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Options available for 3-4 defenses

3/1/2010

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

Arizona State's Dexter Davis, TCU's Jerry Hughes, Michigan's Brandon Graham and Utah's Koa Misi all played defensive end in college but are expected to move to 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. Base 3-4 teams looking for help at outside linebacker were interested to see how they ran in the 40-yard dash, and none of them disappointed.

Davis (4.56 seconds), Hughes (4.59), Graham (4.69) and Misi (4.69) all are fast enough to play linebacker in the NFL. Those times are unofficial, of course, but it's worth pointing out that the average 40 time for outside linebackers at the 2009 combine was 4.78.

The one down note here is that Graham tweaked his hamstring during his second 40 and will not participate in drills. It should be just a small bump in the road for him, though, because he has had an excellent overall offseason.

Kindle looks impressive

Sergio Kindle of Texas isn't included in the list above because he played a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker role, but he also ran well. He posted a 4.65, and on film, he flashes the fluid hips and burst necessary to drop into coverage at the NFL level.

What to make of Dunlap?

Florida DE/DT Carlos Dunlap's production doesn't always match his natural ability, and there are some character flags that pop up because of work ethic questions and a DUI arrest. On the other hand, Dunlap has excellent upside. He measured 6-foot-5 and 277 pounds, and while he's lighter than we expected, he still has excellent size for an end and is big enough to slide inside in certain schemes and situations. Even more impressive was Dunlap's 4.66 in the 40.