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Defensive linemen and linebackers took their turn with the media at the scouting combine Saturday. Here were some of the comments that stood out, along with some perspective:
– Marcus Davenport is among the most intriguing pass-rushing prospects in the draft after an impressive career at UTSA, not UTEP. Davenport was asked whether his not playing in a power conference gave him extra motivation. The 6-foot-6 Davenport, who opened some eyes at the Senior Bowl, had 8.5 sacks for the Conference USA school in 2017.
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– North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb likely would have been a first-round pick had he entered the 2017 draft as an underclassman, but he decided to go back for his senior year and finished with 10 sacks for a second consecutive season. Now, he stands a good chance of being the first defensive player selected.
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– It is hard to believe that massive Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea played some quarterback in high school considering his dimensions (6-4, 347), but it’s true. He also spent some time at running back, but he’s got a bright future in the NFL now as a defensive lineman.
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– Boston College’s Harold Landry, who has been described as an edge player, called himself the best pass rusher in this draft class, and he might not be far off in his assessment, particularly based on his 2016 stats. That year, he had 16.5 sacks and 22 tackles for loss, though his numbers dipped to 8.5 tackles for loss and five sacks last season. Landry added to his comment that he realizes he’s not the perfect player, though he likely will get selected within the first three rounds.
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– The LSU defensive end is one of the most intriguing prospect in the draft because he’s got obvious physical attributes, but has dealt with strange weight swings (gains and losses) in college and took a leave of absence last year that he declined to address at the combine. Key’s numbers fell from 11 sacks in 11 games in 2016 to four in eight games last season, though he said he was getting a lot of attention from opposing offenses.