We’ve reached the final day of the NFL Combine, and that means the defensive backs will be on full display this morning. Almost every team is looking for defensive backs at all times, and the Raiders could certainly use a bit more help at cornerback and safety as well.
NFL Combine Day 3
6:00 AM Pacific, NFL Network
The crucial drills for defensive backs are by and large the same as the ones for receivers- 40-yard dash, broad jump, vertical jump, 3-cone. But DBs will also be evaluated today for how they perform while backpedaling, a crucial skill for a defensive back to possess. Their hands and ball skills will also have to be on point.
The linebackers, receivers and defensive linemen have shown up huge in this Combine as some of the most athletic groups in recent memory, and that spells good news for some of the teams lower in the draft who might want to pick up a defensive back with a value choice. There’s bound to be some terrific corners and safeties who slip in this draft because there are just too many monster athletes in the Draft from top to bottom.
The consensus top corners in the draft are Greedy Williams from LSU, who has great coverage skills but questionable tackling; Byron Murphy from Washington and DeAndre Baker from Georgia. These guys will all have to be in top form to maintain their first-round spots, but a guy like Temple’s Rock Ya-Sin or Florida’s Chauncey Gardner-Johnson could sneak into Day 2 with a good showing.
As for the safety group, it’s not a strong bunch overall but the top guy could be Mississippi State’s Jonathan Abram, a huge hitter with good coverage skills. Nasir Adderley from Delaware has been rising up draft boards and impressed at the Senior Bowl, and he could find himself in the late first round. Deionte Thompson of Alabama was considered the top safety coming into last season, but he showed some flaws in his game late in the year. A really fast 40 time could put him back into first-round consideration, but he’s more likely to be a bargain in the mid-second round.
And finally, today’s the day where Rich Eisen does his charity 40-yard dash run to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Eisen has run faster almost every year he’s done this, and is nearly as fast now as some of the more plodding college offensive linemen. Run, Rich, Run!