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Buckeye Football Notebook: Darron Lee Shines at NFL Combine on Sunday
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS — The focus at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis finally turned toward the defense on Sunday, starting with the defensive line and then the linebackers.

For the Buckeyes, that meant the scouts and front office personnel finally got a good, long look at Joey Bosa, Adolphus Washington, Joshua Perry and Darron Lee, each of whom is projected to be drafted in the first two rounds.

Bosa is a first round lock, and a likely top five pick. After Lee's performance, however, Bosa may have some more company in that lock category.

Lee, who was expected to be fast, busted out a 4.47 40-yard dash, which was then reportedly changed to an official 4.43. That happens to be the fastest time by a linebacker in the last nine years. It was also faster than the 4.47 time that Ezekiel Elliott clocked on Friday. Lee tied for the 6th-fastest time at all positions so far, though the defensive backs may change that a bit on Monday.

Only three of the more than 30 receivers who ran the 40 had times better than Lee, and only two running backs topped his 4.43 mark.

And he wasn't just fast. His 11'1" broad jump was the best of the day and tied for third best among linebackers since 2006. Who did he tie? Former Buckeye A.J. Hawk.

Lee's overall performance was impressive, but it was that 4.43 that had him trending on Twitter hours after he was done for the day.

Prior to Lee commandeering the goings on, Joey Bosa and Adolphus Washington had their respective workouts. Bosa, who checked in at 6-foot-5 and 269 pounds earlier in the week, also did some linebacker work in order to show those teams with 3-4 defenses that he could handle playing outside linebacker.

Bosa managed a 4.86 40-yard dash, which was slower than fellow Big Ten defensive linemen Carl Nassib (4.84), Shilique Calhoun (4.82), Anthony Zettel (4.81) and Yannick Ngakoue (4.75). Former Buckeye defensive end Noah Spence rattled off a 4.80.

Bosa did nothing to hurt his draft stock, but it was odd to watch him move freely without being held or double teamed. He also had the second-fastest three-cone time (6.89) of any of the defensive linemen, as well as the fifth-best broad jump (10'0").

Bosa has spoken with nearly half of the NFL teams, including Tennessee and Dallas.

Washington managed to put up a 5.17 40-yard dash, but being a defensive tackle that's not necessarily the most important number. His 21 reps on the bench press did not put him in the top 15 of the defensive linemen.

Joshua Perry had a good day, running a 4.68 40-yard dash at 6-foot-4 and 254 pounds. He managed 20 reps on the bench, a 33.5" vertical jump, and his 10'4" broad jump was fourth-best among the linebackers.

He is currently projected as a second-round pick who could be a strongside linebacker in a 4-3 defense, or an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

Monday is the final day of the Combine, which means Eli Apple, Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell will finally get their opportunities to perform in front of the judging masses.

Player profiles relevant to story:
37 - Perry, Joshua | 43 - Lee, Darron | 92 - Washington, Adolphus | 97 - Bosa, Joey
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