With the conclusion of the NFL combine, three Arizona Wildcat defensive ends competed to improve their draft stocks.
Seniors Brooks Reed, Ricky Elmore and D'Aundre Reed amounted to what was arguably the Wildcats' deepest and most talented position (though you could make a case for the offensive line being up there). In the end, all three players appeared to have solidified their draft statuses prior to the combine.
Here's a look at their performances
The most highly sought of the three DEs, Brooks probably helped his case the most, measuring in at 6-foot-3, 263 pounds.
Expected by many to slide to an outside linebacker position at the next level, Reed showed that he has the speed to do so, clocking in a 4.68 second 40-yard dash time. That tied him for ninth place among all defensive linemen and linebackers at the combine. Not too shabby.
On the negative side, his draft profile on the official website says Brooks is lacking mostly in size to play the defensive end position and will be valued in the mid or later rounds. While durability is a question after an injury-riddled junior year, he did come back his senior year to start all 13 games for the Wildcats.
Positive aspects of his game, according to whomever writes up these combine bios, is his relentless motor and also his technique and array of moves to get off blocks, the latter of which separates him from Arizona's other two defensive ends participating.
If you watched any Arizona football, you'll know the biggest aspect of Elmore's game -- he won't stop coming at you.
Coming into the NFL combine at 6-foot-5, 255 pounds, the guy who led the Pac-10 in sacks for two consecutive years still isn't getting much credit. According to his combine profile, scouts believe Elmore to be a great closer or come-from-behind run stopper. However, much of that is apparently due more to effort than to technique or skill.
Not known as a bullrusher, Elmore is expected to go in the later rounds because of his lack of pure power and lack of size. They're also questioning his ability to find the ball, often too enthralled with only the man in front of him.
But if you don't know Ricky Elmore, then you wouldn't know that the above may not matter to him. Just like his motor has kept him from wallowing in pity after constantly being snubbed through the Pac-10 awards, he'll probably be just fine.
Despite what the combine website lists him as, he told our own Mike Schmitz, working for the Daily Wildcat, that he's gotten plenty of interest. Lots of that interest has him moving to linebacker, just like Brooks Reed.
You probably never thought much about the third of Arizona's three-headed defensive monster. Well, he's not a scrub and his invitation to the combine itself shows that he got some national recognition.
Checking in at 6-foot-4, 261 pounds, D'Aundre lies in the same questionable zone as his two former Wildcats.
Is he big enough to be a defensive end? Is he fast enough to shift over to linebacker?
Being the most pure-power styled end, D'Aundre Reed will be the most likely of Arizona's class to stay at the position in the NFL. The deal with D'Aundre is his bullrushing style, which is good for penetration, though he's questionable about having the moves to get off the blocks or the explosiveness to get around them.
Also expected to go in the later rounds, he did place very well in the jumping categories of the combine. He placed fifth with a 35.5 inch vertical jump and fourth with a 9-foot, 11-inch broad jump. Who knew?
Where do you think Brooks Reed, Ricky Elmore and D'Aundre Reed should go in the NFL Draft?