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2010 NFL Combine - Defensive Losers
Brandon Spikes, Joe Haden & Carlos Dunlap
Brandon Spikes, Joe Haden & Carlos Dunlap
Posted Mar 3, 2010

March 17. That's the Florida Pro Day, and while all eyes will be on Tim Tebow's new throwing motion, three of the defensive stars, Brandon Spikes, Joe Haden, and Carlos Dunlap, will try to boost their reputation after a bad week. They lead the list of the top players who hurt their stock at the Combine.

2010 NFL Combine

The Defensive Losers

- 2010 NFL Combine - Offensive Winners 
- 2010 NFL Combine - Offensive Losers 
- 2010 NFL Combine - Defensive Winners  

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2010 NFL Combine Results
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- DEs | DTs | ILBs | OLBs | Ss | CBs 

Joe Haden, CB Florida
Haden was everyone’s No. 1 corner on the board after a special career as the lockdown, tough-tackling corner for a tremendous Gator defense. On film he’s dynamite, and it could be argued that he was one of college football’s best defensive backs over the last decade.

And then all his great accomplishments flew out the window in less than ten seconds.

This is going to be an interesting draft test case. There’s no questioning that Haden is a great football prospect based on what he was able to do on the field, but after two disastrous 40-yard dashes, running an unofficial 4.57 and then an even more painful 4.58, his stock is plummeting by the moment.

A No. 1, erase the field, lock-down corner has to be a blazer, and it’s going to be hard for anyone to justify a big payday to a No. 2 corner or one with such a big question mark. Not helping the cause were a few stumbles in the quickness drills and a few other less-than-smooth moments throughout, but it’s not all doom and gloom with a Pro Day to make amends and to work his way back into top ten consideration.

Carlos Dunlap, DE Florida
When you have character issues like Dunlap has, and if you’re trying to get a job that will pay you millions of dollars, you do everything possible to not seem like a guy who has a flaky, might-embarrass-the-club streak. Controversial Oregon RB LeGarrette Blount did that, going out of his way to show how his Boise State incident changed him for the positive, while Dunlap, who got suspended for a DUI and was a well-known knucklehead in the Gator program, reportedly did everything wrong when talking to various scouts and general managers and rubbed several people the wrong way.

He measured well, checking in at 6-6 and 277 pounds, ran well enough with a 4.71 40, and wasn’t awful stat-wise in the other drills, but he didn’t look fluid, didn’t cut as smoothly as an elite NFL pass rushing prospect should, and proved that he is almost certainly an end only. The idea of moving to outside linebacker might have been a possibility for some teams, but that’s gone now.

Navorro Bowman, LB Penn State
The ultra-productive Nittany Lion star was originally being talked about as possibly the first outside linebacker taken. On the field, he was a tremendous playmaker who got into the backfield on a regular basis and was the best defensive player on a team full of all-star defenders. But his workout hurt his stock and ended any thoughts that he’ll be taken in the top 15.

To be fair, the knock on him going into Indy was that he might be too small and he might need time to adjust to his new weight. The strength was there with an excellent 26 reps on the bench, and while he satisfied the negatives about him possibly being too weak and too smallish to handle himself physically, it came at the expense of his stiffness and awkwardness. He bulked up to 242 pounds after playing far lighter throughout his career, and he didn’t look like the same athlete in any way running a disappointing 4.72 and lumbering through the quickness drills.

Ole Miss
It wasn’t just Rebel offensive prospects, Jevan Snead and Dexter McCluster, who struggled in Indianapolis; the Ole Miss defensive stars weren’t great, either.

Corner Marshay Green had to make up for his lack of size, measuring in under 5-9 and a mere 180 pounds, by showing premier quickness and speed, and he didn’t do it with a horrendous 4.64 40. Safety Kendrick Lewis had the reputation for being a great athlete, but he looked smallish measuring under six-feet and 198 pounds. He was disastrous in the 40 running a 4.72 and lousy in the weight room with just 16 reps, but he and Green weren’t expected to be sure-thing next-level prospects. DE Greg Hardy is.

The former basketball player has a few knocks on him from durability to off-the-field concerns, but talent and athleticism were supposed to mask the issues. He jumped well with a 35” vertical, but he only came up with 21 reps and ran a 4.87 40. At 6-4 and 281 pounds the time might not seem that bad, but he’s supposed to be an athletic speed rusher with first round potential. Not anymore.

Top SEC Linebackers
Florida’s Brandon Spikes and Alabama’s Rolando McClain might have been three of the most talented linebackers in the nation over the last few years, but they disappointed for various reasons.

McClain, the Butkus Award winner, is the biggest question mark with grumblings and rumors flying around about 40 time concerns. It might be a case of too many people in the sewing circle spewing ideas, but now McClain has gone from a sure-thing first-rounder with peerless leadership skills and a flawless résumé, to a sure-thing first rounder with peerless leadership skills and a flawless résumé who has made his 40 time a big deal after not running due to a hamstring tweak. He measured a solid 6-3 and 254 pounds, and he lifted a just-fine 24 times on the bench, but he needs to be healthy next week for his Pro Day and he has to run well or he could slip a wee bit.

Spikes has the 6-3, 249-pound size, and when he was healthy during the season he was playing at a high level (even though he wasn’t nearly as good as he was as a junior), but the worries about his lack of NFL athleticism have blown up into a full-blown panic attack. He didn’t run the 40, was stunningly unrefined and robotic in the agility drills, and he might quickly fall out of the first round after being projected as a top ten prospect a year ago at this time.