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Khalil Mack edges Anthony Barr in 40-yard dash at NFL combine

  • By Dan Parr
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Anthony Barr and Khalil Mack are the top two outside linebackers in this year's draft, and both have a chance to be top-five picks.

Barr and Mack arrived at the NFL Scouting Combine looking for an edge in their competition at the position, but neither player allowed the other to gain that advantage with a significantly superior 40-yard dash time Monday.

The two ran almost identical times, with Mack crossing the finish line just barely before Barr did. Mack ran a 4.65 and Barr finished in 4.66. Mack had the fourth-fastest time among the linebackers that ran Monday and Barr tied for fifth, respectively.

NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock recently said he would take Mack with the top pick in the draft, and his showing in the 40 only helped his stock. Barr said Saturday that he wanted his combine performance to leave NFL teams thinking "'Yeah, that guy's the No. 1 draft pick.'"

It would be shocking if the Texans decided to make either of the linebackers the first overall pick, but it's also hard to imagine either player getting drafted outside of the top 10.

"Barr's a little bit longer. I think (Mack is) more ready to play today," Mayock said Monday. NFL Network analyst Willie McGinest said Mack reminds him of a more athletic version of 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman.

The highest-rated inside linebacker in this year's draft, Alabama's C.J. Mosley and Ohio State's Ryan Shazier, a likely second-round pick, did not run the 40 Monday, but did participate in field drills.

Boston College's Kevin Pierre-Louis had the fastest time of the 'backers (4.51) and Florida State's Telvin Smith finished right behind him at 4.52.

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