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Taylor Hart has combine in sights after missing Senior Bowl

John Miller / Associated Press
Oregon DE Taylor Hart missed last week's Reese's Senior Bowl because of a broken foot.

Defensive end Taylor Hart was hoping to use the Reese's Senior Bowl to step out of the shadow of the prolific Oregon offense, but a broken bone in his foot derailed those aspirations.

Hart, who is documenting his preparations for the 2014 NFL Draft in a diary for the Oregonian, suffered the injury two weeks ago while doing position drills.

"I planted normally but just felt something pop in my foot," Hart wrote. "We found out it wouldn't be possible to play on it without further hurting the rest of my career."

Hart writes that he is almost fully recovered from the injury and expects to participate in drills at the combine next month. But instead of being able to run, specifically to prepare for the 40-yard dash, Hart has been limited to working out in a pool.

A strong performance in Indianapolis would certainly be beneficial for Hart (6-foot-6, 287 pounds), one of the anchors of the overlooked Ducks defense who had 17.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks over the last two seasons.

Hart projects as a Day 3 pick, but whether he stays as at defensive end in a 3-4 system or has to transition to a 4-3 alignment will have a big say in where he is selected.

"I'm willing to play whatever any coach would like me to play," Hart wrote. "It's just learning new things to be even more versatile and show how I can play any style of defense."

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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