INDIANAPOLIS (AP)Speed continues to be all the rage at the NFL scouting combine.
And on Saturday, it was the defensive players putting on a track meet.
Linebacker Isaiah Simmons completed the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds – matching the time put up the fastest running back in Indianapolis, Jonathan Taylor, and faster than all but six receivers. The 238-pound Simmons, who played at Clemson, likely cemented himself as a top 10 pick in the April draft.
How fast was he? Simmons opted against taking a second attempt.
Only two other linebackers were ran sub-4.5s. Willie Gay Jr., of Mississippi State, posted a 4.46 and Davion Taylor, of Colorado, had a 4.49.
Simmons wasn’t the only one turning heads.
Three defensive linemen finished the 40 with times under 4.70. James Smith-Williams of North Carolina State ran a 4.60, Jabari Zuniga of Florida was clocked at 4.64 and Alton Robinson of Syracuse posted a 4.69.
The bigger linemen were even more impressive.
After weighing in at 308 pounds, Khalil Davis of Nebraska ran a 4.75. Meanwhile, 304-pound Neville Gallimore, the second Canadian to play at Oklahoma, had a 4.79.
Davis also posted the second-best bench press total among defensive linemen, completing 32 reps at 225 pounds. Davon Hamilton of Ohio State and had the top mark for the big men with 33 – the fourth highest total of the week.
Offensive linemen hold the top three spots through the first three days of workouts.
But two potential first-round linebackers appeared to suffer setbacks after running well.
Patrick Queen of LSU pulled up on his second attempt with what appeared to be an injured hamstring after putting a 4.50-second 40 on the board. And Kenneth Murray, of Oklahoma, stopped on his second run after clocking a 4.52. Murray also is believed to have hurt his hamstring.
NFL Network also reported another possible first-round pick, receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. of Colorado, plans to have surgery on the injured core muscle that bothered him all season.
Defensive backs will work out Sunday — the fourth and final day of the combine.
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