INDIANAPOLIS – It’s only right to continue tradition. With more than 300 NFL prospects showcasing their talents – and personalities – at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, 49ers.com has once again put together a list of the top characters from the week in Indy.
We present our fourth annual “All-Personality Team.”
Past selections on the 22-man team include 49ers starting quarterback
ALL-PERSONALITY TEAMS: 2011 | 2012 | 2013
Whether it’s for their noteworthy quotes to the media or their creative posts on social media, we’ve taken notice of the most impressive prospects during the week that was the 2014 combine.
The 40-yard dash, bench press and three-cone drill standouts can be examined in another post.
For now, let’s get to the memorable defensive characters from the combine. And as always, we’ve selected a 4-3 defensive scheme to fit more of the top defensive linemen in this collection of players.
Defensive End - Dee Ford - Auburn
Mic drop. That’s essentially what Ford did after offering the best quote of the combine. The Auburn senior didn’t bite his tongue when he was asked about Jadeveon Clowney, a player widely considered to be the top defensive prospect in the draft. Ford said he believes he’s flat out better and said Clowney plays like “a blind dog in a meat market.” Burn. It took a lot of swagger for Ford to say how he really feels. The Auburn star, however, wasn’t able to back up the talk in combine drills. He was held out due to medical precaution stemming from a back procedure in 2011. Even so, Ford was a first-team All-SEC performer and recorded two sacks in the BCS title game. He continued his solid play by dominating the 2014 Senior Bowl. Next, he will look continue solidifying his draft status at his upcoming pro day workout. Perhaps there he can offer another notable quote.
Choppin it up With the man warren sapp http://t.co/TgR0cjmS49— Dee Ford (@dee_ford_) February 24, 2014
Defensive End - Michael Sam - Missouri
Defensive Tackle - Aaron Donald - Pittsburgh
Defensive Tackle - Will Sutton - Arizona State
Soft-spoken off the field and disruptive on it – that’s the best way to describe the two-time reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Sutton’s weight and speed were questioned during his senior season, but nobody can knock his quickness. Sutton entered the combine focused on proving his weight was not an issue. He got up to 320 pounds during the season and quieted those concerns by weighing 303 in Indianapolis. Sutton could have left school early and entered the 2012 draft. – why didn’t’ he? The answer was telling of his character. “I only had a semester left in school and graduating is something I promised my parents,” Sutton said. “Having only a semester left and knowing that we (the Sun Devils) could accomplish something great. Those were the leading factors.”
Inside Linebacker - Shayne Skov - Stanford
“Nerd Nation” had a special enforcer in Skov. The playful defender off the field was responsible for making memorable plays on the field. The 6-foot-2, 245-pound Cardinal linebacker overcame a serious knee injury to be a third-team All-American and Butkus Award finalist in 2013. Beyond the accolades, Skov was upbeat throughout his combine interview session, graciously answering every question, including one about playing for his favorite team, the “Niners.” He played for San Francisco’s defensive coordinator Vic Fangio during the coordinator’s one-year stint at Stanford in 2010. Skov would like to be the first Stanford player drafted by Harbaugh. He also said, “If I had opportunity to put on the red and gold, it would be incredible.”
Outside Linebacker - Khalil Mack - Buffalo
A No. 1 overall draft pick from Buffalo? It could happen if Mike Mayock had his way. The NFL Network analyst practically stood on the table this week and said Mack is worthy of being the top pick in the draft. How did the 4.65, 40-yard-dash running linebacker handle the praise? “Mike Mayock is the man,” the Mid-American prospect said. “He's the man; I want to prove him right.” Mack backed up the praise with a 40-inch vertical jump, 128-inch broad jump and a 4.18-second mark in the three-cone drill – all three marks were best among combine linebackers.
Outside Lineback - Trent Murphy - Stanford
Combine measurables and performance aside, Stanford’s sack-leader (15) had a great tale to tell during his media session. It earned quite a chuckle from the gathered media. Murphy, a first-team All-Pac 12 selection, shared a story about his high school coach, Gary Galante of Phoenix’s Brophy Prep. “He would always tell us how cool it would be if you ran yourself so hard in conditioning that you passed out. He's like, ‘You're going to pass out before you die. Think about it, if you did die, how cool would it be to have that on your grave? Little Johnny ran himself to death.’ That was just his mentality. Talk about having a tough defensive coach.” Quality storytelling will always earn you a nod on this list.
Its amazing what a good attitude can do, I'm destroying these medical evals!! Ekg exploded when I was done w/ it. bout to wreck the MRI to— Trent Murphy (@TMurphy_93) February 21, 2014
Safety - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix - Alabama
Headed to Indianapolis for my dream job. ✈️— Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (@HaHa_CD6) February 21, 2014
Safety - Calvin Pryor - Lousiville
Cornerback - Justin Gilbert - Oklahoma State
Showtime !— Justin Gilbert (@JGil_4) February 22, 2014
Cornerback - Jason Verrett - TCU
On the opposite side of Gilbert’s end of the spectrum, TCU’s standout cornerback was more buttoned up in his media session. The 5-foot-10, 176 pounds Verrett had more of a serious demeanor when speaking to the press. “Not everybody has ball skills, but I’m blessed to have that,” the second-team All-American cornerback said. “With my frame, I’m able to transfer from A to B with fluid hips and quickness. That just allows me to make more plays.” Verrett wasn’t worried about his size hindering him in the NFL. It sounds like his confidence makes up for what he lacks in height.
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