INDIANAPOLIS — Tulane's Ade Aruna didn't enter the NFL scouting combine as one of the big names of the defensive line class, like North Carolina State's Bradley Chubb or UTSA's Marcus Davenport.
Athletically, though, Aruna proved he can run and jump with those guys on Sunday.
Aruna ripped off the 40-yard dash in 4.60 seconds, trailing only Davenport's 4.58 seconds among defensive linemen and just ahead of Chubb's 4.65 seconds.
And his numbers in the jumps — an indicator of a player's explosiveness, arguably the most important trait for a pass-rushing defensive end — beat them all.
Aruna, who measured in at 6-foot-6, 262 pounds to post a similar frame to the draft class's best defensive ends, posted a vertical leap of 38.5 inches and a broad jump of 10 feet, 8 inches, both the best numbers of any defensive lineman in the class.
For Aruna, whose production dipped from 10 sacks as a junior to just three as a senior due to a poor fit in the 3-4 defense the Green Wave installed, the performance might raise his profile among NFL teams. Aruna, who originally moved to America from Nigeria to play basketball, did a lot for his NFL dreams on Sunday.
"I always knew something was going to happen, but I never knew I was going to be here today," Aruna said on Saturday before his workout. "I was blessed."