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NFL Combine, Day 3: All About That Front 7

The offense has come and gone in Indy, and now it is the defensive players' turn to shine. First up are defensive linemen and linebackers. Note: Absent from drills will be Star Lotulelei, who was discovered to have a serious heart condition.

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

There has been plenty of speculation as to what will happen with the "Front 7" of the Eagles defense with Billy Davis in charge. History has shown that Davis is in favor of running the "4-3 Under", which is a more of a hybrid defense and will offer looks at 3-4 that the team has not seen in a while. That said, there is likely to be at least minimal change in the defensive front, and Monday's events should impact some of the moves made along the line and at linebacker.

It has been well-documented that the team needs a nose tackle and an athletic SAM linebacker. Those two positions are likely to capture the Eagles coaching staff and the fans' attention. While Utah's Star Lotulelei and Georgia's Jarvis Jones are sitting out the Combine because of medical issues, there are still plenty of guys that can fill those roles. Here are some options at both positions who will be participating at the Combine:

SAM Linebacker

Name School Height Weight
Alec Ogletree Georgia 6'2" 242
Jamie Collins Southern Miss.


Sio Moore UConn 6'1" 245
Dion Jordan Oregon 6'6" 248
Zavier Gooden Missouri 6'1" 234

Nose Tackle

Name School Height Weight
Jesse Williams Alabama 6'3" 323
John Jenkins Georgia 6'4" 346
Brandon Williams Missori Southern St. 6'1" 335
Montori Hughes Tenn.-Martin 6'4" 329
TJ Barnes Georgia Tech 6'6" 369

As far as pass rushers go, let's remember the importance of the 3-Cone, which typically holds more weight for scouts than 40-times for defensive ends and rush linebackers. Fans should be looking at the sub-7.0 guys (elite-level) who typically develop into good pass rushers (there are obviously exceptions to the rule). Also, keep a close eye on pass rushers who do both defensive line and linebacker drills, as they are more likely to fit in a hybrid system like the one the Eagles will likely run next year.

You can follow Mike Kaye on Twitter @mike_e_kaye. Mike will be running ongoing commentary throughout the Combine. Feel free to ask questions and get updates during your day at work.

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