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Miller builds on impressive Senior Bowl

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Adam Caplan

Adam Caplan is our newest NFL reporter/insider at FOXSports.com. He has spent the past 10 seasons covering the league, specializing in player personnel, injuries and contracts.

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Monday marked the day the defensive linemen (tackles/ends) and linebackers (inside/outside) worked out at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine.

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The hybrid players (defensive ends/outside linebackers) took center stage and didn’t disappoint.

Top five performances

1. Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M: Based on his outstanding Senior Bowl week performance, Miller had to put on a show in order to top that. But he was able to do just that inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Miller, who is expected to transition full time to outside linebacker in the NFL next season, posted an outstanding 40-yard dash time (4.53 seconds), which isn’t very surprising if you’ve seen him play. Miller’s game tape shows that he has tremendous edge rush speed. He also did well in the 20-yard shuttle.

It’s important to note that the pass rusher weighed in at 246 pounds, up nine pounds from his Senior Bowl weight. Scouts would like to see him play at somewhere between 245 and 248 pounds, a personnel source said.

2. Dontay Moch, DE-OLB, Nevada: If you’ve ever seen him play, you probably figured Moch would run fast in the 40-yard dash. But he set an NFL Combine record with an eye-popping 4.44 seconds, which is unheard of for a player of his size (6-feet-1, 248 pounds).

Moch, who is expected to transition to outside linebacker at the NFL, had a 42-inch vertical leap, according to NFL Draft Scout. All of those numbers add up to tremendous speed and athleticism.

3. Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama: The defensive lineman came into the NFL Combine as one of the top two players at his position, so some personnel evaluators wondered if he should even work out at all.

But to his credit, Dareus competed. He posted a solid 10-yard split time for a defensive lineman (1.66 seconds). Short-area quickness is very important for defensive tackles because they are playing in a confined area. The 40-yard dash is virtually a waste of time, according to personnel sources, because no lineman will be asked to run 40 yards in a straight line at the NFL level.

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4. Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois: The linebacker posted a blistering 4.49-second 40-yard dash time, which is even a solid time for a wide receiver or running back.

Wilson, who also did well in the vertical jump and broad jump, is a solid fit for a 3-4 defensive scheme because of his size (6-4, 250).

Wilson, however, will have to test out well medically because he had a neck injury which sidelined him for almost all of the 2009 season.

5. Sam Acho, DE-OLB, Texas: Acho, who played defensive end in college, could transition to outside linebacker at the NFL level. And his NFL Combine workout displayed the outstanding athleticism that he’ll need in order to make the position switch.

Acho posted the third-best three-cone drill (6.69 seconds) overall and also did well in the 40-yard dash (in the 4.6-second range) and the 20-yard shuttle.

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