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UW defenders miss session: Injuries bother Levy, Casillas

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McClatchy Tribune
February 24, 2009
— DeAndre Levy and Jonathan Casillas, a pair of three-year starters at outside linebacker for the University of Wisconsin, didn’t work out Monday at the National Football League scouting combine because of injuries.

Levy, 6 feet 2 inches and 236 pounds, strained a hamstring during warm-ups and decided not to run the 40-yard dash. Earlier, he bench-pressed 225 pounds 19 times.


Casillas, 6-1 and 228, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery for cartilage damage in December that caused him to sit out the Champs Sports Bowl, the Senior Bowl and now the combine workout. He did 24 on the bench press.


Now both players will try to get fit for the Badgers’ pro timing day March 4 in Madison.


Meanwhile, defensive end Matt Shaughnessy ran the 40 in what one AFC team recorded from the stands at Lucas Oil Stadium as a time of 4.90. That ranked him 15th among the 31 ends who participated.


Shaughnessy, 6-5 and 266, handled 24 repetitions on the bench press. His arms were measured at 35 5/8ths inches and his hands at 10 3/4 inches, both of which ranked near the top for his position.


Because of his length, some teams said before the combine that Shaughnessy would have a chance to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.


But because of his height, Shaughnessy said some 3-4 teams feel he also could add 20 to 25 pounds and play end.


“It would be fun to play outside linebacker,” Shaughnessy said. “But a lot of people say with my frame I could add weight pretty easy. I’m going to try my hardest to play as long as I can.”


Two scouts regarded Shaughnessy as a third- or fourth-round draft choice. Another said he would go in the fourth.


“Third or fourth round,” an NFC personnel director said. “Little straight-line and stiff. Got some speed. Competitive guy. Struggles against the run because he can’t leverage and he plays so tall.”


Added an AFC scout: “Great arm and hand technique. Just needs to get stronger.”


Levy, from Milwaukee Vincent, was regarded as a fourth- or fifth-round pick by two scouts, as a third-round pick by another and as a fifth-round choice by a fourth.


“Levy might have more pro potential than Casillas just because he’s thicker and stronger and a little better against the run,” an NFC personnel director said.


Added another NFC personnel man: “Levy’s a great worker with a high motor. The coaches there really like this player a lot. I think he’s a little robotic in his movement. He’ll be a good special-teams player.”


Casillas was regarded as a second- or third-round pick by one scout, as a fourth-round pick by another and as a fourth- or fifth-round selection by two others.


“I like him but he’s not a real big guy,” an AFC personnel director said. “He slides to the ball and has good range. More of a ‘will’ (weak-side) in a 4-3 or inside in a 3-4.”


Added an NFC scout: “He scares me. Will he be big enough to handle larger blockers? I think he takes poor angles to the ball.”


Last spring, Levy and Casillas each scored 21 on the Wonderlic intelligence test, whereas Shaughnessy scored 18.


Of the seven Badgers at the combine, only three were clocked in the 40.


Boston College’s B.J. Raji, the top defensive tackle in the draft, ran 5.15 at 337 pounds. One of the other top nose tackles, Ron Brace of Boston College, was the slowest of the 54 defensive linemen at 5.53.


Inside linebacker Rey Maualuga of Southern California ran a 4.83 and then pulled a hamstring. Wake Forest’s Aaron Curry clocked 4.55.



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