For a man pushing 320 pounds, Marcell Dareus moved like a linebacker at times, carrying his weight well and showing exception speed during Monday's NFL Combine workouts. Dareus was already regarded as one of the elite defensive line prospects in the 2011 NFL Draft, amongst the best in a loaded crop of linemen. But on Monday, he continued to separate himself from much of the pack, giving Nick Fairley a run for his money and leaving Indianapolis as a winner as we inch closer to the draft.
Dareus ran nearly the same 40-yard dash time as Fairley, but did so carrying almost 30 pounds more weight. That speed, that quick burst off the line, left many in awe as Dareus hit the top-end quickly and displayed surprising quickness. For a big, space-eating linemen, the ability to get up and go, and the versatility it affords him, can only be seen as a plus to those scouting him.
When it came to the drills, Dareus continued to impress, putting in a workman-like effort in the skill tests. Even at his size, he moved like a defensive end giving teams the option to move him around on the line, sliding in wherever he's needed in different situations.
While Fairley may be at the top of the class right now, Dareus warrants top-five consideration, if not a look with the No. 1 overall pick. At this point in the process, Dareus and Fairley are neck-and-neck, and it could be the size and versatility of Dareus that pushes him over the top when the draft rolls around. If nothing else, the battle was entertaining to watch at the combine as each lived up to the hype on Monday.
For more results from Monday's workout, check out our NFL Combine StoryStream.