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Saturday, February 22, 2014
Offensive linemen shine in drills

By Field Yates

INDIANAPOLIS -- The on-field work has begun here in Indianapolis, with the offensive linemen, tight ends and specialists all taking center stage at Lucas Oil stadium.

Perhaps the headline event at the combine is the 40-yard dash, as evidenced by Adidas offering $100,000 to the fastest player wearing their adizero 5-star cleat.

The offensive linemen have wowed so far today, with top prospects such as Greg Robinson of Auburn and Taylor Lewan of Michigan posting sub-4.9-second times.

Truth be told, the 40 time of offensive linemen isn’t high on teams’ scouting checklist; rather, they often focus more on their 10-yard splits to measure explosiveness.

From a New England Patriots' perspective, one of the drills the team values is the three-cone drill, which, among other things, measures short-area burst and change-of-direction skill.

It’s a drill the team particularly values in assessing defensive backs and slot receivers.

Logan Ryan, the team’s third selection in last year’s draft, finished second among defensive backs at the combine with a time of 6.69 seconds. Wide receiver Josh Boyce was third among wide receivers with a time of 6.68, and undrafted rookie T.J. Moe had the second best time among all participants at 6.53.

The wide receivers work out on Sunday, and defensive backs work out Tuesday. Though all the drills are weighed and considered in the evaluation process, the three-cone is something to keep an eye on from a Patriots' perspective.