2014 Draft

2014 NFL Scouting Combine – Tuesday Notes On Cornerbacks, Safeties

By Alex Kozora

Notes from the final day of workouts at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis as the cornerbacks and safeties closed things out. Nothing too in-depth. Just some musings. Bear in mind that tape, the interview process, and medicals, are all far more important than the events themselves. Maintaining perspective when watching the combine is critical.

Final Day of the Combine Notes. Hopefully, a wrap up of Winners/Losers will come in the next few days.

Defensive Backs

The Weigh In

– Despite being 6’0, Duke corner Ross Cockrell doesn’t have much length (29 7/8 arms) or big hands (9 inches).

HaHa Clinton-Dix with the length I expected to see from him. 32 3/8 arms.

– Best part of Baylor safety Ahmad Dixon’s trip to Indy was the weigh in. 6’0 212 with 32 1/4 arms and 9 7/8 hands. The drills weren’t as kind to him.

– Lindenwood Pierre Desir with a Cortez Allen-esque build. Even bigger, actually. Extremely long, lean look. 6’1 198 with 33 inch arms. Allen weighed in at 6’1 197 and 32 1/4 arms. Small schools for each. Lots of parallels.

– Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard is billed as a press corner. Just wish he had longer arms. Stumps at 30 1/4 inches.

Stanley Jean-Baptise will endlessly receive Richard Sherman comparisons from now until draft day. Both with elite size, Jean-Baptise at 6’2 1/2 218. Like Sherman, Baptise began his Nebraska career at wide receiver.

Lamarcus Joyner a tiny thing at 5’8 184.

– Utah’s Keith McGill an even bigger prospect than Jean-Baptise. 6’3 211 and possessing 33 inch arms and 10 1/4 hands.

Kendall James out of Maine ran a fast 40 but he profiles as a nickel back. Uber-tiny at 5’10 1/2 180 with 29 1/2 arms and 8 inch hands.

– As I predicted in my scouting report of his, Calvin Pryor came in shorter than listed, but I didn’t expect him to be three inches shorter. Listed at 6’2, measured in at 5’11. That’s Stephen Burton territory.

The Events

– Based on the pure numbers alone, San Jose State’s Bene’ Benwikere profiles as more of a zone corner. Pedestrian 40 times running a 4.63 but a 40.5 vert and 10’2” in the broad. Also posted a 6.94 in the three cone. Shows lower body strength that will be important when closing in zone coverage when he clicks and closes.

– For being 6’1, Washington safety Deone Bucannon had a heck of a day. 4.49 in the 40 with a 36.5 inch vertical and 10’5” leap in the broad jump.

– Baylor’s Dixon had a poor showing. Even for a safety, a 4.64 is just average. Low numbers in the other events, too. 32 inch vert was tied for the lowest and his 9’2” in the broad was the worst number by the defensive backs. By comparison, four offensive lineman eclipsed that mark.

– Love Justin Gilbert’s build. Over 33 inch arms on a 202 pound frame. Turned in a 4.38 40.

– South Carolina’s Victor Hampton has very quick feet but didn’t show long speed in his 40. Timed at 4.69. Did better in the drills.

–  Jean-Baptise clearly has the size and showed his athleticism, too. 41.5 inch vertical led the group.

– McGill with solid triangle numbers. In addition to his 6’3 frame, turned in a more than respectable 4.51 40 and impressive 39 inch vertical.

– BYU safety Daniel Sorenson didn’t impress in the traditional events (4.67 40, 32 vert) but was the only defensive back to run a sub-4 in the 20 yard shuttle. 3.95.

– Georgia Southern corner Lavelle Westbrooks actually had a better official time than his unofficals but still not good enough. 4.63 for the 184 pound cornerback.

The Drills

– As I’ve been alluding too, rough day for Ahmad Dixon. Looked stiff and slow out of his turns. Had to repeat the weave drill three times after failing to listen to instruction. Slow in his backpedal. Heavy feet. Definitely a safety.

– As the 40 times indicate, Rice’s Phillip Gaines is very explosive. Low in his stance, too.

Marqueston Huff looked like a safety. Wasted motion when asked to open his hips, plant, and explode. Also too tall.

– Notre Dame’s Bennett Jackson was slow when asked to click and close. Stiff hips. Likely will have to convert from corner to safety.

– As pointed out by the broadcast, Kyle Fuller is tall in his backpedal. But fluid with good feet. So not a major issue.

– Hampton is tiny in statue but some of the quickest feet and turn of the group.

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