Max Bullough showcases strength at NFL Combine
FEB 24, 2014 3:23p ET
Nobody is going to question Max Bullough's strength, but what about his quickness?
Bullough, a standout linebacker at Michigan State, tied for the most bench-press reps among the linebackers at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, putting up 225 pounds a total of 30 times.
Bullough measured in at 6-foot-3, 249 pounds after weighing 265 at the East-West Shrine game in mid-January.
He was clocked in 4.78 seconds for the 40-yard dash, 19th-best out of the 27 linebackers who ran during Monday's on-field workouts.
"He's dropped 16 pounds since the East-West game," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. "A lot of people were highly critical of his weight gain.
"I saw him as a junior, I thought 'Wow, pop, quick, explosion.' This year, I didn't see the burst, I didn't see the acceleration. I saw him getting stuck on blocks. I felt like he played slow and at the next level, you've got to play even faster.
"I think it's important that he controls his weight. He looks like he's back down, at 249, where he belongs."
Bullough, a three-year starter and two-time captain at MSU, was suspended for the Rose Bowl after violating an undisclosed team rule.
He is an inside linebacker. Many of the linebackers at the combine play on the outside and are expected to run faster.
Mel Kiper Jr., a draft analyst for ESPN, said of Bullough before the combine, "You could conceivably put him as your third (best) inside linebacker (eligible for the draft)."
Mayock added: "He played too much good football not to be a draftable guy, but I think it's going to be up there in that, plus or minus, fourth, fifth-round range."
The defensive linemen also were on the field Monday, but the Lions aren't likely to go in that direction, at least early in the draft, unless there's a player who slides down and is simply too good to pass up.
"I don't see it being a situation where we need to desperately add a pass rusher to our defensive-line group," Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said. "We have a solid group up front. I like our front seven.
"If we get an opportunity to get a pass rusher, we will, but I don't see that as something that's an extreme need for us."