By Chance Bond
The compatition is fierce at one of the NFL’s most covited positions.
Janoris Jenkins, CB – North Alabama
Maybe the biggest winner of the DBs. Not only did he look very balanced and flexible when asked to change directions and adjust while running in the positional drills, but he also ran in the mid 4.4 range and posted an electric 1.47-ten yard split. Jenkins used the Combine to confirm that he has first-round talent, but his interviews addressing his off-the-field problems were just as, if not more critical for his draft status.
Morris Claiborne, CB – LSU
Morris Claiborne didn’t have a great Combine but he helped himself during the weigh-in. His arms were measured at 33 1/4 inches which is just outstanding for a corner. Claiborne’s 10-yard split in the 40 (1.60) was pretty bad but he made up for it in the drills.
Stephon Gilmore, CB – South Carolina
The 6-1, 190-pound defensive back posted a 40 time of 4.37 and showcased good range in the deep half and tracked the football well. He looks like an ideal zone type corner who can hit, range and track the football out of his breaks. Day 2 DB and could sneek to the bottom of the 1st round.
Harrison Smith, SS – Notre Dame
Mike Mayock talked up Harrison Smith all afternoon and for good reason. Smith was the most impressive safety at the Combine, by far. The Notre Dame product ran a 4.56 at 6-2 at 213 pounds. He also notched a 10-2 broad jump and a 34-inch vertical. More importantly, he was terrific in the drills. Smith is a bourderline 1st rond pick. Possibly options could be Denver or Green Bay.
Dre Kirkpatrick, CB – Alabama
Ran a bit faster than expected, posting a time in the mid/low 4.4 range. He’s a long, lean kid who isn’t the most explosive of athletes (10-foot broad, 35-inch vertical) but his solid 40 time looks to have locked up his spot in the top-15.
Brian Taylor, S – LSU
He’s a former cornerback who ran in the 4.5 range. Plus, he possesses a thick trunk, has some pop as a tackler and solid foot quickness for the position when asked to close. 3rd to 4th round grade
Josh Robinson, CB – Central Florida
Josh Robinson made a name for himself by running an unofficial 4.29 40 at the Combine. He also had terrific jumps in the vertical (38.5) and broad (11-1), while his arm length (31 1/4) also has to please evaluators. Robinson was just OK in the drills, but a couple of teams may have fallen in love with his upside.
Dwight Bentley, CB – Louisiana-Lafayette
Dwight Bentley turned some heads at the Senior Bowl. He continued to do so in Indianapolis, where he ran a 4.37 in the 40. Solid third rounder.
Jayron Hosley, CB – Virginia Tech
Jayron Hosley had a nice Combine. He ran a 4.38, 40 and then looked really good in the drills. There’s a very good chance he’ll be picked in the second round.
and as the glamore fades…
George Iloka, S, Boise State
Major credit to Charlie Campbell, who predicted that George Iloka would be exposed at the Senior Bowl. Iloka looked terrible in the drills, struggling to flip his hips. He may have to move to linebacker in the NFL.
Cliff Harris, CB – Oregon
Cliff Harris came into the Combine needing to make personnel evaluators forget about his character concerns. That didn’t happen, as some front office people were reportedly turned off by him. Making matters worse, the Oregon corner had a poor 4.59 40 at 5-11, 175. Harris will probably go undrafted.
Leonard Johnson, CB – Iowa State
The 40 shouldn’t be a big deal, but it’s worrisome that Leonard Johnson managed 4.65 and 4.72 on his two attempts. His alligator arms (28 3/4 inches) are also a concern. Johnson had a great Senior Bowl week, but he’ll have trouble being selected on Day 2 in the wake of a poor Combine.
Mark Barron,S – Alabama
Brandon Boykin,CB – Georgia
Winston Gay,CB – Kentucky
Markelle Martin,S – Oklahoma ST
Chase Minnifield,CB – Virginia