Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Combine Breakdown: Linebackers

Wake Forest’s Aaron Curry might have reaped more benefits from the 2009 NFL Combine than any other player, at any position. Curry left the scouts thinking Rey Maualuga who? Curry ripped off a freakish 4.56 forty time. This was easily the tops amongst linebackers (both outside and in) and was faster than the majority of running backs. Curry also showed off some strength by putting up 25 reps on the bench press which put him eighth amongst linebackers. And to round things out, he also tied for the highest vertical jump.

There were four Big Ten linebackers who competed in this year’s Combine. They were Wisconsin’s Jonathan Casillas and DeAndre Levy along with Ohio State’s James Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman.

It was a ‘ho-hum’ afternoon for the Wisconsin backers (both outside linebackers). The only significant drill that the LB’s competed in was the bench press. Casillas put up a solid 24 reps (good enough for ninth amongst LBs) while Levy only managed 19.

The Buckeye backers faired a little bit better. After being outshined by Laurinaitis for most of his career (by the media) it was Marcus Freeman who was the most impressive of the Big Ten participants. Freeman tied with USC’s Brian Cushing for the most reps on the bench (30) and ran a very solid 4.74 forty yard dash. Freeman also tied with the aforementioned Curry for the best vertical leap. Laurinaitis ran a 4.82 forty and benched 22 repetitions.

My Top Five Linebacker Performers at the Combine:
1. Aaron Curry – Wake Forest
2. Marcus Freeman – Ohio State
3. Jasper Brinkley – South Carolina
4. Brian Cushing - USC
5. Stanley Arnoux – Wake Forest

Photo courtesy of the AP----All stats from nfl.com/combine

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