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Thread: After the Combine: DB Risers and Fallers

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    After the Combine: DB Risers and Fallers

    There will be very good DBs to get on Day 2 and 3 this year.

    Scouting Combine Day 6: Rising and Falling
    This story originally published on ScoutNFLNetwork.com



    By Chris Steuber
    Scout.com NFL Draft Analyst
    Posted Mar 2, 2010





    On the final day of the NFL Scouting Combine, the defensive backs took the field and displayed their skills in front of scouts. Scout.com's NFL Draft Analyst Chris Steuber discloses the prospects that are rising and falling after their performance on Tuesday.


    On The Rise

    Eric Berry, S, Tennessee

    The best defender to enter the draft in the last 10 years, Berry, who checked in at the Combine at 6-foot, 211 pounds, shined on the turf of Lucas Oil Field. Sporting gold cleats, Berry sparkled in the 40 by running a 4.47 and looked smooth during drills, although he dropped a couple of balls during the “W” drill. Berry also showed his strength in the bench press by completing 19 reps and excelled in the vertical jump with 43-inch hops. There’s no question that Berry will be the first safety off the board and should be a top 5 pick this April.



    Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State

    There are plenty of questions surrounding Robinson’s inconsistent ball skills, but nobody ever questioned his cover skills. In this draft, the cornerback position lacks an initial punch, but has the depth that will have a lasting impact. Robinson has lock down potential and the upside to be a tremendous ballhawk. And on Tuesday, Robinson had a great workout and captured a 4.42 in the 40. Robinson’s toughness and physical play have been questioned during his career, but by benching 225 pounds 15 times and recording a 37-inch vertical, he showed that he has the strength to compete against bigger receivers.

    Brandon Ghee, CB, Wake Forest

    Of the highest rated cornerbacks in the draft, Ghee possesses the largest hands (10.5 inches) and showcased the best size/speed combination at the Combine on Tuesday. At 6-foot, 192 pounds, Ghee ran a 4.45 in the 40 and was the most polished defensive back during drills. He also did well in the bench press (15 reps) and vertical jump (37 inches), and solidified a spot in the second round.

    Taylor Mays, S, USC

    Everyone knew that Mays was going to be a workout warrior at the Combine, and when it was discovered that he ran an unofficial 4.24 in the 40, that was just simply amazing. But, when it was determined that the unofficial time was off and Mays actually ran a 4.43, that was still an impressive time for a man who stands 6-foot-3, 230 pounds. Even though there was some disappointment that Mays didn’t run a 4.24, he was still impressive on Tuesday. He benched 225 pounds 24 times and had a 41-inch vertical. However, during drills Mays looked stiff and had a hard time finding the ball in the air. There are whispers that scouts view him as a linebacker, which is something I’ve been saying since September. Imagine Mays coming off the edge as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense; it could be special.

    Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers

    One of my favorite players in the 2010 draft, McCourty is the type of defender you can build your secondary around. He’s a physical, well-conditioned athlete who performed brilliantly on Tuesday. Measuring in at 5-foot-11, 193 pounds, McCourty ran an impressive 4.48 in the 40 and completed 16 reps in the bench press. McCourty’s stock is on the rise, and he could ultimately be the No. 2 or 3 cornerback selected in the draft.

    Earl Thomas, FS, Texas

    One of college football’s best playmakers, Thomas had eight interceptions for the Longhorns this past year and decided to leave school after his [redshirt] sophomore season. The biggest concern about Thomas was his size and his overall tackling ability. But, when Thomas showed up at the Combine at 5-foot-10, 208 pounds, scouts had to be happy about the added bulk, not to mention the workout that he turned out on Tuesday. Thomas ran well in the 40 and was clocked at a 4.44, and had a surprising performance in the bench press with 21 reps.

    Chris Cook, CB, Virginia

    Cook had a great week at the Senior Bowl and caught the attention of many scouts. At 6-foot-2, 212 pounds, Cook has the size and speed to play cornerback or safety at the next level, and after his performance at the Combine, his stock is soaring. Cook ran a 4.46 in the 40, and showed his explosion by posting a 38-inch vertical and a Combine-high 11-foot broad jump. The only negative on the day for Cook was his lack of strength in the bench press; he did just seven reps.



    Making Their Mark



    Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, CB, Indiana (PA)

    A small school prospect who possesses the versatility that scouts desire, Owusu-Ansah could play cornerback or safety at the next level, and be a team’s return specialist. At 6-foot, 207 pounds, Owusu-Ansah ran extremely well (4.47 in the 40) and was fluid during drills. He displayed quick feet and a smooth backpedal. He’s an intriguing late third, early fourth round pick.

    Crezdon Butler, CB, Clemson

    An experienced cornerback who started three years at Clemson, Butler had a down year in 2009 and his draft stock suffered. But on Tuesday, Butler showed scouts that he’s a great athlete and still as the potential to be a good corner in the NFL. Butler posted some elite numbers: a 4.41 in the 40, 17 reps in the bench press and a 39.5-inch vertical.

    A.J. Jefferson, CB, Fresno State

    Possibly the biggest surprise on Tuesday was the performance of Jefferson. He proved to be a classic under-the-radar athlete who has tremendous natural gifts. Jefferson was quick during drills, showcased good ball skills and instincts. At 6-foot-1, 193 pounds, he ran a 4.49 in the 40 and displayed amazing explosion with a 44-inch vertical and a 10’6” broad jump.

    Darrell Stuckey, SS, Kansas

    The 2010 draft is one of the deepest safety classes in recent memory, and there could be as many as 11 safeties selected in the first three rounds. Stuckey, who measured in at 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds, did his best on Tuesday to be among the top 11 safeties in the draft. He ran a 4.49 in the 40, benched 225 pounds 17 times and generated a 39.5-inch vertical. Stuckey was a little stiff during drills, but his overall performance will help his draft stock.

    Kevin Thomas, CB, USC

    Injuries plagued Thomas’ career at USC, but the 6-foot, 192-pound corner showcased his athleticism to NFL scouts on Tuesday. Thomas did well during drills, but must stay low in his backpedal. However, he ran a surprising 4.48 in the 40, posted 17 reps in the bench press and showed his explosion with a 10’6” broad jump.


    On The Decline

    Joe Haden, CB, Florida

    There will be many that over analyze the fact that Haden had a less than stellar workout at the Scouting Combine. Haden’s time in the 40 (4.57) was alarming and will force NFL evaluators to reevaluate the 6-foot, 193-pound playmaker on film even more. But to think that he will lose his No. 1 ranking over one bad day is ridiculous. Haden will still be a top 10 pick in the draft, and there’s no question that he will rebound from this performance and have a standout showing at his Pro Day. He has Darrelle Revis type ability.

    Chad Jones, FS, LSU

    Jones decided to forego his senior season after a solid junior campaign where he had 74 tackles and three interceptions. At 6-foot-2, 231 pounds, Jones is considered to be one of the top safeties in this year’s class, but he failed to impress scouts on Tuesday. Jones ran an average 4.57 in the 40, but it was his bench press that raised eyebrows. At his size, Jones should have completed more than seven reps. Jones’ lack of strength will likely hurt him, but he should still receive late second, early third round consideration.

    Donovan Warren, CB, Michigan

    Just like Jones, Warren decided to skip his senior season and enter the draft after his junior year. At 5-foot-11, 193 pounds, Warren has great size for a corner, but lacked the straight-line speed that scouts wanted to see and managed just a 4.59 in the 40. There are scouts that believe Warren is best suited to play safety at the next level. And after the speed he amassed on Tuesday, it’s safe to say that Warren’s decision to enter the draft may come back to haunt him.

    Myron Rolle, SS, Florida State
    It’s easy to say that Rolle is the brightest NFL prospect in the history of the draft, since he was just one of 32 American students to be named a Rhodes Scholar. But as far as his future in the NFL, Rolle impressed teams during the interview process in Indianapolis, but on Tuesday, he failed to standout during his workout. There were a lot of questions about Rolle’s overall speed during his time at Florida State, and the 4.68 he ran in the 40 only magnifies his weakness. During drills, Rolle was stiff in the hips and struggled in transition. He has a good burst and demonstrated strength in the bench press with 21 reps, but in a deep safety class, Rolle will fall into the sixth or seventh round.

    Joshua Moore, CB, Kansas State

    Moore is an intriguing cover corner who has good size and great speed; displaying a 4.47 in the 40 at the Combine on Tuesday. But, the one question about Moore’s game is his physical approach and if he has the strength to matchup against stronger receivers. Moore failed to give scouts piece of mind in that area of his game, as he posted just two reps in the bench press
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    Re: After the Combine: DB Risers and Fallers

    Steelers were talking to Chris Cook at the Senior Bowl. 2nd round pick perhaps?

    Funny thing is, every draft site says Cook is strong & a solid tackler, yet he punches out 9 reps. How does that happen?
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    Re: After the Combine: DB Risers and Fallers

    Quote Originally Posted by Chadman
    Steelers were talking to Chris Cook at the Senior Bowl. 2nd round pick perhaps?

    Funny thing is, every draft site says Cook is strong & a solid tackler, yet he punches out 9 reps. How does that happen?

    While I also think Cook will be a strong possibility in Round 2, I'm unsure the Steelers want to add too many more CBs into the mix. They already got Burnett and Lewis last year. It will be interesting to see if they tender Gay before Friday.
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    Re: After the Combine: DB Risers and Fallers

    You don't have to be the hulk to tackle well. If kids stopped trying to duplicate the knock out shots they see on Sundays then maybe they would learn to simply go for the legs and wrap up at a young age.

    Put your shoulder is the stomach, chop behind the knees, and drive with your legs. Why can't grown men ever do that?

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    Re: After the Combine: DB Risers and Fallers

    Out of that group, I can only see us taking Thomas in the first round. With the draft picks invested last year in the position, I don't really see us taking a CB with a low first/second round grade. I still think it will be a "boring" OL pick, but it will be a good pick nonetheless.

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    Re: After the Combine: DB Risers and Fallers

    Quote Originally Posted by NW Steeler
    Out of that group, I can only see us taking Thomas in the first round. With the draft picks invested last year in the position, I don't really see us taking a CB with a low first/second round grade. I still think it will be a "boring" OL pick, but it will be a good pick nonetheless.
    I agree with that line of thinking as well NW. I doubt that we will go CB in the first (even though i would be very good with Haden or Wilson) due to the fact that we selected two corners last year that Tomlin is high on,..along with the fact that he IMO still believes that Gay is a "big play" guy. (but hey,...i'm done giving him (Tomlin) a beating,...he likes his guys,...what are you gonna do)

    And with that said,...i believe that they will probably pull the trigger on Thomas or Iupati much to my chagrin. As i would prefer that Colbert would show the same boldness as when he was inspired by Cowher to trade up for Troy,.....and package our 1st, third and 6th to move ahead of the 49ers and the Seahawks at 14 to the Dolphins spot and select Taylor. (We have what ,...three 5th rnd selections to work on depth)

    The way i see it the Dolphins could still get Williams, Kindle, Graham or Weatherspoon at the 18th spot. (So it's good look for both teams)
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    Re: After the Combine: DB Risers and Fallers

    Baed on solely the criticism that Mays has gotten, I would not give up picks for him. I just like the fact that Thomas was much more productive in college than Mays. Mays has 2 interceptions in the last 3 years. He is a physical specimen, a freak of sorts. He would be intimidating as hell in the secondary, but I really feel that we need a guy with some proven ball skills, a play maker like Thomas. That said, I would still be excited if we drafted Mays, but I think Thomas is the safer pick. If we don't re-sign Clark and don't sign a significant FS in free agency, then we almost have to draft one in the first round, don't we?

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    Re: After the Combine: DB Risers and Fallers

    Quote Originally Posted by NW Steeler
    Baed on solely the criticism that Mays has gotten, I would not give up picks for him. I just like the fact that Thomas was much more productive in college than Mays. Mays has 2 interceptions in the last 3 years. He is a physical specimen, a freak of sorts. He would be intimidating as hell in the secondary, but I really feel that we need a guy with some proven ball skills, a play maker like Thomas. That said, I would still be excited if we drafted Mays, but I think Thomas is the safer pick. If we don't re-sign Clark and don't sign a significant FS in free agency, then we almost have to draft one in the first round, don't we?
    Yeah i think it's fair to say that Safety is most certainly a position of need for us especially with the pending departure of Clark . (whom in reality is a huge liability in coverage when Troy is not on the field because of his considerable lack of speed,....and he's the second best safety that we have)

    I also understand the perception that Thomas is a "ballhawk" and Taylor is supposedly "suspect" in coverage,.....but i have been repping SC since my childhood along with the Steelers,(Through the both the good and LEAN times for both. lol) and the same "great athlete, but will suffer in coverage enforcer" tag was also unfairly placed on Troy coming out. It's a matter of what you are almost expected to do as a Safety at SC from Ronnie Lott on,......above all else,...be physical.


    And sometimes such focus on merely one part of a talented players game,...has a tendency to cause said player and or players to over emphasize that single attribute. (physicality)

    Long story short,...i have no doubt whatsoever that Taylor under Coach lebeau and Troy's tutelage could go on to be very similar to Carnell in coverage. Let alone be an immediate and considerable upgrade over Mundy, Carter and even Clark at either S position.
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    Re: After the Combine: DB Risers and Fallers

    If Mays was drafted, do you think that he and Troy would swap positions, like some here have suggested? Or is that just "board" talk? That would put Taylor closer to the LOS and let Troy freelance even more than he does. It seems to make sense. I am definitely warming to the idea of Mays, mostly based on his physical stature. You wont see him getting trucked by RB's ala Carter, Clark, etc......

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    Re: After the Combine: DB Risers and Fallers

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCzar76
    Quote Originally Posted by NW Steeler
    Baed on solely the criticism that Mays has gotten, I would not give up picks for him. I just like the fact that Thomas was much more productive in college than Mays. Mays has 2 interceptions in the last 3 years. He is a physical specimen, a freak of sorts. He would be intimidating as hell in the secondary, but I really feel that we need a guy with some proven ball skills, a play maker like Thomas. That said, I would still be excited if we drafted Mays, but I think Thomas is the safer pick. If we don't re-sign Clark and don't sign a significant FS in free agency, then we almost have to draft one in the first round, don't we?
    Yeah i think it's fair to say that Safety is most certainly a position of need for us especially with the pending departure of Clark . (whom in reality is a huge liability in coverage when Troy is not on the field because of his considerable lack of speed,....and he's the second best safety that we have)

    I also understand the perception that Thomas is a "ballhawk" and Taylor is supposedly "suspect" in coverage,.....but i have been repping SC since my childhood along with the Steelers,(Through the both the good and LEAN times for both. lol) and the same "great athlete, but will suffer in coverage enforcer" tag was also unfairly placed on Troy coming out. It's a matter of what you are almost expected to do as a Safety at SC from Ronnie Lott on,......above all else,...be physical.


    And sometimes such focus on merely one part of a talented players game,...has a tendency to cause said player and or players to over emphasize that single attribute. (physicality)

    Long story short,...i have no doubt whatsoever that Taylor under Coach lebeau and Troy's tutelage could go on to be very similar to Carnell in coverage. Let alone be an immediate and considerable upgrade over Mundy, Carter and even Clark at either S position.
    I'm confused about the Mays "suspect" tag that the board keeps touting...

    Not sure if it's legit or like the Rooney quote about running "more effectively..."
    which was rehashed so much it turned into BA being fired and Bettis coming back for some smashmouth football.

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