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2012 Combine results: Defensive Line & Linebackers, Steelers prospects

The Defensive Line and Linebackers had their day at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine on Monday.  The Steelers figure to have interest in these groups to help bolster their Middle Linebacking corp and Nose Tackle position in particular.

The standout of the day was by far NT Dontari Poe who went into total beast mode and smoked the combine with ease. Watching the coverage today it was easy to see just how fluid his movements are for a guy that’s 346 lbs. His quick feet and agility were evident in drills like the 3 cone and shuffle. Watching him attack every scenario with authority was impressive to say the least. What guy do you know who’s that big and can run the 40 in 5 seconds? Poe did it with ease on Monday. He is someone the Steelers figure to definitely have interest in but with that performance today he may very well have moved up to a top 15 pick which would be out of the Steelers grasp at 24.  You never know how things will go though as there figures to be significant trading at this years draft especially in the top 15 spots or so. It would be amazing to see him fall into the Steelers laps but it’s not likely at this point. Quite honestly if he does then something is seriously wrong.

Vontaze Burfict had a rough day; after posting a disappointing 40 time of 5.09 he skipped most of the rest of the drills except for the vertical and broad jump.  He was already under scrutiny heading into the combine after Monday’s performance his stock may have fallen more.

Dont’a Hightower is also a player who could move up to a late 1st round pick, and with the Steelers sitting at #24 he figures to be there, at this point. He would be a solid choice to join Dick Lebeau’s defense and be able to fit in and play early in the season. Even if he starts off in a reserve role behind the veterans it’s likely he could work his way into the lineup full time by mid way through the season if things go well. According to Steelers inside Jim Wexell who joined us on the Blitzburgh Radio Podcast tonight, Hightower spoke to about 2 dozen teams at the combine, at least.

Josh Chapman, the NT from Alabama who is still recovering from ACL surgery could still be a 2nd round pick. He said he hopes to start running in the next few weeks and expects to report to training camp on time. He could slip, obviously, due to the injury but if the Steelers were in a position to take a chance on him he could be a gem at a serious bargain.

Here are some highlights of players on the defensive line and linebackers that the Steelers should have interest in. We purposefully left out some of the top picks who won’t be there when the Steelers get their choice; guys like Courtney Upshaw, Whitney Mercilus, and Luke Kuechly. Now that’s not to say that every player on the list below will be available to the Steelers in the first 3 rounds but there’s a good chance at least a few of them will be.


Dontari Poe, DT/NT, Memphis
Height: 6-5. Weight: 346
40 yd. dash –  4.98
Bench Press- 44 reps
Vertical Jump – 29.5
Broad Jump – 105.0
3 cone drill – 7.90
20 yd. shuffle – 4.56

Devon Still, DT/DE, Penn State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 311.
40 yd. dash – 5.08
Bench Press – 26 reps
Vertical Jump – 29.5

Alameda Ta’amu, DT/NT, Washington
Height: 6-3. Weight: 341
40 yd. dash – 5.37
Bench Press – 35 reps
Vertical Jump – 26.0
Broad Jump – 103.0

Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama
Height: 6-4. Weight: 260.
40 yd. dash – 4.68
Vertical Jump – 32.0

Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
40 yd. dash – 5.09
Vertical Jump – 30.0
Broad Jump – 104.0

Audie Cole, ILB, North Carolina State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 248.
40 yd. dash – 4.81
Bench Press – 15
Vertical Jump – 35.0
Broad Jump – 114.0
3 cone drill – 6.96
20 yd. shuffle – 4.29

Nick Perry DE/OLB, USC
Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
40 yd. dash – 4.64
Bench Press – 35
Vertical Jump – 38.5
Broad Jump – 124.0
3 cone drill – 7.25
20 yd. shuffle – 4.66

Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall
Height: 6-3. Weight: 265.
Projected 40 Time: 4.66.
40 yd. dash – 4.98
Vertical Jump – 32.0
Broad Jump – 110.0
3 cone drill – 6.90
20 yd. shuffle – 4.40

Jonathan Massaquoi, OLB/DE, Troy
Height: 6-2. Weight: 250.
40. yd. dash – 4.89
Bench Press – 20
Vertical Jump – 33.5
Broad Jump – 120.0
3 cone drill – 7.38
20 yd. shuffle – 4.53

Jake Bequette, DE/OLB, Arkansas
Height: 6-5. Weight: 264.
40 yd. dash – 4.82
Vertical Jump – 34.0
Broad Jump – 113.0
3 Cone drill – 6.90
20 yd. shuffle 4.07

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