Milliner rose, Moore fell
Los Angeles Times
The biggest winner at the combine was Alabama's Dee Milliner, who ran sizzling times of 4.31 and 4.37 in the 40, cementing his position as the top cornerback in this class. Coming into the combine, there were questions about whether he has elite speed. Answered. The Lions will have a difficult time passing on him with the fifth pick.
At the opposite end is Texas A&M's Damontre Moore, who came in as a top defensive end prospect but ran just one 40 — a lumbering 4.95 — then passed on a second because his hamstrings were tight. He bench pressed 225 pounds only 12 times, half as many as he should have, and might have tumbled out of the top half of the first round. Not a colossal collapse, but not what he was hoping for.
SMU's Hunt dominated
Margus Hunt, an imposing former shot putter from Estonia who blocked 17 kicks at SMU, dominated the NFL scouting combine. The 6-foot-8, 277-pound defensive end from Estonia is a superb athlete: 4.6 in the 40-yard dash, 38 bench press reps. Gets my edge over fellow risers Tavon Austin, Ziggy Ansah, Terron Armstead, Zaviar Gooden, Marquise Goodwin, Darius Slay, Shamarko Thomas, Dee Milliner, Geno Smith, Ryan Swope and Cornelius Washington.
The disappointed look on Ravens coach John Harbaugh's face said it all, shaking his head when ultra-scrutinized Notre Dame middle linebacker Manti Te'o ran his sluggish 4.82, 20th out of 26 linebackers. Te'o raised more questions about his lack of poise. Te'o edges Texas A&M pass rusher Damontre Moore for shakiest combine, as Moore disappointed with 12 reps, 4.95 clocking.
No player helped himself more at the combine than Arkansas Pine-Bluff offensive tackle Terron Armstead. NFL scouts liked what they saw from Armstead during the regular season against lesser competition, and they liked how he stepped up at the East-West game and then the Senior Bowl against the big boys.
And he proved beyond any doubt at the combine that he is the athletic equivalent of any of them with a 4.71 40-yard dash, a 1.68 10-yard split and 31 bench press reps of 225 pounds.
On the flip side, Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore saw his stock fall. Moore managed just 12 reps on the bench press.
Te'o big disappointment
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, the best of an unspectacular group of quarterbacks, solidified his position as a top-10 pick with a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, the fastest at his position, and a big, accurate arm. He won't slide, and might ascend.
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o was the biggest disappointment with his 4.82 40-yard dash time. He didn't do the bench press because of an injury. This all follows getting plowed under the earth in the national title game against Alabama.
Te'o remains a lower first-rounder, but he added to the idea he's more hype than substance.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun