NFL Combine 2013: Defensive Line and Linebacker Notes

Sheldon Richardson at the combine - Joe Robbins

we take a look at some of the combine performances from the defensive line and linebacker prospects.

The defensive linemen and linebackers are officially in the books at the combine. While I don't feel a lot of prospects helped or hurt their stock tremendously, there were some notable performances. If you watched any of the combine on Monday, you may have noticed 49ers coaches Jim Tomsula and Jim Leavitt out there helping run drills.

Check out the NFL.com combine tracker for all the drill performance information. Here are some of my thoughts on the day:

Defensive Line:

Margus Hunt, SMU: The Estonian didn't disappoint, running a 4.6 40 (fastest time for a DL) and putting up 38 reps of 225 lbs (most reps). Not only did Hunt have a good forty time, he did well in the other drills. He showed good footwork and good burst off the line. Hunt was one of the stars of Monday. You're going to start hearing about him a lot more. He's strong and agile.

Datone Jones, UCLA: For a big boy, Jones looked like he could move well and appeared to have a good motor. Jones appeared to be in good shape and everything he did was of the powerful and explosive variety. Jones looks like a guy who could play DT and DE. A second round pick or higher, I am more impressed with Jones after Monday's performance.

Sheldon Richardson, Missouri: Richardson had a good day, and for someone who weighs 294lbs, he appeared to have good feet. I didn't see a lot of negatives out of him, as I thought he did everything quite well. Some of the big guys looked to wear down throughout some drills, but Richardson did not. If the 49ers want Richardson they will have to move up in round one.

Richardson met with a lot of teams, and he tweeted a picture of the gear he received from them. Interesting right?

Sharrif Floyd, Florida: I have Floyd going third overall in the draft, and he did nothing to prove me wrong. He's very quick for his size at 297 lbs, and gets off the ball well. Former 49ers player Bryant Young coached Floyd at Florida and it appears he taught him how to play like a Niner. Floyd is going to be the first or second defensive tackle off the board.

Linebackers:

Zaviar Gooden, Missouri: I'd imagine Aldon might be pining for the 49ers to grab Gooden. Gooden's stock rose, running the fastest forty at linebacker (4.47) and the second best long jump (131.0 inches). Gooden can play sideline to sideline as good as any prospect and he will be a 3rd round selection at the very least.

Jamie Collins, Southern Miss: Collins ran a 4.64 forty and had the best vertical jump (41.5 inches). He's a guy nobody was talking about before the combine, but Collins gained their attention. Collins could be a 3-4 outside linebacker. I'll be scouting him in the days to come.

Chase Thomas, Stanford: Chase didn't have a very good day at the combine. He looked a bit slow in drills, as well as his 40 (4.91). Slowness and a bad showing in the bench press (19 reps) isn't a good combination. Thomas' footwork wasn't the best as he also fell in a drill after he stumbled. He didn't help his stock any but I think he's a player who plays better when the pads are on. The Combine isn't an event tailored for a guy like him.

Manti Te'o, Notre Dame: Not that he's on the 49ers draft board, but he's worth a mention because everyone wants to talk about him. To me, Te' o looks average. He ran a 4.82 forty, which isn't a bad time but one that could have been better. He didn't do anything bad in the drills, but nothing to impress either. Te'o didn't participate in the bench press because of a "stinger". I'm just speculating, but the reason he didn't participate is because he would have had a bad showing (20 or less reps). He still may be selected in round one, but I think lesser name players have a lot more upside than Te'o.

Cornelius Washington, Georgia: Washington was impressive and showed he could be a dangerous 3-4 pass rusher. Washington ran a 4.55 forty to go along with a 36 rep bench press performance. Strong and fast, but also raw. Washington will need to work on his coverage. He's a player the 49ers could develop nicely.

Who did you like from Monday? Did you see a defensive lineman or linebacker you feel the 49ers MUST draft?

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