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Five defensive players ready to blow up at the 2019 NFL Combine

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These players, including some in positions of need for the Buffalo Bills, could exit the combine as draft risers

With the 2019 NFL Combine fast approaching and about to dominate NFL Draft discussion later this week, Buffalo Bills scouts and scouting directors are about to descend on Indianapolis with measurement sticks and stopwatches in hand. Before it all begins, here are some defensive participants that analysts and scouts will be buzzing about and talking up once the combine is over.


DT Renell Wren (Arizona State)

Wren’s a freak not just because of his strength and size, but because of his elite-level burst. Reportedly a gym rat, Wren will of course be declared an early winner during the measurement portion of the combine. However, he’s also going to be among the top players at his position in the weight-lifting portions as well as the on-field drills. Being able to bench 315 pounds 11 times bodes well for his chances.

ER Brian Burns (Florida State)

A thin but long-limbed edge player, Burns doesn’t have the straight-line speed of Leonard Floyd, but his flexibility and lateral quickness is off the charts. If you’re looking for a defender who will test well in the three-cone or shuttle drills, Burns is your man. Some analysts have Burns slated for the top ten, and a dominant performance in Indianapolis may ensure that he’s actually drafted there.

LB Terrill Hanks (New Mexico State)

It’s not surprising that Hanks can run so well, given his history as a former defensive back. What he lacks in size and strength, he makes up for in sideline-to-sideline range and elite coverage ability. He should be expected to run around a 4.5 40-yard dash, similar to Jerome Baker or Lorenzo Carter from last year.

DT Daylon Mack (Texas A&M)

A former five-star recruit, Mack never lived up to his massive athletic potential at Texas A&M. As was the case during the Senior Bowl, Mack is out to remind teams of his potential. A 320-pound nose tackle, Mack’s strength at the point of attack is unrivaled. A player of that size won’t necessarily win every combine event, but he’ll be one of the few prospects able to outdo Renell Wren at the bench press.

S Marquise Blair (Utah)

Not too many safeties this year can challenge Blair as a natural center fielder with range. He’ll be a good competitor in the three-cone and shuttle drills, but where he’ll truly shine is in the 40-yard dash—where he can show off his true straight-line speed. Blair will not doubt exit the combine stamped as a riser at the position, deserving to be drafted in third round, at the very least.