As a majority of the football world had their eyes on the tabloid-favorite Manti Te'o, Florida inside-linebacker Jon Bostic quietly had himself a nice showing at the combine, showing he has the potential to be a steal in the middle rounds of the draft. His official results, out of the 26 linebackers, are as follows:
40 YD Dash: 4.61s* (3rd best overall (4.47))
Bench Press: 22 Reps (T-10th best overall (36))
Vertical Jump: 32.5 in. (T-13th best overall (41.5))
Broad Jump: 118.0 in. (T-7th best overall (139.0))
3-Cone Drill: 6.99s* (T-3rd best overall (6.71))
Twenty Yard Shuffle: 4.24s* (4th best overall (4.18))
* = denotes a Top Performer by NFL.com
Overall those are some pretty respectable, and some fantastic, numbers that Bostic put up, especially for someone considered to be a fairly average ILB. In his junior year, Bostic had 94 tackles, 10 for a loss, and 3 sacks. As a senior, he was a catalyst and veteran leader for the Gators defense, which finished as the 5th best in the nation, tallying 62 tackles, 6.5 for a loss, and 3 sacks. Bostic was one of the best run-stopping ILB's in college football, works hard in coverage, hits the lanes like a hammer, and brings a lot of power and football smarts to his position. His main weaknesses were sited as lacking speed, the ability to change direction quickly in coverage, and mediocre closing speed to the ball. His combine results seem to address these problems, as he ranked at the top of pack in all of the speed drills, clearly making great strides to improve his performance.
Now I will admit that I am a Gator, and was probably watching this guy much closer than most, but Bostic is currently projected as a middle 4-5 round pick (NFL.com, Stampede Blue). He is certainly someone the Colts should have on their "watch" list when it comes to draft day, as they work to transition into a 3-4 defense, something Bostic is very familiar with. If he is sitting there in the 4th or 5th, or maybe if another 3rd round pick is collected via trade, he should get serious consideration to be selected by Indy. The Colts have a lot of defensive needs, some more important than others, but if an opportunity to take him presents itself, I think he could be a great value as middle-round pick.
Thoughts or opinions? Any players you've seen at the combine that have caught your eye?