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Monday Combine Results: Looking At The Defensive Tackles

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Feb 27, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Mississippi State defensive lineman Fletcher Cox does footwork drills during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Feb 27, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Mississippi State defensive lineman Fletcher Cox does footwork drills during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

The Green Bay Packers enter the 2012 draft with a top priority: finding a defensive lineman who can rush the quarterback. But I don't want them to pass up a great defensive lineman just because he might not fit the mold of a Cullen Jenkins. The best player available mantra might apply to this position.

As far as the defensive tackles go, Monday's results stood the first round rankings on its head. Entering the combine, the consensus was that LSU's Michael Brockers was a likely top 10 selection, but his combine results were a disaster and he was among the worst defensive linemen in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, and short shuttle. The No. 2 rated defensive tackle, Penn State's Devon Still, had a slow 5.05 40-yard dash time and "struggled throughout his entire workout."

CBS Sports.com had Michigan State's Jerel Worthy as the 24th best player overall, but he "looked out of sorts" and might have pushed himself back to the third round.

As for the risers, no one stood out like Memphis's Dontari Poe. He's a nose tackle, and he doesn't bring a lot as a pass rusher, but his combine results were "other-worldly." A man who's 345 lbs. shouldn't be able to move and run like him. As far as a true passer rusher is concerned, Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox had been mentioned multiple times as a possibility for the Packers, but he established himself as "the best pass rushing defensive tackle" and may have pushed himself up in the first round, and out of their reach. Another guy linked to the Packers was Connecticut's Kendall Reyes, who I wasn't impressed with recently, and he "turned in a complete combine workout" and may have become a solid option with the No. 28 overall pick.