UCLA's Anthony Barr and Buffalo's Khalil Mack are possible top-10 picks in this year's draft -- with Mack, it seemingly is a certainty -- which means they could be just the fifth and sixth outside linebackers to go in the top 10 in the past six NFL drafts.
They would join LSU's Barkevious Mingo (to Cleveland at No. 6 in 2013), Texas A&M's Von Miller (to Denver at No. 2 in 2011), Missouri's Aldon Smith (to San Francisco at No. 7 in 2011) and Wake Forest's Aaron Curry (to Seattle at No. 4 in 2009). Curry, though, wasn't known as a pass rusher, which differentiates him from the group.
Curry also is the only for-sure bust in the quartet of those already drafted; he played for just four seasons and retired before the start of the 2013 season. Miller and Smith are stud pass rushers, while it's too early to judge Mingo, who had five sacks as a rookie in '13.
In the five most recent mock drafts from NFL Media analysts, Barr and Mack are drafted in the top 11 in three of them, top nine in one and top six in one.
Barr and Mack measure up quite well against the four outside 'backers who have gone in the first round recently. Mack's 40-inch vertical jump at the NFL Scouting Combine is the best of the six players, and while the 40 times of Barr and Mack trail all but those of Smith, their times in the 20-yard shuttle and three-cone drill are comparable, if not better. (Mingo and Smith were ends in college and were grouped with the ends at the combine.)
In terms of college statistics, Barr and Mack are fine, too. They trail only Miller in the sacks category, while Mack blows away the field in tackles for loss; Barr is third in that category, behind Mack and Miller, despite playing just two seasons on defense.
Here's a look at how they all stack up.
Combine measurements: 6-foot-5, 255 pounds; arm length of 33½ inches
Combine events: 4.66 seconds in the 40-yard dash; 34.5-inch vertical jump; 9-foot, 11-inch broad jump; 4.19 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle; 6.82 seconds in the three-cone drill; 15 reps at 225 pounds in the bench press
College stats: 148 tackles, 41 tackles for loss, 23 sacks, 10 forced fumbles in 27 games over two seasons (only played two years of defense in college)
Combine measurements: 6-3, 251; arm length of 33¼ inches
Combine events: 4.65 in the 40; 40-inch vertical jump; 10-8 broad jump; 4.18 in the 20-yard shuttle; 7.08 in the three-cone drill; 23 reps in the bench press
College stats: 327 tackles, 75 tackles for loss, 28.5 sacks, 16 forced fumbles in 40 games over four seasons (Mack holds the NCAA career record for forced fumbles and is tied for the career lead in tackles for loss)
Combine measurements: 6-2, 254; no arm length available
Combine events: 4.56 in the 40; 37-inch vertical jump; 10-3 broad jump; 4.51 in the 20-yard shuttle; 7.15 in the three-cone drill; 25 reps in the bench press
College stats: 331 tackles, 44.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, five forced fumbles in 51 games over four seasons
Pro stats: 203 tackles, 5.5 sacks in 48 games over four seasons
Combine measurements: 6-3, 246; arm length of 33½ inches
Combine events: 4.53 in the 40; 37-inch vertical jump; 10-5 broad jump; 4.06 in the 20-yard shuttle; 6.70 in the three-cone drill; 21 reps in the bench press
College stats: 181 tackles, 50.5 tackles for loss, 33 sacks, 10 forced fumbles in 47 games over four seasons
Pro stats: 166 tackles, 35 sacks in 40 games over three seasons
Combine measurements: 6-4, 241; arm length of 33¾ inches
Combine events: 4.58 in the 40; 37-inch vertical jump; 10-7 broad jump; 4.39 in the 20-yard shuttle; 6.84 in the three-cone drill; no bench press
College stats: 119 tackles, 29 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, four forced fumbles in 40 games over three seasons
Pro stats: 42 tackles, five sacks in 15 games in one season
Combine measurements: 6-4, 263; arm length of 35 3/8 inches
Combine events: 4.78 in the 40; 34-inch vertical jump; 9-8 broad jump; 4.50 in the 20-yard shuttle; 7.19 in the three-cone drill; 20 reps in the bench press
College stats: 79 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks, one forced fumble in 23 games over two seasons
Pro stats: 137 tackles, 42 sacks in 43 games over three seasons