NFL Combine 2019 Results: Monday Highlights, Reaction and Recap

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2019

LSU defensive back Greedy Williams runs the 40-yard dash during the NFL football scouting combine, Monday, March 4, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Cornerbacks and safeties were in action Monday in Indianapolis during the final day of workouts at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.

While defensive linemen are considered the strength of this draft and everyone wants to talk about quarterbacks and receivers, several defensive backs stole the show at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Ole Miss safety Zedrick Woods set the best mark of the week in the 40-yard dash at 4.29 seconds, while top players like Greedy Williams, Byron Murphy, DeAndre Baker all spent the day trying to separate themselves in a crowded cornerback group.

Here is a look at what you need to know from Monday's action from the top players on the field.


Top 40-Yard Dash Times


Jamel Dean, Auburn: 4.30 seconds

Mark Fields, Clemson: 4.37 seconds

Greedy Williams, LSU: 4.37 seconds

Isaiah Johnson, Houston: 4.40 seconds

Sean Bunting, Central Michigan: 4.42 seconds



Zedrick Woods, Ole Miss: 4.29 seconds

Darnell Savage, Maryland: 4.36 seconds

Darius West, Kentucky: 4.39 seconds

Will Harris, Boston College: 4.41 seconds

Juan Thornhill, Virginia: 4.42 seconds

Full combine results are available on NFL.com


Notable Performers

Jamel Dean, Auburn

Although Zedrick Woods had the best 40 time, Jamel Dean might have moved the needle the most on his draft stock.

The cornerback blazed down the field with a 4.30-second 40-yard dash, which was impressive considering his size at 6'1", 206 pounds.


.@AuburnFootball CB Jamel Dean runs a 4.31u 40-yard dash! Tied for the fastest 40 of the 2019 #NFLCombine 🔥 https://t.co/ZibOdL80tq

Bruce Feldman @BruceFeldmanCFB

#Auburn’s Jamel Dean just clocked a blazing 4.31 40.. Not surprised. We had him on the Freaks list last summer. Was told then that he’d ran an electronically timed 4.3 40-yard dash & also vertical jumped 38 inches and broad jumped 10-8. And this was as a 6-1, 215-pound DB.

His performance was even more notable with his injury history:

Justin Ferguson @JFergusonAU

Here’s a reminder that Jamel Dean suffered three different knee injuries between his high school and early college days — and can still do this. https://t.co/XLI5bWeYr6

Along with his speed, Dean showcased his athleticism throughout the day with a vertical jump of 41 inches and a broad jump of 10'10".

This helped him tie Isaiah Johnson of Houston for the best combine score at the position:

Next Gen Stats @NextGenStats

Here's a look at the top combine performers from the cornerback group (pending the short shuttle & 3-cone drills). Auburn' Jamel Dean leads all cornerbacks by the NGS Combine Score (98) after running a 4.30 40-yard dash + 41" vertical jump & 10'10" broad jump at 206 lbs. https://t.co/BXwYSwZJVI

While workouts don't mean everything, it has told the story for cornerbacks in recent years:

Next Gen Stats @NextGenStats

Combine workouts matter when it comes to the cornerback position. Over the last 3 years, the top 5 cornerbacks by Next Gen Stats Combine Score all earned starting roles in their rookie season: Jalen Ramsey, Marshon Lattimore, Shaquill Griffin, Kevin King and Denzel Ward. https://t.co/oZTbaO8swm

With athleticism and good size at the position, Dean might have moved up a lot of boards this week.


Greedy Williams, LSU

Coming into the day, Greedy Williams was already a divisive player among scouts, and that likely didn't change with the combine.

The LSU cornerback turned heads with a fast 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds:

Bleacher Report NFL @BR_NFL

Greedy Williams was hungry to get under that 4.4 (via @thecheckdown) https://t.co/jGNR9ErIbT

DEVIN WHITE 4️⃣0️⃣ @DevinWhite__40

Easy Work For You Big Bro, I Called It 🥶 https://t.co/BPSTOFQJD0

This was something he needed to prove entering Monday:

Matt Miller @nfldraftscout

Greedy Williams first run: 4.38u That's a great time for him. One question was could he run at his height. The answer? He can.

Unfortunately, he struggled during the drills. The 6'2", 185-pounder looked awkward at times changing direction:

Rob Paul @RobPaulNFL

Greedy Williams and Byron Murphy having completely opposite #NFLCombine performances. Greedy ran fast and everything else has been bad. Murphy ran average and everything else has been elite.

Dion Caputi @nfldraftupdate

I was a little curious whether the upright style of @LSUfootball CB Greedy Williams, which you can see on the footage, would still be evident in Combine drills considering it's not ideal technique, but it has. It'll require immediate correction at the next level. #NFLCombine

He then cut his day short because of cramps in his calves, according to Chase Goodbread of NFL.com. This prevented him from participating in the vertical jump, broad jump and shuttle drills, which he will presumably need to do at the LSU pro day later this month.

Some have Williams as the top overall cornerback in the class, but he seemingly still has a lot to prove.


Byron Murphy, Washington

It's always important to balance the testing with the rest of the scouting report, and Byron Murphy showed why Monday.

His 40-yard dash didn't turn many heads at 4.55 seconds:


.@UW_Football CB @byronmurphy runs a 4.55u 40-yard dash! 📺: #NFLCombine on @NFLNetwork https://t.co/HKt9UxdpLD

The other numbers weren't among the leaders, including 36.5 inches on the vertical jump and 10 feet for the broad jump.

On the other hand, Murphy stood out during the drills with his smooth running:


Top CB prospect @ByronMurphy making it look easy 👀 @UW_Football 📺: #NFLCombine on @nflnetwork https://t.co/cBazp09tay

Washington Football @UW_Football

All the work 💯 All the effort 😤 It's your time, @byronmurphy. #PurpleReign x #NFLCombine https://t.co/GnNVit4j3C


Top DB prospects taking reps in the backpedal drill! 📺: #NFLCombine on @nflnetwork https://t.co/vqMwTuOK4r

Those watching along were impressed:

Budda Baker @buddabaker32

Byron Murphy has had the best DB performance when it comes to the drills by FAR!!

Jordan Simone @JordanSimone38

Byron Murphy looks the smoothest out of all the DBs! Top 15 pick!

Connor Rogers @ConnorJRogers

Expected Byron Murphy to run a bit better, he's a smooth mover on tape and seemed to have no problem turning and running down field

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller listed the Washington product as his No. 1 cornerback in the class heading into the combine, and that might not change despite mediocre testing numbers.

Even at 5'11", 190 pounds, Murphy could end up going early in the first round.


Juan Thornhill, Virginia

Few players at any position showcased their overall athleticism this week quite like safety Juan Thornhill.

At 6'0", 205 pounds, Thornhill displayed his strength with 21 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, which was second-best among defensive backs. He kept it going with the other workouts:


OKAY. @Juan_Thornhill just jumped 44" in the vertical! One inch shy of the Combine record 😱 @UVAFootball | #NFLCombine https://t.co/zLjWB4tHIl


Jumping out of the #NFLCombine. After a 44" vertical, @Juan_Thornhill just put up a 11'9" broad jump! (t-longest of 2019) @UVAFootball https://t.co/Zzh3RZCoXT

Chase Goodbread @ChaseGoodbread

Virginia's Juan Thornhill can definitely explode. 44" vertical and an 11-9 broad jump, which blew away the DB field. #NFLCombine

His vertical jump of 44 inches led all combine performers, while his 11'9" broad jump tied for first.

The safety held his own in the 40-yard dash as well, finishing in the top five at his position with a time of 4.42 seconds. This could help him move into the top two days of the draft:

Matt Miller @nfldraftscout

Dude is just explosive. Can cover, play over the top. Really good looking Round 2 player. https://t.co/FkiUSddI9U

At a position with few sure things, Thornhill likely climbed up rankings in Indianapolis.