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2013 NFL Combine Recap: Winners and Losers on the Defensive Line

Today we take a look at a few defensive linemen whose draft stocks rose or fell with their experiences at the scouting combine.

UCLA defensive lineman Datone Jones
UCLA defensive lineman Datone Jones

It was a great combine for the defensive linemen in this year's rookie class, and many of these prospects appear headed for greatness in the NFL. For the purposes of this analysis, we looked at only players who project to end or tackle in the Packers' 3-4 system, as we'll save edge rushers for another post.

Stock Up

Margus Hunt, SMU

Hunt is a workout warrior and an incredible but raw physical specimen. He ran a 4.60 forty at about 280 pounds and later posted a combine-leading 38 reps on the bench press. Even at 6'8", his explosion numbers were excellent as well, as he was well above average in both the vertical and broad jumps. He could be this year's Bruce Irvin, in that a team takes him far earlier than his tape would suggest, simply because of his raw physical tools.

Datone Jones, UCLA

As more and more mock drafts project Jones to Green Bay at the 26th pick, I'm getting more excited about the prospect of seeing him line up at defensive end for the Packers. He wasn't quite as impressive as Hunt, but a 4.80 forty at 285 pounds is still quite impressive. He looks every bit the part of a disruptive 3-4 end.

Stock Down

Star Lotulelei, Utah

This entry is through no fault of the player, as Lotulelei was diagnosed with a heart condition at the combine and chose not to work out. He'll instead investigate whether this condition will affect his ability to play football in the future, and his status is very much in question. He went from being a likely top-10 pick to a complete unknown pending the results of more medical tests.