tend to have more NFL success than those who excel in the cone and shuttle drills." Panthers 2019 NFL DraftWhen evaluating edge rushers at the combine Blue Greg Van Roten Jersey , focus on the bench press and 40-yard dashNew,21commentsElite prospects in the bench press and the 40 tend to have more NFL success than those who excel in the cone and shuttle drills.ESTThe Panthers have a long list of roster holes to fill and an effective pass rusher from the edge is right at the top. The NFL Combine, which is right around the corner, will tell the team a lot about the 2019 edge draft class. Utilizing data from Football Reference I did some basic data analysis to see which combine drills predict the best defensive ends and edge rushers. At a high level, I looked at combine results between 2010 and 2015 to see how elite performers in the 40-yard dash, bench press, 3-cone drill, and shuttle run went on to perform in the NFL (click the links to see the players’ names). I removed broad jump and vertical jump because they didn’t seem to be good predictors of future success. You can read this article to learn more about what each test measures.By “elite performers” I’m specifically referring to the 10 overall best performances in each event between the entire period of 2010 through 2015. Players drafted in 2016 or later were excluded because they are still relatively early in their careers. While I know this is subjective, I gave each of the Top 10 performers in each drill a rating of “stud”, “starter” Greg Van Roten Jersey 2019 , “contributor”, “depth”, or “bust.” You can see the names and ratings of each player here. Here are the results:Player ratings by combine resultEventStudStarterContributorDepthBustEventStudStarterContributorDepthBustAgain, I know these ratings are subjective on my part, but it’s at least directionally correct based on what we’ve seen from each of these players throughout their careers. Based on these results, players with elite 40 times and bench press results have had much more success in their careers than the 3-cone drill and shuttle run leaders. Some of the “studs” among the Top 10 fastest 40 times include Jadeveon Clowney (4.53), Ziggy Ansah (4.56), Danielle Hunter (4.57), and Robert Quinn (4.62). “Starters” include Nick Perry (4.55) and Alvin Dupree (4.56).The “studs” from the bench press are J.J. Watt (34 reps), Everson Griffen (32) David Mayo Jersey 2019 , Ryan Kerrigan (31), and Olivier Vernon (31). Nick Perry (35) is the only “starter” as well as the only player to appear among the Top 10 for both 40 times and bench press.Impressive, Mr. Perry. Meanwhile, the “busts” among the elite 3-cone drill performers are Jake Bequette, Michael Buchanon, Jackson Jeffcoat, and Ryan Wintersyk. The “busts” from the shuttle run also included Jeffocat and Bequette plus Owamagbe Odighizuwa and Jamie Blatnick. The only “stud” from the 3-cone drill and shuttle run was J.J. Watt. Speaking of Watt, he was also the only player to be in the Top 10 in at least three different events. He’s basically a freak of nature. As the Panthers get ready for the 2019 draft they would be wise to land a stud who can get pressure off the edge. Recent history tells us they would do well to take a hard look at players who excel in both the 40 and bench press in making this happen. Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess is set to become a free agent in the offseason and it appears the Panthers are getting a jump on acclimating themselves to life without him.Funchess was in on at least 71 percent of the team’s offensive snaps in each of the team’s first 10 games of the season, but missed Week 12 with a back injury and has returned to see much less playing time in the last two games. He’s played 61 snaps over the last two weeks and has just one catch.DJ Moore, Curtis Samuel and Jarius Wright have been seeing more action Blue David Mayo Jersey , but Funchess says that he’s not stressing over the change in circumstances.“Nothing is frustrating,” Funchess said, via Joe Person of . “I’ve gotta be smart with my back and make sure everything’s good. And when I’m out there, try to make sure my guys can make a play, as you saw. I’m trying to spring DJ. I’m trying to spring [running back Christian McCaffrey]. I’m trying to spring everybody. Just make sure my body is healthy and try to do what I can for the W.”The Panthers season has gone off the rails during their current five-game losing streak, so it’s not surprising that the team would be looking for the right mix of players to get a better result. Should they fail to settle on one that wins them Monday night’s game against the Saints, the end of the season and Funchess’ potential exit will feel much closer.