The Cowboys Combine Rush Sleeper?


The Anthony Spencer debate gained momentum today with statements by both Stephen and Jerry Jones hinting that the team values the veteran, but stopping short of firmly committing to franchising him.  The big question centers on draft value at the outside linebacker position.  While Melvin Ingram and Courtney Upshaw top the OLB rankings, neither has convinced draftniks that they have a sure double-digit-sack-per-year upside.

Which brings us back to West Virginia’s Bruce Irvin.  Wes Bunting tipped us weeks ago that Irvin had piqued the interest of many 3-4 teams looking for edge rushers.  Irvin played out of position, as a 5-technique in a 3-3-5 scheme.  Scouts and draftniks looked for Irvin to switch to the linebacker spot at the Senior Bowl, but he was not invited.

This weekend, we and the professionals will get our first look at Irvin when he works out at the Combine.  Here’s a grading guide on him from Wes:

Cowboys Nation: Questions keep coming in about Bruce Irvin.  Since nobody has seen him work out,  I guess the folks at home will get an early a look at him this off-season as you have.

Wes Bunting: They’re going to stand him up and have him work out as a 3-4 outside backer.

CN:  Since he didn’t go to the Senior Bowl, and there’s no tape of this guy as a 3-4 OLB, is there a speed range into which we can slot him?  In other words, if he runs a certain time, can we peg him in one round, and if he runs a faster or slower time, in earlier or later rounds?

WB:  First off, I want to see how big he is.  There’s a big difference if he comes in at 225 pounds and he’s running 4.5 than if he’s 245 and runs 4.5.  If he comes in at 240 or 245 and runs in the high 4.4s or low 4.5s, he’s locked up 2nd round.  If he builds momentum off that, maybe he can sneak into the 1st round.

If he’s 225 and running 4.6, that’s not impressive.  It’s the combination or speed and weight.