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NFL DRAFT PREVIEW

NFL Combine 'Best in Show': DT, DE

Mon, Mar 10, 2014

Jadeveon Clowney could be the top pick overall in the NFL Draft on May 8, but nothing is certain. He is clearly the top defensive linemen in this year's draft, but Reese's Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage looks Clowney and all the other top performers from the NFL Combine -- in his 'Best of Show' from Indianapolis.

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

 Aaron Donald     Sr.     Pittsburgh                

He came into the Reese's Senior Bowl in late January with a ton of accolades (Outland, Bednarik, Lombardi and Nagusrki Award winner), but was only thought of as a likely second round choice, maybe a late first-rounder. But after dominating practices at the Senior Bowl, he left Mobile as maybe a mid-first round pick and now after his performance at the NFL Combine, some people are talking about him maybe cracking into the top-10. Aaron Donald has certainly answered the bell at every stop -- his regular season, all-star season, combine season. He's done everthing he can do and now it's just the matter of a team falling in love with him and turning the card in.

 Ra'Shede Hagmenan     Sr.     Minnesota     

Another Senior Bowl attendee. Giant man who is a 5-technique defensive end and a 3-technique defensive tackle. He's a multiple-position defensive lineman who had a very good showing at the Combine. You could hear his name called by the end of the first round.

 Mike Pennel      Sr.      CSU-Pueblo             

Most people probably have never heard of him, but the former Arizona State Sun Devil caught our eye as we were forming our Senior Bowl rosters. The CSU-Pueblo standout did not make our rosters, but he is a giant. He handled his body extremely well in all the position drills at the NFL Combine. He could be a mid-to-late round sleeper.

 Caraun Reid     Sr.     Princeton                  

Came to the Reese's Senior Bowl and got better as the week progressed, finishing the week with two sacks in the game. He did well at the Combine as well, running 4.9 in the 40 and tested well in the on-field position drills, too.

DEFENSIVE ENDS

Jadeveon Clowney     Jr.   South Carolina    

Everyone there expected him to run fast in a straight line and jump high on a vertical line and that's exactly what he did. The question on Jadeveon Clowney is how much lateral change-of-direction does he have in space because there is tape this year where he missed sacks because the quarterback moved and escaped on him. And, number two, will he finish? He did not finish the entire combine. So now he's going to work out at his Pro Day (April 2). He's spectacular in certain aspects of this pre-draft evaluation but there are still question marks in other aspects of the evaluation process.

 Will Clarke     Sr.     West Virginia              

An under-the-radar prospect that really has flashed potential during the season, at the Reese's Senior Bowl and now at the NFL Combine. 

 James Gayle     Sr.      Virginia Tech          

Senior Bowler showed very good athleticism, ran in the 4.6s. Had a nice showing at the Combine.

 Kareem Martin    Sr.     North Carolina       

Another Senior Bowl alum who ran fast, jumped high and tested extremely well, however, the tapes (from the regular season) were not as good as his tests (at the Combine). So, now people are going to have to go back and see what is it that we're missing with Kareem Martin because he certainly has some attributes that will translate to the NFL.