Yesterday was the last day of the combine and the defensive backs took the field where they put up the most impressive numbers of any group. This year’s group of corners has been rated highly and they backed it up their on field drills, the safeties however struggled and left scouts with a lot of questions.
The top prospect competing yesterday was Jalen Ramsey out of Florida State. He’s been getting Patrick Peterson comparisons since the beginning of this year and his performance only furthered them. Ramsey ran a 4.41 had a vertical of 41.5 inches and a broad jump of of 11’3”. He also showed fluid hips in position specific drills and has cemented himself as a top 5 prospect for this year’s class. The only concern now for teams is where they want to line him up after he has excelled at both safety and corner while in college. The other top prospect among corners was Florida’s Vernon Hargreaves. He ran a 4.5 in the 40 which is average among the position but it was in the drills where he had to display his technique that he excelled. Hargreaves displayed advanced footwork technique that could rival top NFL corners and his change of direction was much faster and natural than the other prospects there. He has the ability to start anywhere from day 1 when he gets to the NFL and he is the clear top cover corner in this years draft. Another corner that had a great day was Houston’s William Jackson III who displayed great ball skills and ran an elite 40 at 4.37. Jackson III now has a great chance to be taken in the second half of the first round.
The safeties had a much different day than the corners as most of them struggled to impress in almost every drill. The top ranked safety, Darian Stewart, turned in a disappointing 40 time at 4.69 and many other safeties did not do much better. The lack of star power and elite performances could open up the door for West Virginia’s Karl Joseph to shoot up draft boards following his injury earlier this year that kept him out of the combine. Almost all of the safeties are going to have to improve for their pro day or it could be a while before one of them is selected in the upcoming draft.