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Fastest defensive backs are not necessarily the best Eagles prospects…

The cornerbacks and safeties took the field on Monday. The fastest 40-yard dash of the group belonged to Jalen Myrick, a cornerback from the University of Minnesota who ran an unofficial 4.28. Of course what does speed mean to a defensive back if he can’t cover or tackle at the next level?

6-4, 224 pound Obi Melifonwu out of Connecticut led all defensive backs with a 44-inch vertical jump and was top five in the 40-yard-dash. His 141-inch broad jump was the second longest at the Combine since 2003.

Here were the leaders in the individual drills:

40-yard dash

Player School 40-yd-dash
Myrick, Jalen Minnesota 4.28
Moreau, Fabian UCLA 4.35
Lattimore, Marshon Ohio St 4.36
Griffin, Shaquill Central Florida 4.38
Melifonwu, Obi Connecticut 4.40
Tankersley, Cordrea Clemson 4.40
Humphrey, Marlon Alabama 4.41
Jones, Josh North Carolina St 4.41
Jackson, Adoree’ USC 4.42
Nicholson, Montae Michigan St 4.42
Awuzie, Chidobe Colorado 4.43
King, Kevin Washington 4.43
Langley, Brendan Lamar 4.43
Conley, Gareon Ohio St 4.44
Baker, Budda Washington 4.45
Witherspoon, Ahkello Colorado 4.45

Bench press

Player School Bench
Langley, Brendan Lamar 22
Tocho, Jack North Carolina St 21
Jones, Josh North Carolina St 20
Ford, Rudy Auburn 20
Jenkins, Rayshawn Miami (Florida) 19
Lampkin, Ashton Oklahoma St 19
Woods, Xavier Louisiana Tech 19
Johnson, Jadar Clemson 19
Carter, Jamal Miami (Florida) 19
Adams, Jamal Louisiana St 18
Maulet, Art Memphis 18
Griffin, Shaquill Central Florida 17
Melifonwu, Obi Connecticut 17
Hill, Delano Michigan 17
Tyson, Mike Cincinnati 17
Gerry, Nathan Nebraska 17
Thompson, Tedric Colorado 17

Vertical jump

Player School Vertical
Melifonwu, Obi Connecticut 44.0
Williams, Marcus Utah 43.5
Witherspoon, Ahkello Colorado 40.5
King, Kevin Washington 39.5
Griffin, Shaquill Central Florida 38.5
Lattimore, Marshon Ohio St 38.5
Moreau, Fabian UCLA 38.0
Jones, Josh North Carolina St 37.5
Myrick, Jalen Minnesota 37.5
Conley, Gareon Ohio St 37.0
Jenkins, Rayshawn Miami (Florida) 37.0
Johnson, John Boston College 37.0
Jackson, Adoree’ USC 36.0
White, Marquez Florida St 36.0
Hairston, Nate Temple 35.5
Langley, Brendan Lamar 35.5

Broad jump

Player School Broad
Melifonwu, Obi Connecticut 141
Moreau, Fabian UCLA 136
Griffin, Shaquill Central Florida 132
Lattimore, Marshon Ohio St 132
Jones, Josh North Carolina St 132
Awuzie, Chidobe Colorado 132
Robinson, Ezra Tennessee St 130
Williams, Marcus Utah 129
Conley, Gareon Ohio St 129
Jenkins, Rayshawn Miami (Florida) 128
Witherspoon, Ahkello Colorado 127
Nicholson, Montae Michigan St 125
Tocho, Jack North Carolina St 125
Humphrey, Marlon Alabama 125
Myrick, Jalen Minnesota 124
Kazee, Damontae San Diego St 124

3-cone drill

Player School 3-cone
King, Kevin Washington 6.56
Allen, Brian Utah 6.64
King, Desmond Iowa 6.67
Conley, Gareon Ohio St 6.68
Johnson, John Boston College 6.72
Humphrey, Marlon Alabama 6.75
Baker, Budda Washington 6.76
Awuzie, Chidobe Colorado 6.81
Sutton, Cam Tennessee 6.81
Clark, Chuck Virginia Tech 6.85
Griffin, Shaquill Central Florida 6.87
Luani, Shalom Washington St 6.87

Short shuttle

Player School Short shuttle
Robinson, Ezra Tennessee St 3.89
Clark, Chuck Virginia Tech 4.07
Baker, Budda Washington 4.08
Adams, Jamal Louisiana St 4.13
Awuzie, Chidobe Colorado 4.14
King, Desmond Iowa 4.18
Conley, Gareon Ohio St 4.18

60-yard shuttle

Player School 60-yd shuttle
King, Kevin Washington 11.14
Langley, Brendan Lamar 11.19
Tocho, Jack North Carolina St 11.19
Luani, Shalom Washington St 11.22
Williams, Marcus Utah 11.26
Moreau, Fabian UCLA 11.45
Wilson, Quincy Florida 11.45

Physical ability enhanced by a strong work ethic and dedicated training is what these top marks by the defensive backs reveal. But again, what you can’t measure is how these young men will communicate and adjust to game situations under pressure. That kind of foresight is what scouts like Tony Pauline and Mike Mayock try to figure out based on a balance of measurables and game tape.

Here’s Tony Pauline‘s take on the real-time defensive back standouts at the final workout session of the Combine:

[Respected as one of the most detailed and well-researched NFL Draft analysts in the business, TFY Draft Preview President Tony Pauline has brought in-depth player information to football fans for more than two decades. The draft is a year round event for Tony as he spends his summers watching three-to-four game films daily, then his fall weekends traveling the country to personally scout the nations top prospects in action. Originally working with reporters and draft publications in the New York area more than 25 years ago, Tony branched out in 1997, quickly making the TFY Draft Preview a household name amongst draftniks and NFL scouts.]

“CB Shaquill Griffin: Despite being a productive starting college corner for three seasons, scouts around the league graded Griffin as a marginal free agent entering the season due to concerns about his speed. The senior quelled those concerns, timing just under 4.4 seconds in the 40 and turning in a tremendous practice session. Griffin looked as good as any cornerback during ball drills, displaying a quick backpedal, smooth hip turn, and the ability to explode to the ball out of his plant. Sized well at just about 6-0, 194 pounds, Griffin now enters the conversation as a potential middle-round choice.

“CB Kevin King: King was another prospect who came to the Combine with questions about his ability to run. The tall corner possesses excellent size and next-level ball skills, but struggled in deep coverage last year. Like Griffin, King ran much faster than expected by timing 4.43 seconds in the 40. He may have run himself into the late part of the first round.

“CB Adoree’ Jackson: Jackson was fast (4.41 seconds in the 40), smooth, and very quick. Considering he suffered a serious ankle injury during the Rose Bowl on January 2, he ran well and I would expect faster times during the Trojans’ Pro Day. Jackson looked terrific in drills, easily flipping his hips, displaying speed moving in every direction, and snatching the ball from the air in the deep field. He secured himself as a first-round pick.

“CB Chidobe Awuzie: Awuzie’s workout was long anticipated by scouts after a toe injury kept him out of the Senior Bowl. He responded with a knockout performance. He posted a solid 40 time in the low-4.4s, touched 11 feet in the broad jump, and ran the short shuttle in a solid 4.14 seconds. Awuzie was then very effective in position drills and will receive consideration late in the first round.

“S Budda Baker: Baker is another Washington defensive back who impressed during the Combine. He timed 4.45 seconds in the 40 as one of the fastest safeties of the day, posted a short shuttle of 4.08 seconds, and then clocked 6.76 seconds in the 3-cone. Baker looked solid in position drills and solidified himself as a late first-round selection.

“S Marcus Williams: Williams’ times in the 40, 3-cone, and shuttle were solid, but he really stood out in position work. He looked like a cornerback during drills, displaying a quick backpedal, the ability to flip his hips, and top-notch ball skills. The lack of great speed may limit the number of schemes Williams can play in, but there’s no doubting his next-level potential.

“CB Ahkello Witherspoon: Witherspoon takes a back seat to teammate Chidobe Awuzie, but he was another Colorado defensive back who leaves the Combine a winner. Witherspoon’s numbers were similar to his teammate’s, as he timed mid-to-low-4.4s in the 40 and 4.13 seconds in the short shuttle. He looked technically sound during position drills and set himself up as a solid second-day choice.

“CB Gareon Conley: Conley is the forgotten man in the Ohio State secondary, but don’t ignore his ability. He ran well in the 40 (4.45 seconds), looked terrific in position drills, and has scouts believing he’s a next-level starter, which is a justifiable opinion.

“S Josh Jones: Jones proved on Monday why he’s the most underrated safety in the draft. He timed 4.41 seconds in the 40 at 220 pounds, touched 37.5 inches in the vertical jump, and reached 11 feet in the broad jump. Jones looked equally as athletic during position drills, and cemented himself as a second-day choice.

“Honorable Mention: I could have legitimately added another half-dozen players to this list, as each defensive back performed better than the next one. Tre’Davious White, Fabian Moreau, Obi Melifonwu, Montae Nicholson, Delano Hill, and Brendan Langley are six more players who improved their draft stock with outstanding performances in Indianapolis.”

 

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