NFL Draft

2015 NFL Combine DB True Heights

As we did with the wide receivers several weeks ago, we’ll break down my “true heights” for the 2015 NFL Draft defensive back class.

A refresher. True height combines a prospect’s regular height, arm length, and vertical. In theory, if a player fully extended straight into the air, you’d find his “true height.” This metric obviously has its flaws, such an event rarely happens, but recognizes shorter players with great verticals who “play tall.”

The chart below with analysis following.

PLAYER SCHOOL HEIGHT ARM LENGTH VERTICAL TRUE HEIGHT (FT) TRUE HEIGHT (IN)
Byron Jones UConn 6’0/5 32 44.5 12.40 148.75
Kevin Johnson Wake Forest 6’0/2 31 41.5 12.06 144.75
Kurtis Drummond Michigan St 6’0/5 32 1/4 39.5 12.03 144.38
Alex Carter Stanford 6’0/1 32 1/8 40 12.02 144.25
Ronald Darby Florida St 5’10/5 31 3/8 41.5 11.96 143.50
Eric Rowe Utah 6’0/6 31 1/2 39 11.94 143.25
Ronald Darby Florida St 6’0 31 40 11.92 143.00
Julian Wilson Oklahoma 6’2 32 3/8 36 11.87 142.38
Clayton Geathers UCF 6’1/5 31 5/8 37 11.85 142.25
Justin Cox Mississippi St 6’0/5 31 1/4 38 11.82 141.88
Jalen Collins LSU 6’1/4 32 1/8 36 11.80 141.63
Cody Prewitt Ole Miss 6’2 32 5/8 35 11.80 141.63
Trae Waynes Michigan St 6’0/1 31 38 11.76 141.13
Josh Shaw USC 6’0/4 30 3/4 37.5 11.73 140.75
Marcus Peters Washington 5’11/5 31 1/2 37.5 11.72 140.63
Tye Smith Towson 6’0 32 36.5 11.71 140.50
Adrian Amos Penn State 6’0/4 32 1/4 35.5 11.69 140.25
Justin Coleman Tennessee 5’10/5 31 1/4 37.5 11.61 139.38
Craig Mager Texas St 5’11/4 29 3/4 38 11.60 139.25
Damarious Randall Arizona St 5’10/7 30 1/4 38 11.59 139.13
Jermaine Whitehead Auburn 5’11 31 37 11.58 139.00
James Sample Louisville 6’2/1 32 32.5 11.55 138.63
Landon Collins Alabama 6’0 31 1/2 35 11.54 138.50
LaDarius Gunter Miami (FL) 6’1/4 31 1/2 33.5 11.54 138.50
Durrell Eskridge Syracuse 6’2/7 32 3/8 31 11.52 138.25
Dean Marlowe James Madison 6’1/4 31 33.5 11.50 138.00
Anthony Jefferson UCLA 6’0/7 31 1/2 33.5 11.49 137.88
Quinten Rollins Miami (OH) 5’11 30 1/4 36.5 11.48 137.75
Jacoby Glenn UCF 6’0 31 1/4 34 11.44 137.25
D’Joun Smith Florida Atlantic 5’10 30 3/8 36 11.37 136.38
Bobby McCain Memphis 5’9/4 30 1/2 36 11.33 136.00
Damian Swann Georgia 6’0 31 33 11.33 136.00
Charles Gaines Louisville 5’9/7 31 3/8 34.5 11.31 135.75
Chris Hackett TCU 6’0/2 31 1/2 32 11.31 135.75
Garry Peters Clemson 5’11/6 31 1/2 32.5 11.31 135.75
Steven Nelson Oregon St 5’10/1 30 5/8 34.5 11.27 135.25
Jordan Richards Stanford 5’10/6 32 1/2 32 11.27 135.25
Kevin White TCU 5’9/4 30 1/8 35.5 11.26 135.13
Quandre Diggs Texas 5’9/1 29 1/2 35.5 11.18 134.13
Tevin McDonald Eastern Washington 5’11/3 29 3/4 33 11.18 134.13
Kyshoen Jarrett Virginia Tech 5’9/7 31 33 11.16 133.88
Lorenzo Doss Tulane 5’10/3 29 3/4 33.5 11.14 133.63
Doran Grant Ohio St 5’10/2 30 1/4 33 11.13 133.50
Troy Hill Oregon 5’10/4 29 1/2 32.5 11.04 132.50
Senquez Golson Ole Miss 5’8/5 29 3/4 33.5 10.99 131.88

– Can’t help but fall for Byron Jones a little harder. He’s the only corner who would have finished in the top seven of the receivers with the UConn corner coming in second overall. That’s not surprising given cornerbacks are going to be shorter compared to receivers and it only makes Jones’ figure more impressive.

Put it this way. If they both jumped straight up, arms fully extended, Jones would be taller than the 6’6 Darren Waller. And I know Steelers’ fans love Waller.

– Due to their verticals, Kevin Johnson and Alex Carter were impressive. Carter’s arm length and vertical really shows up here.

– Florida State’s Ronald Darby is the first sub-six foot DBs to show up on the list coming in sixth despite being the 33th tallest one of the players who were included on the list.

Chris Hackett was the last of the six-footers due to a paltry 32 inch vertical. Nine players shorter than six feet finished ahead of him.

– Must admit that like receiver group, the results weren’t as surprising as I had hoped. No short corner made up a lot of ground in this chart. Only one cornerback under 5’10 jumped at least 36 inches – Memphis’ Bobby McCain, who still finished just 32nd of 45 entries.

– For the tallest, the chart helped illustrate my point. Of the four tallest defensive backs, all over 6’2, only one finished in the top ten. Julian Wilson came in 8th. Cody Prewitt came in 12th, James Sample 22nd, and Durrell Eskridge 25th.

Senquez Golson came in last among the cornerbacks and had a better true height than just one wide receiver. Short arms and no vertical is an uninspiring combination and on the surface, doesn’t bode well for his pro prospects.

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