On the final day of action at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, the defensive backs took the stage and did not disappoint.
Big names like Justin Gilbert, Darqueze Dennard and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix competed in various drills and workouts to help show teams that they deserve to be taken in the first round. Meanwhile, others simply want to prove to scouts that they were overlooked before and that they have the athleticism to compete in the NFL.
It is important to note that the combine is only a small part of the process leading up to the NFL draft. Still, plenty of prospects took advantage of this chance to prove what they could do in front of representatives from all 32 teams.
Here is a look at results and recap of everything you need to know from Day 6 at the combine.
|Name||School||Height||Weight||40 time||Bench||Vert. Jump||Broad Jump||3-Cone||20-Yd Shuttle||60-Yd Shuttle|
|Mo Alexander||Utah St.||6'1"||220||4.54||-||38||123||7.05||4.51||11.82|
|Bene Benwikere||San Jose St.||5'11"||195||4.63||10||40||122||6.94||4.38||-|
|Nat Berhe||San Diego St.||5'10"||193||4.71||15||35.5||117||7.08||4.22||-|
|Tre Boston||North Carolina||6'0"||204||4.59||18||35||116||7.04||4.31||-|
|Terrence Brooks||Florida St.||5'11"||198||4.42||10||38||119||7.35||-||-|
|Deone Bucannon||Washington St.||6'1"||211||4.49||19||36.5||125||6.96||4.26||-|
|Ha Ha Clinton-Dix||Alabama||6'1"||208||4.58||11||33||119||7.16||4.16||11.63|
|Darqueze Dennard||Michigan St.||5'11"||199||4.51||15||-||-||-||-||-|
|Brandon Dixon||Northwest Missouri St.||5'11"||203||4.41||17||32.5||117||7.15||4.27||-|
|Jonathan Dowling||Western Kentucky||6'3"||190||4.52||8||33.5||118||7.04||4.24||11.56|
|Antone Exum||Virginia Tech||6'0"||213||4.59||17||35||117||7.05||4.13||-|
|Kyle Fuller||Virginia Tech||6'0"||190||4.49||12||38.5||128||6.90||4.19||-|
|Justin Gilbert||Oklahoma St.||6'0"||212||4.37||20||35.5||126||6.92||-||-|
|Victor Hampton||South Carolina||5'9"||197||4.69||20||33.5||118||7.01||4.20||11.57|
|Bennett Jackson||Notre Dame||6'0"||195||4.51||13||38||128||6.75||4.00||-|
|Dontae Johnson||North Carolina St.||6'2"||200||4.45||12||38.5||124||6.82||4.24||11.06|
|Lamarcus Joyner||Florida State||5'8"||184||4.55||14||37.5||124||7.26||4.40||-|
|Nevin Lawson||Utah St.||5'9"||190||4.48||16||33||120||7.12||4.40||-|
|Isaiah Lewis||Michigan St.||5'10"||211||4.60||15||36.5||122||7.05||4.47||-|
|Jabari Price||North Carolina||5'10"||200||4.45||16||-||-||7.04||4.30||11.38|
|Keith Reaser||Florida Atlantic||5'10"||189||-||22||-||-||-||-||-|
|Rashaad Reynolds||Oregon St.||5'10"||189||4.51||20||37.5||123||6.72||4.00||-|
|Bradley Roby||Ohio State||5'11"||194||4.39||17||38.5||124||-||4.04||-|
|Jemea Thomas||Georgia Tech||5'9"||192||4.55||19||37||125||-||-||-|
|Jimmie Ward||Northern Illinois||5'11"||193||-||9||-||-||-||-||-|
|Todd Washington||Southeastern Louisiana||5'11"||196||-||13||-||-||-||-||-|
|Lavelle Westbrooks||Georgia Southern||5'11"||186||4.63||15||36||121||6.98||4.27||-|
Coming into the day, most scouts wanted to see what kind of numbers Justin Gilbert could put up in the workouts. The Oklahoma State product has the size and pure athleticism to be a star in the NFL, but he had the pressure on him to perform at the combine.
Fortunately, he came up big throughout the day, starting with his 40-yard dash:
Justin Gilbert (4.35 first time) runs 2nd unofficial 40 of 4.38. Dude is fast.— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) February 25, 2014
Here is a look at his blazing first run that even featured a stumble:
In the official numbers, Gilbert was the fastest defensive back in the class, as noted by Doug Kyed of NESN:
Justin Gilbert ran a 4.37-second official 40-yard dash. Fastest among DBs.— Doug Kyed (@DougKyedNESN) February 25, 2014
However, not everyone is sold on the athlete being the best cornerback in the draft. Mike Loyko of NEPatriotsDraft.com argues that Darqueze Dennard has better coverage skills:
I don't care if Justin Gilbert runs a 4.20 today.. he's not close to the cover corner that Dennard is.— Mike Loyko (@NEPD_Loyko) February 25, 2014
Although Dennard has a slower 40 time at 4.51, this is still a solid mark for someone of his size and ability. Teams will certainly have tough decisions to make in May. Although his official time is a bit slower than it first seemed, Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports still points out that he has done enough to prove himself:
#MichiganState star CB Darqueze Dennard whose film scouts love, just ran an unofficial 4.42. Stud. No more skepticism w him.— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) February 25, 2014
Another defensive back looking to lock up a spot in the first round is safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix out of Alabama. He ran a 4.58-second 40-yard dash, but he also showcased plenty of talent in the on-field drills, as noted by Bleacher Report's Matt Miller:
The 40-time is impressive for HaHa Clinton-Dix, but how smooth he moves in space is what excites you as a player.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 25, 2014
The tape on the safety is outstanding as he has shown plenty of ability to cover a lot of ground in the defensive backfield. This skill, along with his experience on one of the best defenses in the country the past few years, will make Clinton-Dix a hot commodity.
Of course, the combine is a chance to give some lesser-known players a chance to move up on draft boards. Senior Bowl director Phil Savage notes some of the more impressive players in the early session:
In position work, IMO, Brooks, Bucannon and Clinton-Dix were best safeties, with Gilbert, Dennard, Fuller, Desir and Gaines as top corners.— Phil Savage (@SeniorBowlPhil) February 25, 2014
Desir is someone who especially shined on Tuesday in virtually every drill. He was among the best at the position in the broad jump while looking smooth in all of his workouts. Doug Farrar of Sports Illustrated provides a quick scouting report on the Lindenwood product:
Desir erases guys on sideline routes. Of course, you want to see that against better competition, but you can iso a guy to a degree.— SI_DougFarrar (@SI_DougFarrar) February 25, 2014
Teams might be scared of drafting a player who faced such poor competition, but Desir continues to prove that he is worth a mid-round selection.
Another big-time riser is Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller, who earned high praise from Jeremy Fowler of CBS Sports:
VT's Kyle Fuller with unofficial 4.4. Prob best corner I saw in person all season.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) February 25, 2014
The combine featured plenty of positive press for some players while others are worse off than they started. With the Indianapolis event now behind us, it comes down to pro days for each player to prove their worth as a potential star in the NFL.
All combine results courtesy of NFL.com's results tracker.
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