Duke in the NFL: Former Blue Devils look to impress at combine ahead of draft

Jacob Monk (left) and DeWayne Carter (right) both performed in the recent NFL combine.
Jacob Monk (left) and DeWayne Carter (right) both performed in the recent NFL combine.

For NFL hopefuls across the country, the pre-draft combine in Indianapolis is a natural step towards realizing their dreams. For Duke, four of its top performers from last season headed up to Lucas Oil Stadium to showcase their skills. The Blue Zone takes a look at all four and how they performed: 

DT DeWayne Carter

The first ever Duke football three-time captain was invited to the combine after having a strong showing during Senior Bowl week, and the defensive stalwart had another impressive outing while in Indianapolis. The defensive tackle ran a 4.99 40-yard dash with a 1.72 10-yard split, and the Relative Athletic Score, a database that combines measurements and gives players a score that compares them with others at their position historically, gave Carter a great composite speed grade. However, the most impressive aspect of the Pickerington, Ohio, native’s performance may have been in the vertical leap. He posted a 32-inch vertical — good for third-best among defensive tackles this year. Overall, “Mr. Duke” posted a 7.73 overall RAS and ranks as Pro Football Focus’ 105th-best prospect heading into the draft. 

Watch him in one of his positional drills here: 

OC Jacob Monk

Monk was the second Blue Devil captain to be invited to the combine, and the veteran center had a very nice showing. While his versatility and experience are undeniable and surely appealed to NFL executives during the off-field portion of the week, the Clayton, N.C., native was excellent on the field as well. He posted an outstanding 9.78 RAS, good for second all-time in program history. The best aspect of his testing was his speed, as Monk ran a 5.09 40-yard dash with an amazing 1.66 10-yard split, which is now tied for the fastest by an offensive lineman in combine history. Monk also had a nine-yard broad jump, giving him an overall performance that undoubtedly helped his draft stock. 

OL Graham Barton

Barton, who is undeniably Duke’s best pro prospect this draft cycle, elected not to participate in the athletic testing after dealing with a slew of injuries throughout this past season. Instead, Barton just stuck to body measurements and interviews with teams. The Brentwood, Tenn., native came in with a 32.875 arm length and a 9.375 hand size (both in inches), and spoke with many teams who likely had questions about his versatility. While he primarily played left tackle for the Blue Devils, he projects to move inside to either guard or center in the NFL. Barton will quite possibly hear his name called on the opening night of the draft in April, as he is listed as the 24th-best prospect according to PFF.

P Porter Wilson

Wilson was the last member of last year’s team to participate in the combine, as the punter was invited to the Specialists Showcase and did not participate in any on-field testing. The Akron, Ohio, native will likely not be drafted, but will have a chance to compete for a punting job once training camp begins for teams. 

All that stands between these four former Duke standouts and the NFL now is the draft, which begins April 25 in Detroit. 


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