clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2015 NFL Combine Preview: A strong defensive line group aims to continue stock increase

A strong Senior Bowl week helped Iowa defensive lineman Carl Davis.

Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL Combine kicking off next week in Indianapolis, we continue our look at the prospects attempting to show respective executives and scouts that their team should select them. Today we highlight players at the defensive line position.

First day

Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma

Projected combine measurements (via NFLDraftScout): 6'6", 334 pounds, 5.34 40

If you watch any of Phillips' game with the Sooners, his quick hands that don't allow offensive lineman to latch onto him and his power immediately jump out. Phillips does a great job collapsing pockets for quarterbacks, getting his hand on passes and clogging holes up front. Lining up this past season directly over opposing team's centers, Phillips started all 13 games and recorded 39 tackles (seven for a loss) plus two sacks. Due to a back injury, Phillips played in just four contests in 2013. Some teams will probably run tests to make sure he is fully recovered from the injury and that it's not something that's still giving him trouble.

Second day:

Carl Davis, Iowa

Projected combine measurements: 6'5", 321 pounds, 5.12 40

Davis was one of the many prospects that increased their stock and benefited from a great Senior Bowl week. As a senior with the Hawkeyes, Davis was used mostly as a one-technique, so his numbers won't catch your attention (recorded 36 tackles, two sacks), but if you watched him during the week of practice in Mobile, Ala. he used his quickness and power to get leverage and was pretty much unblockable.. The same can be noticed on film. When the college football season ended, Davis was seen as more of a later-round guy, but if he tests well in Indy, he certainly has a chance to move in the late first or second.

Third day:

Joey Mbu, Houston

Projected combine measurements: 6'3", 315 pounds, 5.19 40

For his build, Mbu has a pretty strong lower frame along with long arms that make him a pretty good run-stuffing prospect. He led Houston's defensive tackles in stops the past two seasons, and during the 2014 season, Mbu recorded 31 tackles (4.5 for a loss) for the Cougars. But for his college career, he's only recorded four sacks, which shows his limitations as a pass-rushing threat. There are also concerns about his conditioning and weight (he once weighted 350 pounds).


Xavier Williams, Northern Iowa

Projected combine measurements: 6'2", 325 pounds, 5.18 40

A small school prospect who was born and raised in Kansas City, Mo., Williams created some buzz at practice for the 2015 Shrine Game.  Williams still needs to get a bit stronger--especially as a one-tech--but he has good feet and really long arms that help him get a hand on offensive lineman.