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3 defensive lineman who impressed at the combine

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These defensive lineman turned the heads of coaches and scouts in attendance at the Combine.

NFL Combine - Day 5 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Defensive line is a confounding position for the Cincinnati Bengals heading into the 2017 NFL season. The Bengals have two starting Pro Bowlers in their prime at defensive end and defensive tackle in Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins, respectively. But, the team is struggling to find support at the other two defensive line spots, rendering the unit, as a whole, painfully average.

In theory, Andrew Billings and Will Clarke are expected to be the next in line, once they develop into starting-caliber players. But, the Bengals might not be entirely confident in Billings’ future after he lost his entire rookie season to a torn meniscus. And Clarke is coming along but has developed at a snail’s pace. The Bengals have made it known the team is seeking improvements at defensive end and with 11 draft picks, tackle could be in play, too. The NFL Combine performances of these three players could very well have impacted the Bengals’ thoughts regarding which defensive lineman the team is considering in the draft.

1) Noble Nwachukwu, DE, West Virginia

Prior to the Combine, Nwachukwu was iffy to be drafted at all, by he may have convinced scouts that he is worthy of a late selection. His 40 time of 4.83 seconds, 27 bench reps, 30.5 inch vertical jump, and 110 inch broad jump showed that his measurables are actually better than scouts expected, despite still being relatively undersized to effectively compete at the NFL level. Scouts know that he is serious and determined to make it at the next level, so a solid combine performance is a step in the right direction. The Bengals could consider him with one of their many late picks just to add some competition to the defensive end pool.

2) Al-Quadin Muhammad, DE, Miami

Perhaps one of the more intriguing prospects this year, Muhammad’s elite build, explosion, and experience in multiple systems would likely have placed him into Day 2 or even Day 1 discussions. But, multiple disciplinary issues in college led to suspensions that virtually destroyed his draft stock. He has been cited by the NCAA for fighting with teammates and receiving unsanctioned benefits from a local luxury car company. Due to so many red-flags on his character, he isn’t expected to be drafted at all. But, a relatively solid performance in most drills in the combine and a top 60-yard shuttle time of 12.14 seconds reinforce his athletic and build strengths. Whether or not he is drafted is still up to speculation, but a team in the NFL is bound to give him a chance in undrafted free agency. In theory, the Bengals could pick him up after the draft and end up with the next Vontaze Burfict-story.

3) Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

A player whom the Bengals have already been considering, Derek Barnett impressed in the one area that he really needed to on Sunday. One of the biggest criticisms against the standout defensive end from Tennessee is his questionable ability to change direction, which you would expect from such a large person with a big waist. However, he recorded one of the best times among defensive ends in the 3-cone drill (6.96 seconds), showing that the criticism may not be as serious as once thought. As a result, he may not even last to the Bengals’ No. 9 overall pick. However, if he does, the Bengals would be crazy to not consider him.

Defensive Lineman Combine Results

Player School Height Weight Off. 40 Time Unoff. 40 Time 10-Yd Split Bench 3 Cone Vert Arm
Player School Height Weight Off. 40 Time Unoff. 40 Time 10-Yd Split Bench 3 Cone Vert Arm
Montravius Adams Auburn 6-4 304 4.87 4.88 1.72 22 7.62 29 32 3/4
Jonathan Allen Alabama 6-3 286 5 5 1.74 21 7.49 30 33 5/8
Derek Barnett Tennessee 6-3 259 4.88 4.88 1.7 DNP 6.96 31 32 1/8
Tarell Basham Ohio 6-4 269 4.7 4.7 1.61 15 7.27 31.5 34 1/4
Tashawn Bower LSU 6-5 250 4.82 4.82 1.66 20 7.2 31.5 33 3/8
Caleb Brantley Florida 6-3 307 5.14 5.15 1.78 21 7.66 27 32
Fadol Brown Ole Miss 6-4 273 4.94 4.94 1.72 19 7.24 34 35
Josh Carraway TCU 6-3 242 4.74 4.74 1.71 25 7.2 29.5 34 1/4
Taco Charlton Michigan 6-6 277 4.92 4.92 1.73 25 7.17 33 34 1/4
Chunky Clements Illinois 6-2 301 DNP DNP DNP 23 DNP DNP 32 7/8
Bryan Cox Florida 6-3 265 4.89 4.9 1.74 16 7.36 26.5 33 3/4
Keionta Davis Chattanooga 6-3 271 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 34 1/8
Dylan Donahue West Georgia 6-3 248 4.75 4.76 1.67 26 7.02 29.5 30 1/4
Ken Ekanem Virginia Tech 6-3 257 4.88 4.89 1.68 DNP 7.38 30.5 32
Myles Garrett Texas A&M 6-4 272 4.64 4.64 1.63 33 DNP 41 35 1/4
Ryan Glasgow Michigan 6-3 299 5.13 5.14 1.85 20 7.55 27.5 32 3/4
Davon Godchaux LSU 6-3 310 5.27 5.27 1.84 18 DNP DNP 32 3/8
Daeshon Hall Texas A&M 6-5 266 4.76 4.76 1.67 18 7.03 36 35 5/8
Charles Harris Missouri 6-3 253 4.82 4.82 1.65 21 7.47 32 32 3/8
Trey Hendrickson Florida Atlantic 6-4 266 4.65 4.64 1.59 DNP 7.03 33.5 32
Treyvon Hester Toledo 6-2 300 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 32
Jaleel Johnson Iowa 6-3 316 5.38 5.38 1.92 19 7.64 28 33 1/4
D.J. Jones Ole Miss 6-1 319 5.04 5.04 1.76 25 7.73 28.5 32 1/2
Jarron Jones Notre Dame 6-6 316 5.33 5.34 1.87 22 DNP 20.5 35 1/2
Nazair Jones North Carolina 6-5 304 5.11 5.12 1.81 DNP 7.93 24.5 34 5/8
Tanoh Kpassagnon Villanova 6-7 289 4.83 4.83 1.69 23 7.46 30 35 5/8
Harvey Langi BYU 6-2 251 DNP DNP DNP 23 7 33 32 7/8
Carl Lawson Auburn 6-2 261 4.67 4.68 1.6 35 7.46 33 31 1/2
Jeremiah Ledbetter Arkansas 6-3 280 4.84 4.85 1.72 29 7.55 32.5 34 1/4
Malik McDowell Michigan State 6-6 295 4.85 4.86 1.69 23 7.69 28.5 34 3/4
Takkarist McKinley UCLA 6-2 250 4.59 4.59 1.61 24 7.48 33 34 3/4
Avery Moss Youngstown 6-3 264 4.79 4.8 1.67 14 7.25 32.5 34 1/2
Al-Quadin Muhammad Miami 6-3 253 4.88 4.89 1.73 22 7.25 30.5 33 1/4
Noble Nwachukwu West Virginia 6-1 268 4.83 4.84 1.72 27 DNP 30.5 33 1/8
Ifeadi Odenigbo Northwestern 6-3 258 4.72 4.72 1.66 25 7.26 31.5 32 5/8
Larry Ogunjobi Charlotte 6-3 305 4.97 4.98 1.77 26 7.55 32 32 5/8
Carroll Phillips Illinois 6-3 242 4.64 4.64 1.64 23 7.06 30 33 3/4
Ejuan Price Pittsburgh 5-11 241 4.84 4.84 1.66 20 DNP 31.5 32 3/4
Elijah Qualls Washington 6-1 313 5.13 5.13 1.74 33 7.65 31.5 30 5/8
Haason Reddick Temple 6-1 237 4.52 4.52 1.59 24 7.01 36.5 32 3/4
Derek Rivers Youngstown 6-4 248 4.61 4.61 1.61 30 6.94 35 32 3/4
Isaac Rochell Notre Dame 6-4 280 4.89 4.89 1.72 25 DNP 31.5 32 3/4
Garrett Sickels Penn State 6-3 261 4.9 4.9 1.72 20 7.21 28 32 1/8
Tanzel Smart Tulane 6-1 296 5.24 5.24 1.86 22 7.53 27 32 7/8
Dawuane Smoot Illinois 6-3 264 4.77 4.77 1.68 DNP 7.18 29.5 33 1/4
Pita Taumoepenu Utah 6-1 243 4.67 4.67 1.66 24 6.91 28.5 32 3/8
Vincent Taylor Oklahoma State 6-3 304 5.07 5.07 1.77 26 7.58 28.5 34 3/8
Solomon Thomas Stanford 6-3 273 4.69 4.7 1.66 30 6.95 35 33
Dalvin Tomlinson Alabama 6-3 310 5.19 5.2 1.81 DNP 7.68 27 33 1/2
Stevie Tu'Ikolovatu USC 6-1 331 5.45 5.42 1.72 28 7.83 24.5 33 7/8
Eddie Vanderdoes UCLA 6-3 305 4.99 5 1.7 28 7.69 28.5 33 1/8
Charles Walker Oklahoma 6-2 310 4.96 4.96 1.75 25 7.89 28 33 3/4
Demarcus Walker Florida State 6-4 280 DNP DNP DNP 18 DNP DNP 33
Carlos Watkins Clemson 6-3 309 DNP DNP DNP 25 DNP DNP 34 5/8
Tim Williams Alabama 6-3 244 4.68 4.69 1.64 DNP 7.36 33.5 32 3/4
Jordan Willis Kansas State 6-4 255 4.53 4.53 1.54 24 6.85 39 33 1/2
Deatrich Wise Arkansas 6-5 274 4.92 4.93 1.7 22 7.07 33 35 5/8
Chris Wormley Michigan 6-5 298 DNP DNP DNP 23 DNP DNP 34 1/8