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Anthony Barr, Ryan Shazier lead LBs seeking big combine

The NFL Scouting Combine runs Saturday to Tuesday in Indianapolis, and it brings together 335 of the nation's most draftable players and numerous front-office representatives and scouts from each NFL team.

A big portion of the combine is the individual events, such as the 40-yard dash, the bench press and the vertical jump.

This is Part 8 of our position-by-position look at the combine, spotlighting linebackers. We look at six prospects who will be scrutinized this year and also look at noteworthy event performances in the past five combines (some of the players listed at end for the combine became outside linebackers). We'll also look at how notable current players performed at their combine events.

Six to watch this year

OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA: Barr (6-foot-4, 248 pounds) should wow people at the combine with his athleticism -- especially when you consider his size. His stock has dropped a bit of late, but he still is considered a first-rounder. He has played just two seasons at linebacker and appears to have a high ceiling at the position because of his athleticism. There's no question he needs work against the run and in coverage, and his production tailed off at the end of the 2013 season. But did we mention his athleticism is tremendous?

ILB Chris Borland, Wisconsin: Borland is not a great athlete, but he has tremendous instincts and can do everything. His lack of height -- he measured in at 5-11 (and 245 pounds) at the Reese's Senior Bowl -- is bothersome, but his production has been off the charts. Good times in the running events at the combine would be helpful. He isn't going to be the first inside linebacker off the board -- that will be Alabama's C.J. Mosley -- but a good combine could help him become the second.

OLB Adrian Hubbard, Alabama: Hubbard (6-5, 255) surprised some by coming out a year early; he was inconsistent as a junior in 2013. His size is intriguing, to be sure, but his overall production hasn't matched his potential. His agility and straight-line speed have been questioned, so the combine workouts will be important for a guy who appears to be sliding down some draft boards.

ILB Christian Jones, Florida State: While FSU's defense was excellent in 2013, Jones didn't flash much. He didn't make as many plays in 2013 as he did in 2012. He is an excellent athlete with good size (6-3, 234) who should test well, and perhaps that will help his lagging draft stock.

OLB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State: As with Buffalo's Khalil Mack -- the consensus No. 1 OLB now, it seems -- Shazier is a Florida native who chose to play college ball out of state. Mack is a first-round lock, whereas Shazier is seen as either a first- or second-rounder. Shazier's size (6-2, 230) is a big concern, but he runs extremely well and should put up a sub-4.5 time in the 40. He should excel in the other running events at the combine, as well. Barr gets high marks for his athleticism, but Shazier should be right there with him.

OLB Kyle Van Noy, BYU: Van Noy is another guy who could go late in the first or early in the second. Unlike Shazier, though, Van Noy (6-3, 244) is not an elite athlete. He does have good instincts, though, and was highly productive at BYU. Might he be able to propel himself into the first round with a strong combine showing?

Combine bests over past five years

40-YARD DASH

1. OLB Zaviar Gooden, Missouri
Time: 4.47 in 2013
Draft status: 3rd round, Tennessee

1. ILB Mychal Kendricks, California
Time: 4.47 in 2012
Draft status: 2nd round, Philadelphia

3. OLB Martez Wilson, Illinois
Time: 4.49 in 2011
Draft status: 3rd round, New Orleans

4. OLB Zach Brown, North Carolina
Time: 4.50 in 2012
Draft status: 2nd round, Tennessee

5. OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M
Time: 4.53 in 2011
Draft status: 1st round (2nd overall), Denver

Notable players

ILB Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State: 5.00 seconds in 2012
OLB Aaron Curry, Wake Forest: 4.56 seconds in 2009
OLB Justin Houston, Georgia: 4.68 seconds in 2011
ILB Luke Kuechly, Boston College: 4.58 seconds in 2012
ILB Patrick Willis, Ole Miss: 4.51 seconds in 2007

20-YARD SHUTTLE

1. ILB Nick Bellore, Central Michigan
Time: 4.00 seconds in 2011
Draft status: Undrafted

1. ILB Mike Mohamed, California
Time: 4.00 seconds in 2011
Draft status: 6th round, Denver

3. OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M
Time: 4.06 seconds in 2011
Draft status: 1st round (2nd overall), Denver

4. ILB Josh Hull, Penn State
Time: 4.07 seconds in 2010
Draft status: 7th round, St. Louis

5. OLB Scott Lutrus, Connecticut
Time: 4.09 seconds in 2011
Draft status: Undrafted

5. OLB Brandon Marshall, Nevada
Time: 4.09 seconds in 2012
Draft status: 5th round, Jacksonville

Notable players

ILB Navorro Bowman, Penn State: 4.59 seconds in 2010
OLB A.J. Hawk, Ohio State: 3.96 seconds in 2006
ILB Luke Kuechly, Boston College: 4.12 seconds in 2012
OLB Clay Matthews, USC: 4.18 seconds in 2009
ILB Brian Urlacher, New Mexico: 4.18 seconds in 2000

VERTICAL JUMP

1. OLB Keenan Clayton, Oklahoma
Jump: 41.5 inches in 2010
Draft status: 4th round, Philadelphia

1. OLB Jamie Collins, Southern Miss
Jump: 41.5 inches in 2013
Draft status: 2nd round, New England

3. OLB Simoni Lawrence, Minnesota
Jump: 40 inches in 2010
Draft status: Undrafted

3. OLB Dekoda Watson, Florida State
Jump: 40 inches in 2010
Draft status: 7th round, Tampa Bay

3. OLB Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
Jump: 40 inches in 2010
Draft status: 1st round (19th overall), Atlanta

Notable players

ILB Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State: 30 inches in 2012
OLB Lavonte David, Nebraska: 36.5 inches in 2012
OLB Justin Houston, Georgia: 36.5 inches in 2011
ILB D'Qwell Jackson, Maryland: 37 inches in 2006
ILB Luke Kuechly, Boston College: 38 inches in 2012

BENCH PRESS

1. OLB Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma
Numbers: 36 reps in 2012
Draft status: 4th round, Detroit

1. OLB Cornelius Washington, Georgia
Numbers: 36 reps in 2013
Draft status: 6th round, Chicago

3. ILB Donald Butler, Washington
Numbers: 35 reps in 2010
Draft status: 3rd round, San Diego

4. OLB Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
Numbers: 34 reps in 2010
Draft status: 1st round (19th overall), Atlanta

5. OLB Demario Davis, Arkansas State
Numbers: 32 reps in 2012
Draft status: 3rd round, New York Jets

5. OLB Ross Homan, Ohio State
Numbers: 32 reps in 2011
Draft status: 6th round, Minnesota

Notable players

ILB Brian Cushing USC: 30 reps in 2009
OLB Lavonte David, Nebraska: 19 reps in 2012
ILB Luke Kuechly, Boston College: 27 reps in 2012
ILB Brian Urlacher, New Mexico: 27 reps in 2000
ILB Paul Posluszny, Penn State: 22 reps in 2007

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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