bit of a mystery as a prospect. He has been projected from near the top to near the bottom of the first round. His combine performance may have cemented himself as the top 3-4 rush outside linebacker in this draft. He finished 2nd in 40-yard dash (4.58), 2nd in vertical leap (37.0), and had the best broad jump (10'8"). Those showed he had the athletic qualities of a defensive end and his best 3-cone (6.84) showed he has the athleticism to drop into coverage. His footwork in linebacker drills was also very good.
Cornelius Washington, DE/OLB, Georgia
He ran the 2nd fastest 40-yard dash (4.55) among linebackers and that leg strength showed up in his vertical leap (39.0) which was second among linebackers and broad jump which came in 3rd. His 36 reps on the bench press was not only the best among linebackers as this combine but it is tied for the most by a linebacker over the past 8 years. It is also tied for 4th in the 2013 combine at any position (38). This man is a beast.
Zaviar Gooden, OLB, Missouri
Not only did he have the fastest 40-yard dash (4.47) among linebackers in this combine, but he had the fatest time of any linebacker over the past six years. And before you say the 40-yard dash is overrated, he also had the best 3-cone (6.71), best 20-yard shuttle (4.18), and best 60-yard shuttle (11.28). And before you can say he's all speed, he was 4th at his position in reps on the bench press (27) and 2nd in broad jump (10'11"). And before you say position drills are where these players are really judged, he also looked smooth and had good footwork in those as well. He improved his stock tremendously in this combine.
Jon Bostic, ILB, Florida
With questions surrounding many of the inside linebacker products in this draft, Bostic certainly removed any questions about his athleticism. He was by far the most athletic inside linebacker prospect in this year's combine with the 3rd fastest 40-yard dash (4.61) among linebackers, 3rd best 3-cone drill (6.99), and 4th best 20-yard shuttle (4.24). And as we know, for a linebacker, the 3-cone and 20-yard shuttle are very important. In addition to his straight-line speed, in positions drills he showed fantastic lateral movement. He just jumped onto the scene at his position.
Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Right off the top, there isn't a corner in this draft that has the truly elite speed Al Davis likes. The fastest official 40 time was 4.36 by Darius Slary. Trufant's time of 4.38 came in third among corners but .02 of a second isn't much of a drop off. He was also 2nd in 20-yard shuttle. Where Trufant really shined was in position drills. His footwork looked consistently smooth in and out of his breaks and showed very good ball skills . This after a strong performance in the Senior Bowl. If anyone was wondering if Trufant was a first round talent, they needn't wonder any longer.
BW Webb, CB, William and Mary
Speaking of the Senior Bowl, there was a lot of talk about this small school wonder during the week of practices leading up to the game. He showed in his combine workout why he was showing up his big school competition that week by showing up all of them in four different categories. He had the highest vertical leap (40.5), best broad jump (11.0), best 20-yard shuttle (3.84), and best 60-yard shuttle (11.0). If he keeps it up, there will be no shortage of "scholarship offers" coming from the NFL.
SS Earl Wolff, SS, NC State
He proved himself in pretty much every facet of the combine. In the pure speed arena, he posted the 2nd fastest 40-yard dash (4.44) and 20-yard shuttle (4.07) among safeties. He also showed his leg strength and leaping ability by having the best broad jump (11'2") and the 4th highest vertical leap (39.0). In position drills, he showed good overall skills in coverage, ball skills, and run defense.
Eric Reid, FS, LSU
As a free safety, It's important to be able to cover a lot of ground and get up in the air once you get to your destination. Eric Reid showed both when he had the 4th fastest 40-yard dash (4.53), best vertical leap (40.5), and best broad jump (11'2"). Reid had already been considered a round two product and he confirmed he has the athleticism that should translate to the NFL as well.