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Hughes showing good athleticism

3/1/2010

Editor's note: All 40-yard dash times listed below are unofficial unless otherwise noted.

Some notes on the hybrid defensive end/outside linebackers dropping into coverage:

• TCU's Jerry Hughes is having an excellent day. He is staying low in his backpedal, is fluid opening his hips and is quick out of breaks. Although he didn't catch the ball well, he doesn't have a lot of experience playing the ball in coverage, so there's reason to be optimistic that his ball skills could improve. The important thing is he's showing that he's more than athletic enough to transition to outside linebacker.

Brandon Lang of Troy was a bit mechanical in his drops and would glance behind himself to see where he was dropping instead of keeping his eyes in the backfield. On the flip side, he's agile and quick enough to go deep when asked to drop into zone coverage, and his technique should improve with time.

• Ohio State's Thaddeus Gibson looked smooth and comfortable dropping into coverage, which came as little surprise given how often he dropped into coverage in college. However, his footwork was a little sloppy during lateral bag work.

Gibson is so explosive that his momentum often carried him past the bag and forced him to gather himself before redirecting. We've seem this on film as well, and Gibson needs to play more under control.

• Florida's Carlos Dunlap ran well on Monday but looked a bit stiff during bag drills, and his feet need work. He's a better fit at defensive end in a base 4-3 scheme than at outside linebacker in a base 3-4 despite having excellent top-end speed for his size.