NFL Draft

2019 NFL Combine What To Watch For: Defensive Backs

Today marks for the final day of the 2019 NFL Combine. The defensive backs will round things out and if yesterday was any indication, it’ll be any athletic bunch. Here’s what I’m looking for.


Byron Murphy came in at a good weight, 190 pounds, but let’s see how well he runs at that size. For his sake, hopefully a strong time, somewhere in the 4.4’s. I think he will.

– Some have knocked Georgia’s Deandre Baker for his long speed but from what I saw, it’s really good. We’ll find out in a little bit.

– One guy I’m not sure of? Temple’s Rock Ya-Sin. The one number we know, his 18 reps on the bench, aren’t a surprise. He’s a tough guy, a former wrestler. How good of an athlete is he? On tape, I saw average to slightly above, but others have seemed more optimistic.

– Which one of the big corners – and there are many – will be the height/weight/speed guy. Justin Layne? Probably not but we’ll see. Isaiah Johnson? Lonnie Johnson? Lonnie looked stiff on tape so interested to see him flip his hips, drive downhill (the “W” drill” will expose the latter) along with his straight line speed. Chance for these guys to separate myself.

– Ohio State’s Kendall Sheffield was expected to have a good day. But he reportedly tore his pec on the bench press. Terrible news.

If it’s any consolation, as mentioned, it happened to Billy Price last year. And he still ended up as a first round pick, going 21st overall to the Denver Broncos.

– Vandy’s JoeJuan Joseph is a dude on my list. Some of the national media think he could end up as a first round pick. Excited to get eyes on him.


– It would take a lot to compel the Steelers to draft a small school player like Delaware’s Nasir Adderley early. He’ll have to convince them. That’ll start with a strong athletic profile. So if you’re hanging onto the hope he ends up in Black and Gold, cross your fingers he blows it out of the water.

– I could see Amani Hooker as a Day Two pick. Nickel/safety type with the size the team is looking for. And Juan Thornhill is one of this classes’ biggest ballhawks with 13 career interceptions. My fingers sure are crossed he has a good day.

– Fresno State’s Mike Bell is best fit to play free safety but he’ll need to test like one, too. Had some concerns about speed and stiffness in his transition in addition to the big ones about his terrible tackling and technique.

– Looking for the hard-hitting missiles? Look no further than Mississippi State’s Jonathan Abram and Washington’s Taylor Rapp.

How about dime candidates? Chauncey Gardner-Johnson would be one heck of a fit. Kentucky’s Mark Edwards is a later round option though I don’t expect him to test anything more than average to slightly below.

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