02-26-2007, 02:43 PM
The early story at Mondayís on-field workouts involving defensive linemen and linebackers was some very fast 40 times turned in by the LBs. Indeed, unheralded Antwan Barnes of Florida International stopped the clock in 4.40, while Quincy Black of New Mexico clocked 4.42. The LB who made the most money today, though, was probably Patrick Willis of Ole Miss, the top-rated LB is this yearís draft class who likely locked up a mid-first-round selection when he also cracked the 4.50 running the 40 in an official 4.49. Other LBs turning in excellent times in the low to mid-4.5s included MLBs David Harris of Michigan, Hamptonís Justin Durant, Brownís Zak DeOssie and Alabama OLB Juwan Simspon. Meanwhile, the Florida State duo of MLB Buster Davis and OLB Lawrence Timmons posted decent times. Davis, for example, timed at around 4.70 seconds for the 40; while not track speed, thatís a good time for Davis who plays that fast. For his part, OLB Timmons ran in the high 4.5s, again solid enough times for a player who also plays fast. . Penn Stateís Paul Posluszny was also in the ballpark with 40 times in the high 4.6s, but that may not be enough to get Posluszny into the opening round. Same story for Miami OLB Jon Beason who timed in the 4.65 range. In fact, Posluszny was overshadowed, at least in the 40, by his former Nittany Lionsí teammate Tim Shaw who surprised by running in the mid 4.45 range. On the other hand, several LBs posted disappointing times. Michigan OLB Prescott Burgess, for example, timed in only the high 4.8s and looked stiff doing it. Florida OLB Earl Everett also timed close to 4.90, but pulled a hamstring in the process and passed on his second run. Everett, though, looked better in some of the agility drills. Meanwhile, Clemson DE Gaines Adams did nothing to hurt his ranking as the top-rated player at the position in the 2007 draft class when he led all DEs with a 4.64 40 time.Whether thatís enough to propel Adams into the top 5 overall of this yearís draft, however, remains to be seen. Continuing a theme in which smaller school players have done well at this yearís combine, Central Arkansas DE Jacob Ford followed Adams with a 4.65 forty clocking, while Miamiís Baraka Atkins helped himself running around 4.70, while Victor Abiamiri of Notre Dame, another first-day DE posted a borderline 4.80. Texas DE Brian Robison also drew raves from the NFL Network crew for a strong overall day.