With the offseason picking up speed and the NFL Draft nearing closer, individual workouts and performances at the Combine are carrying more weight than ever.
Scouts are looking at potential corners, judging their speed, their reaction skills, and their upper and lower body strength.
A few guys disappointed and others took the show at the combine this year. Here is a list of a few guys at the NFL Combine whose stock went up and those that watched it fall.
Players Whose Stock Went Up
1. Patrick Robinson (Florida State)
40-Yard Dash (4.42) Bench Press (15) Vertical Jump (39.0)
Robinson was considered by many to potentially be the first corner taken in the draft and after a solid performance at the Combine, he may just do that. The former Seminole finished in the top three of every category he posted numbers in, something you expect out of a guy who produced like he did at Florida State.
There's still room to grow in Robinson's case, but a solid Pro Day and a continued showing of good character will speak volumes on how he will do at the next level.
2. Crezdon Butler (Clemson)
40-Yard Dash (4.41) Bench Press (17) Vertical Jump (39.5)
Butler came out of Clemson without much attention being thrown his way, but he put up great numbers at the Combine, including the day's best 40-yard. He did great at the bench and jumped well, a refreshing sight among a few of the no-name prospects.
The former ACC wide out has a lot of upside at the next level; he's still very unpolished, but he is undoubtedly athletic and will be an instant contributor in special teams in the NFL.
3. Kyle Wilson (Boise State)
Bench Press (25)
There are still questions about whether or not Wilson should be a corner or switch to safety, but either way, he is one athletically-gifted player who has elite upper body strength to boot.
At Boise State, Wilson was the backfield's best tackler and it showed at the bench, posting more reps than anyone else. He didn't perform in any other drills, but as an already highly-regarded corner, Wilson can do no wrong unless he completely flops at Boise State's Pro Day.
4. Chris Cook (Virginia)
40-Yard Dash (4.46) Bench Press (7) Vertical Jump (38.0) Broad Jump (11'00)
Cook didn't show up in a HUGE way at the Combine, but he posted solid numbers for a guy few were talking about on the drive to Indianapolis. He stole the show at the broad jump, displaying his lower body strength in style.
He ran a decent 40-yard, comparatively, and though he didn't do especially well at the bench, few people expect a mid-round corner to be especially strong anyway. Cook still won't be the star at Virginia's Pro Day, but he'll turn some heads if he continues to put up solid numbers.
5. A.J. Jefferson (Fresno State)
40-Yard Dash (4.49) Bench Press (7) Vertical Jump (44.0) Broad Jump (10'06)
Jefferson is another player that came into the combine under the shadow of a fellow teammate. But after his great performance in Indianapolis, Ryan Matthews won't be the only player from Fresno State people are talking about.
The former bulldog had an impressive day, running a solid 40-yard and taking the gold at the vertical jump. For a player of his size (6'0'', 190), he has great leaping ability and can turn on the jets in a short field. Expect him to get some much-deserved attention at Fresno State's Pro Day in March.
Players Whose Stock Went Down
1. Joe Haden (Florida)
40-Yard Dash (4.57) Bench Press (18) Vertical Jump (35.0) 3-Cone Drill (6.94)
Broad Jump (10'05)
Haden really disappointed at the Combine, posting a slow 40-yard and failing to shine in any other category. Although he was the only corner to run the 3-Cone, his numbers weren't overly impressive.
Many felt, going into the Combine, that Haden was the first overall cornerback in the draft and his performance has created a whole new perspective on prospective corners looking to steal the show in April. If Haden expects to continue his high profile, he'll have to make a better effort and steal the show at Florida's Pro Day later in the month.
2. Perrish Cox (Oklahoma State)
40-Yard Dash (4.53) Bench Press (12) Broad Jump (9'07)
It's really unfair that the easiest way to judge some of these players is by raw numbers alone, but that's the easiest way to measure a player's athleticism and Cox failed that test at the Combine.
His performance at the bench and the broad jump weren't impressive at all and his 40-yard was slower than expected. The tape showed a player uncomfortable with his surroundings; he looked stiff and a little lost at times. The former Cowboy was expected to go early in April but a good individual workout may not even be enough to overrule Cox's bad performance at the Combine and a lack of elite production at Oklahoma State.
3. Donovan Warren (Michigan)
40-Yard Dash (4.59) Bench Press (12)
Warren opted out of several drills at the Combine, and that may have been the right decision. The former Wolverine didn't look as fast as he does on tape with a 4.59 40-yard, but he'll have another opportunity to run it at Michigan's Pro Day.
One of Warren's strengths at Michigan was his ability to provide run support, though many doubt he can do the same in the NFL. His performance at the bench wasn't that of a guy who has the strength to wrangle down some of the larger receivers he'll encounter at the next level.
4. Stephen Virgil (Virginia Tech)
40-Yard Dash (4.69) Bench Press (12)
Virgil didn't come into the Combine as a highly-touted corner prospect, but his poor numbers in Indy didn't help his stock. It's only two-tenths of a second, but his 4.69 40-yard was much slower than scouts expected.
The former Hokie isn't the most physical prospect going into the draft, but his performance at the bench spoke volumes on how he will do in open field against some of the more physical receivers in the NFL. He'll have another chance to make a good showing at Tech's Pro Day, but until then, Virgil is slipping into the late rounds.
5. Syd'Quan Thompson (Cal)
It's difficult to judge an athlete's measureables when they don't participate in the Combine's drills, but Thompson did just that. It was reported that Thompson did not participate due to an ankle injury he sustained late in the season, but a lack of raw numbers doesn't bode well for the athlete's chances in April.
Again, anytime a player is injured, he isn't expected to perform or even do well, but with Thompson's expectations going into the draft, it would have been nice to see something, anything.
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