The final day of the 2015 NFL Combine went out with a flash as the defensive backs were on the field to show what they could do. When the wide receivers put up such blazing forty times on Saturday, people wondered why they didn’t create the separation as expected, on Monday, the defensive backs showed why. Even though they had their issues dropping the football, numerous players recorded a sub 4.5 and even a few with a sub 4.4, which I’ll be talking about later.
By far the most impressive player of the day was Trae Waynes, the cornerback from Michigan State. Waynes, who measures 6′ 186 pounds, put up a big time 4.31 forty time with a 1.53 10 yard split. He also put up 19 bench press reps, a 10 foot 2 inch broad jump. and a 38 inch vertical to go with a 7.06 3 cone drill and a 4.39 10 yard split. The performance likely guaranteed him a spot in the top half of the 1st round and puts him as the probable 1st cornerback taken.
LSU’s Jalen Collins was also very impressive on the field. Collins ran a 4.48 forty and at 6’1 203 pounds and a 10 foot 4 inch broad jump, Collins has a great combination of size and speed that is needed to play either cornerback or safety at the next level. Collins has shown his speed in the past, like when he tracked down Melvin Gordon from behind earlier in the season, but it has only been shown in flashes. Today definitely helped him to push his name into conversation for the 1st half of the 1st round.
The other impressive cornerback that helped his stock was Florida State’s Ronald Darby. Even though Darby only got 12 bench press reps, he ran a super fast 4.38 forty with a 1.47 10 yard split. Darby’s leg strength was also on display as he had a 41 and half inch vertical and a 10 foot 9 inch broad jump. One other thing of note was the ridiculous 12 foot 3 inch broad jump by Byron Jones of Connecticut, which was the longest broad jump by anyone of any position since 2003.
This is a deep class for cornerbacks despite not having a likely top 10 lock. Alex Carter of Stanford ran a 4.51 with a semi slow 1.60 10 yard split. That split will not serve him well covering slot wide receivers. Kevin Johnson of Wake Forest ran a 4.52, which was slower than expected, he also had a 1.60 10 yard split. Florida State’s PJ Williams ran a 4.57 forty, but did have a solid 10 yard split with a 1.55. Central Florida’s Jacoby Glenn had a slow time with a 4.64 forty, which could move him down draft boards. And the controversial Marcus Peters of Washington didn’t stand out, registering a 4.53 forty and a 1.61 10 yard split.
Of the safeties, there is Alabama’s Landon Collins and then there is everyone else. Collins has the size of a strong safety at 6’0 228 pounds, but ran a 4.53 forty with a 1.58 10 yard split. He had arguably the best year at safety of anyone in college football and his size and speed mix is the type that normally get taken in the top 10 of the draft. He hopes that his good tape to go with his strong combine will push him up from what is normally a position that isn’t take too high in much drafts. Gerod Holliman is considered the 2nd best safety in this years class because of his ball hawk skills, but he did not compete in any on field drills.
The 2015 NFL Combine has come to an end and now everyone will have their pro days and private workouts to prepare for the 2015 NFL Draft which will take place April 30th to May 2nd in Chicago, Illinois for the 1st time since 1964. So as of now, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on the clock.
More stories you might like