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Looking Back At Past Combine Performers


The players won't hit the field to begin their workout drills for the NFL Scouting Combine until Saturday, but many of them are already on the scene in Indianapolis, meeting with teams and getting their medical portion of the Combine experience completed.

We won't know who some of the top performers in this year's class until the middle of next week, but five years into Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff's running of the draft, we can look back and see where some of his drafted players stood among their peers in each class.

Three players from the 2008 draft class that finished high on the charts are no longer with the team. Thomas Brown, Wilrey Fontenot and Chevis Jackson were top performers among all position groups in the broad jump and the 20-yard shuttle run. Harry Douglas had a great Combine, finishing as the top performer among every player in Indianapolis in the 3-cone drill with a 6.57 time. He was also 11th among all players in the 20-yard shuttle with a 4.12 time.

Third-round pick Chris Owens from the 2009 class was the 14th overall player at the draft in the 60-yard shuttle run, a great measure of sustained explosiveness, a trait he's displayed a few times in his career, especially on special teams in coverage.

The 2010 draft saw two top performers in the bench press category. Fourth-round pick Joe Hawley was tied for fifth among all players with 35 reps of the required 225 pounds. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, the first-round pick that season, was tied for eighth with 34. Among his fellow linebackers, Weatherspoon's 4.68 40-yard dash was tied for eighth; he was second in the bench press, tied for second in the vertical jump with a height of 40 feet and was sixth in the 60-yard shuttle, clocking in at 11.59.

The surprise move of the 2011 draft was Atlanta's leap into the top of the first round to take wide receiver Julio Jones. He wowed everyone at the Combine, finishing seventh overall in the 40-yard dash with a blazing 4.39 time. He was tied for 13th overall with a 38.5 foot vertical jump and he was No. 1 in the broad jump with a distance of 11'3". He was also tied for ninth in the 60-yard shuttle with an 11.07 time.

Last season's backup safety and sixth-round pick Charles Mitchell was tied at eighth among all players with a 10'7" broad jump distance.

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