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Combine Risers/Sliders: DBs Story Highlights

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by cowboyjoe, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    Combine Risers/Sliders: DBs Story Highlights
    Illinois' Vontae Davis cemented his stats as one of the most gifted DBs available
    Michigan's Morgan Trent was among the surprises and jumped up draft boards
    Ohio State's Malcolm Jenkins likely saw his stock fall with a 4.59 time in the 40

    By Tony Pauline TFYDraft.com



    Illinois product Vontae Davis ran in the mid 4.3-second range and completed 25 reps on the bench Tuesday.
    Scott Boehm/Getty Images





    The 2009 NFL Scouting Combine came to completion on Tuesday as the defensive backs took to the field and worked out for the few remaining scouts and coaches on hand. There were several performances in both the morning and afternoon sessions which will likely to shake up the cornerback rankings and could impact the top of the draft. Here's the breakdown.

    Risers
    Vontae Davis/CB/Illinois: Davis measured 5-foot-11 and 203 pounds upon arriving at the combine then completed 25 reps on the bench, a big number for a cornerback. He was fast Tuesday and clocked both of his 40-yard-dashes in the mid 4.3-second range. Davis then showed a lot of skill during defensive back drills, displaying the ability to quickly backpedal and flip his hips. NFL scouts still have questions about his character but Davis cemented himself as one of the most physically gifted cornerbacks available in April's draft.

    Morgan Trent/DB/Michigan: Trent exceeded expectations in every way. He measured 6-foot, 193 pounds and completed 23 reps on the bench. He ran his 40's in the very low 4.4-second range, which quelled the concern scouts had about his pure speed. Trent then put on a show in drills, displaying some of the best defensive back fundamentals of the day. He's a high-quality person which compliments his physical skills and Trent made a big jump up draft boards.

    William Moore/S/Missouri: The Missouri safety deserves a lot of credit as he learned from his mistakes at the Senior Bowl by displaying a lot of improvement at the combine. Moore's 40 time was solid at 4.5 seconds after weighing in at 221 pounds. Moore's performance in defensive back drills is what made most scouts take notice. He showed the backpedal, footwork and hip movement which was so sorely lacking a month ago in Mobile. Moore really looked like a different type of ball player on the field Tuesday and likely salvaged a top-50 calling of his name in April.

    Brandon Underwood/S/Cincinnati: Underwood gets lost amidst the big names in the Bearcats secondary yet could he end up as the best NFL player of the bunch. He ran well, timing under 4.5 seconds in both runnings of the 40. Underwood later showed a lot of skill in the position drills. He has the versatility to play either cornerback or safety and the underrated defensive back stated his case to be a top-75 pick.

    Alphonso Smith/CB/Wake Forest: Smith started his combine on a positive note, measuring 5-foo-9 and getting over the psychological barrier of being a short, 5-foot-8-something cornerback which he had been branded with. He then ran well in the 40 clocking in the mid 4.4-second area. Smith went on to show why he's considered one of the most fundamentally sound defensive backs in the draft with great work in the position drills.

    Keenan Lewis/CB/Oregon State: Lewis was fast on the turf of Lucas Oil Stadium, moving his 208 pound frame across the field in times which averaged 4.45 seconds. His practice session was terrific as Lewis looked fluid and natural in all the drills.

    Jamarca Sanford/S/Mississippi: Sanford's 40 times were adequate at 4.55 seconds but the safety's strength numbers were eye-popping. He completed 29 reps on the bench press, a number bettered by just 13 offensive linemen last week. He's considered one of the more aggressive run defending safety's in the draft and Sanford proved he has the physical tools to back it up.

    Chip Vaughn/S/Wake Forest: Vaughn's workout numbers were off the charts on a number of levels. He weighed 221 pounds, completed 21 reps on the bench then cracked 4.4 seconds on his first attempt in the 40. Vaughn's position work was slightly disappointing as he struggled backpedaling and was a little tight in his hips yet a team needing for a straight-line zone safety or a traditional strong safety will look his way in round three.

    Sliders
    Malcolm Jenkins/CB/Ohio State: Entering the combine scouts questioned Jenkins' speed and his ability to run downfield with elite receivers. His combine workout left scouts with a negative impression and even more questions. Jenkins' times were poor, as first reported by SI.com this morning. His initial 40 was as slow as 4.59 seconds on some watches, though he improved slightly on his second run. He looked terrific in position work but the slow times now hang around his neck like an albatross. Some teams will take Jenkins' name off their cornerback board and put it on the safety list. His combine performance does not mean Jenkins won't be a quality player at the next level as either a cornerback or safety. It does mean he's no longer considered an elite player in the 2009 NFL Draft and will drop at least a half dozen slots come April.

    Kevin Ellison/S/USC: Ellison ran a time slower than most of the linebackers when he clocked 4.8's in the 40. He looked solid in drills but the lack of speed will limit the types of coverage schemes Ellison can be used in at the next level. His draft stock took a hit on Tuesday.

    Michael Hamlin/S/Clemson: Hamlin disappointed scouts when he struggled to get under 4.6 seconds in the 40. His 17 reps on the bench was a marginal result for the 217-pound defensive back.

    Notes: There were a number of cornerbacks who sizzled in the 40 on Tuesday including Oregon State's Brandon Hughes (4.38 seconds), South Carolina's Captain Munnerlyn (4.39 seconds) and Ladarius Webb of Nicholls State (4.37 seconds). So why are they not listed as risers? Defensive backs must be as proficient moving backwards as they are running forwards. All three struggled in position drills and in the case of Hughes and Munnerlyn, were two of the slowest in tests which time a defensive backs ability to backpedal over several yards on the field.
  2. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    I don't see how someone's on-field performance (specifically his technique) in front of pro coaches and scouts would ever be trumped by a non-game practice situation only a month later at the combine.
  3. Paniolo22

    Paniolo22 Hawaiian Cowboy

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    Because at the Senior Bowl, it's as much about the week of practice as it is the game. Thus, poor week of practice last month CAN be improved this month.
  4. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    I guess one whole week and a game being overridden by an hour or two of DB drills seems out of whack. But hey, I've seen it happen before at the combines...just not sure it would be the correct assessment.
  5. Paniolo22

    Paniolo22 Hawaiian Cowboy

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    Me either, that's why they also have game film, pro days, and interviews.
  6. dallasfaniac

    dallasfaniac Active Member

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    On the same hand, a week of practice shouldn't override years of college tape. You have to take it all into account. Some players have difficulties picking up new schemes in just a week while others pick it up quickly or are already familiar to the schemes. The combine allows players to show off their athletic side, how fluid they turn to run, etc.

    Analyzing College career, post season All Star Game/Practices and the Combine can give you a pretty good picture of most players. There are plenty of players that had great college careers, but just wouldn't translate to the NFL due to poor athletic ability etc. and there are players that had mediocre college careers due to poor coaching, playing behind all stars, etc. but have the ability to play in the NFL.

    For instance, questions arose about Mike Thomas regarding his height, Arizona's spread offense and lack of other weapons, concentration , etc. He had good college numbers at Arizona, great practices at the All Star Games (pulled in 6 catches for 105 yards and a TD at the games) and followed that up with great numbers at the combine.
  7. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    Without a doubt
  8. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    By and large that is true. However one could also say that at the least maybe this kid is coachable and has corrected some problems he had. That would seem to be encouraging in some ways.

    Does that mean people should take a kid that did that and expect he is going to go from a so so starter in college to a great pro...no but it would seem to be encouraging that with good coaching and hard work he might have a good deal of improvement and upside.

    Just something to consider.:cool:
  9. DaBoys4Life

    DaBoys4Life Benched

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    You don't have the proper mechanics you don't have the speed nor the strength that they thought you did. Then they go back and look at film and start see some of your bad habits.

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