Day three of the NFL combine signalled the first opportunity for the defensive hopefuls to impress on the turf of Lucas Oil Stadium.
After the weekend which consisted of offensive workouts, defensive players were put through their paces as NFL coaches and scouts scrutinised their every set.
A very intense evaluation process can enable some players to excel but can also see some falter, this is an evaluation of the winners and losers after day three of the combine.
Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
The clear winner of the day and who else would it be but the incredible talent that is Jadeveon Clowney. Not many players have received the hype that Clowney has but all seems to be warranted as he dominated monday's affairs, specifically with his blazing speed in the 40 yard dash.
The 6 foot 5 defensive end recorded a 4.53 second 40-yard-dash, to put that in perspective, it was what Colin Kaepernick recorded at his combine a couple of seasons ago.
Clowney also went on to post a 37 1/2-inch vertical jump and 10-4 broad jump. Astonishing numbers for a man of his size and it really begs the question of how any team can possibly pass up the availability of Clowney come draft time.
Kahlil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
Mack has been exciting NFL prospect for a long time, he chose to stay in college for an extra season despite a possibility of a first day draft spot last year. That decision has payed of immensely as his stock has risen due to dominating performances throughout the 2013 season.
The top linebacker prospect ranked among the elite in many different categories, here are some of the numbers Mack posted: 4.65 in the 40, 40 inch vertical jump, 10-8 on the broad jump and 4.18 seconds on the 20 yard shuffle run.
Seriously impressive numbers for Mack but his body balance is what has scouts salivating over the big time potential he may have. His explosive, effortless running style coupled with natural pass rush ability has this linebacker high up on many NFL mock boards.
Michael Sam, DE, Missouri
Most of the news on Michael Sam recently has had nothing to do with his on field production, many of the media have concentrated on Sam's recent sexuality admittance.
As expected Sam passed the interview part of the combine with ease, but his display on the turf of Lucas Oil Stadium was disappointing for the defensive end prospect.
He posted a mediocre 40 yard dash time at 4.91 and generally looked rigid in his movements on all the agility based drills. It is expected that his draft stock will fall after his poor combine showing.
Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State
Sutton clocked one of the slowest 40 yard dash times seen at the NFL combine, the big defensive tackle only managed to amass a time of 5.36.
Sutton has admitted to struggling with weight issues, in 2012 he burst onto the scene with an explosive first step in the middle of the defensive line but the following season saw Sutton look sluggish and generally not with the speed of the game.
His combine performance hasn't cleared up any issues that scouts had with the tackle and it becomes even more difficult to make a case for the first round for Sutton.
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