NFL Draft

2019 NFL Combine Analysis: Day Four

That’s a wrap. Monday marked the end of the 2019 NFL Combine with the defensive backs going through their workout and drills. We’ll have a final winners and losers list tomorrow or Wednesday but for now, here’s what suck out from the secondary.

Cornerback

– Don’t be scared off by Deandre Baker and Byron Murphy’s 40 times. Their respective 4.52 and 4.55 aren’t terribly by any means. Baker plays faster on tape and Murphy added about 15 pounds from college to today. Watching Murphy going through drills was much more reassuring, too. Looked the smoothest in drills, going through them with speed and fluidity.

– Ying and yang day for Greedy Williams. Excellent 40 time that highlighted his long speed, running a 4.37 40, but the drills were a different story. Clunky pedal and tight trying to flip his hips. Forced to repeat one of them three times before finally getting it right and didn’t finish the day because of cramping. Still like his tape but watching the two side-by-side, have to think more about if I’ll have Williams or Murphy as my #1 corner.

– Vanderbilt’s JoeJuan Williams was a guy I was excited to look at after seeing his name pop up in the first round of some of the national mock drafts. But I imagine after today, he’ll be somewhere in Day Two. Even for being 6’3 214, a 4.64 40 time is below average and he looked very stiff and non-explosive coming out of his pedal. False steps at the top and needs time to gather himself. It’s not like he’s even blessed with elite length. Just 32 1/2 inch arms, a little surprising given his frame.

– Of the “big corners,” I talked about yesterday, the two Johnson’s (Isaiah and Lonnie) and Justin Layne, Layne had the best day. Strong 40 time, a little better than I expected, who caught everything in drills – no surprise as a converted WR – with fluidity flipping his hips. Tossed in a 37 inch vert and 11’2″ broad for good measure.

Isaiah Johnson ran better, an impressive 4.4 flat, but he has a thinner frame, especially in his calves and ankles.

– Michigan’s David Long showed some of the burst flipping of the corners I watched too. Numbers bear that out, jumping 39.5 inches in the vert and 10 feet in the broad. Displayed straight line speed with a 4.45 40 time.

– Small-school kid who turned some heads at the Senior Bowl, Corey Ballentine from Washburn tested well (4.47 40, 39.5 vert, 11’3″ broad) that will convince teams he can play at the professional level. But i saw repeated tightness trying to open his hips and that’s going to negate some of the other strong athletic traits he shows.

– Was in the middle of watching Sean Bunting before the Combine began. Hard not to like what we saw overall, a 4.42 40 on a six-foot frame but he showed a really weird pause at the top of his pedal in the W drill. If I can find the clip, I’ll add it here.

Rock Ya-Sin had a pretty good day. First 40 of 4.59 wasn’t great but ran faster the second time, officially turning in a 4.51. One of the better corners in drills, too. Still not buying the first round hype and if he does, it’ll feel like out of a consequence of supply and demand, not because he’s truly in that same class as Baker, Murphy, and Greedy.

– Tough day for UW’s Jordan Miller. Better athlete (4.49) than corner. Lot of stiffness trying to change directions and he dropped nearly every pass in the gauntlet.

– One guy people are going to be running back to check out after today? Auburn’s Jamel Dean, who turned in a 4.3 flat and then jumped 41 inches in the vert and 10’10” in the broad. Not a ton of NFL production but did pick off a pair of passes last year.

Safety

– This group was moving. Impressive from top to bottom. Collectively, the safeties ran a 4.54 40, only four-hundredths of a second slower than the cornerbacks.

– Mentioned hoping Juan Thornhill would have a good day and boy, did he ever. 4.43 40, 44 inch vert, and 11’9″ broad. Just crazy stuff. Dane Brugler posted a cool video of him dunking in high school, validating those hops.

Hard to see a guy like that getting out of Day Two. Congrats to him. Dude made $$$ today.

– The fastest 40 of the whole Combine came by the guy who ran it next-to-last. Ole Miss’ Zedrick Woods, whose 4.29 took pretty much everyone by surprise. Wow.

– Three safeties we’ve profiled for the site who all had good days. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Amani Hooker, and Darnell Savage. Could CGJ be in play for the Steelers at pick 20? I’m not ruling it out. Then look for Hooker Day Two.

– Slowest 40 by the safeties? Fresno State’s Mike Bell. Worried about his lack of athleticism on tape and the 4.84 he ran is scary.

– Bummed Nasir Adderley and Taylor Rapp didn’t run. Adderley had a hamstring injury that kept him out entirely while Rapp did everything but the 40.

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