Four defensive back stars at the combine

In the NFL, the game has made some changes. The game used to be more of a power game where defensive backs could be physical with recievers. In this day and age, offenses are more free to move around, putting more stress on defensive backs to be able to cover. The biggest thing isn’t physicality at the position these days, but size and speed to combat what they will face offensively week in and week out. NFL scouts got their first live look at some prospects they have not been able to see along with others they were trying to get familiar with at the NFL Combine on Monday. The big names like Greedy Williams were there and there were other defensive backs that made a name for themselves in this display.

With Greedy Williams, the former LSU defensive back has great length and made plays while at LSU, but there was some who wondered about his speed. He isn’t exactly known as a speed merchant but he is known for handling business like others in the long line of LSU defensive backs that have invaded the league. Even though Williams was known for his play, people still wanted to see his speed. He did not disappoint. Williams ran a 4.37 before missing the rest of drills due to cramping. With that performance, he all but sealed himself as the top cornerback in the draft.

Byron MurphyAlong with Williams, two other players scouts wanted to see were Washington’s Byron Murphy and Georgia’s Deandre Baker. Both Baker and Murphy did not run very fast times, but one thing they did do is perform solid in the drills. While everyone can get all exited over the running of players, what has to be understood is straightline speed only does but so much for you in the NFL. The biggest thing is being able to have that change of direction and your ability to transition out of your cuts. Both Baker and Murphy showed the ability to do so, which can make up for their lack of elite speed.

As for those that caught the eye of people, one player sticks out and his name is Johnathan Abrams. The former Mississippi State defensive back has been known as a big hitter for all of his career as a Bulldog, but he showed scouts something else at the combine. The safety ran a 4.45, which was one of the fastest times among defensive backs. And in the drills, he showed some fluidity to his game that no one expected. Because of that, he now has caught the eyes of scouts out there and could have made himself some money with his showing.

What we all have to keep in mind is that these young men were running without their pads on, so some of these numbers and achievements have to be taken with a grain of salt. However, if some of these skills and abilities can transfer over to the football field, then we may have some future stars. Only time will tell, but there was definitely some players that equipped themselves well at this year’s combine from the defensive back portion.


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