The linebackers hit the field as the final group of the day at the NFL Combine on Monday, showing off some impressive speed in front of scouts and team personnel at Lucas Oil Stadium. Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller showed why he’s considered a top-10, if not top-five, pick, posting a blazing 40 time and impressing during the position-specific workouts. Washington’s Mason Foster got in on the act, as well, putting up a solid 40 time as his stock continues to rise.
The backers followed a tough act on Monday, working out after a loaded crop of defensive linemen took the field. The linemen threw down the gauntlet in the 40-yard dash, with Dontay Moch posting the fastest 40 time of the day, better than every linebacker that ran. Speed and size were on display in both the linemen and linebacker groups as players well over 200 pounds flew down the field all morning.
UCLA’s Akeem Ayers, widely seen as the second-best linebacker in the 2011 draft class, posted a time in the high 4.8 to low 4.9 second range, running slower than expected. Still, it’s just a straight-line speed test, and not the end-all-be-all for linebackers, who rely on bursts and angles to get the job done.
Seeing Foster’s time in the mid 4.7 second range is encouraging, though, as he continues to impress in workouts. From the Senior Bowl to Monday’s combine session, Foster has performed well, perhaps bumping him into the third round.