Top Sunday Combine Performers
On Sunday the cornerbacks and safeties took part in NFL Scouting Combine testing. Here are some of the notable performances from the event.
Small school safeties shine
Small School heroes Jeremy Chinn from Southern Illinois and Lenoir-Rhyne's Kyle Dugger each made their presence felt during testing. Chinn ran a 4.45 40-yard dash which tied with Antoine Winfield Jr. for third fastest in the group, while Dugger ran a 4.49. Both times are below the 4.5 second threshold that scouts want to see from NFL-caliber safeties and is even more impressive when considering they are both in the 220-pound range. Dugger and Chinn also scored the top-two marks in the vertical jump as each surpassed the 40-inch plateau. They were not content to simply rest on those impressive testing scores either, as they both finished numbers one and two in the broad jump with marks of 138 inches for Chinn and 134 for Dugger. These two unheralded lower division prospects are undeniably Combine freaks who have firmly put themselves on the NFL radar.
Antoine Winfield Jr. crushes drills
While his testing numbers were solid - 4.45 40-yard dash/36 inch vertical/124 inch broad jump - Winfield Jr. shined in the agility drills showing superior technique and agility. His smooth transitions stood out from the rest of the safeties and he inhaled almost every ball thrown his way in the process. Being the son of a former Jim Thorpe award winner has its advantages when it comes to seasoning and the first-team AP All-American has shown he is well on his way to following in his legendary father's footsteps.
Jeffrey Okudah suffers head injury in drills, still excels in testing
The pre-combine number one rated corner set out to solidify his elite status and he lived up to the task by putting on a show in testing even after he was pulled from drills because of a head/neck injury sustained when making a leaping grab on the deep ball drill. Though he didn't finish the live action agility portion of the festivities, Okudah still managed to record the top vertical jump among corners with a 41 inch mark even after sustaining the injury. As if that weren't impressive enough, he also went on to lock down the top cornerback broad jump with a 135 inch showing. Okudah stressed that he was held out of the remainder of drills merely as a precaution and it's hard to argue with him after thoroughly dominating the field in the events conducted after being shaken up.
Javelin Guidry paces DB's with blazing 4.29 40-yard dash
The superbly named Javelin Guidry destroyed his fellow corners in the 40-yard dash by posting a lightning fast time of 4.29 seconds to top the CB leaderboard in everybody's favorite testing metric. That Guidry topped the event isn't exactly a surprise considering the track star won the California state title in the 100-meter dash back in high school and finished sixth in the 60-meter dash at the winter 2019 U.S. Indoor Championships. What was eye opening is that he bested the next closest corner, C.J. Henderson, by a full tenth of a percent, 4.29-to-4.39. What's also impressive is that Guidry also finished with the second-most bench press reps of the corner group with 21. Quite an eye-opening show of strength from the 5'9/191 pound speed merchant.
Tanner Muse runs 4.41 40-yard dash at 227 pounds
While Muse's 20 bench press reps tied him for fourth-most among safeties, his vertical of 34.5 and broad jump of 124 were right about average for the group. However Muse turned heads all over Lucas Oil Stadium when the 6'2/227 pound tweener blew the doors off the safety field with a 4.41 40-yard dash time. Only Louisiana Tech S L'Jarius Sneed managed to best Muse's 40-time with a 4.37 mark, however one must keep in mind that Sneed weighed in 35 pounds less than Muse at 192 pounds and finished tied for last in safety bench press reps with 12. Muse was named third-team AP All-American last season at Clemson while intercepting a team high four passes and racking up 5 PBU. He offers an intriguing combination of size and speed that enterprising NFL defensive coordinators could look to deploy in 2020.
Xavier McKinney trudges his way through 40-yard dash
The first-team All-SEC performer is universally considered to be a top-flight safety in the 2020 class, as his led the Crimson Tide defense with 95 tackles while displaying the ability to handle slot, free safety and box safety duties. Though his high IQ and agility allow him to make plays, his official 4.63 40-yard dash time is cause for concern and may result in some draft day slippage. Of the 20 safeties who ran the 40, only four posted times slower than McKinney. Not the kind of speed numbers that NFL teams want to see from a potential mid-first round selection. Throw in a pedestrian 122 inch broad jump and it's fair to say Xavier McKinney had a wholly uninspiring combine outing.
Blue chip corners hold their own
Some notable DBs who made favorable impressions include Florida's C.J. Henderson, who posted the second-best 40-yard dash amongst the corners group while throwing up 20 reps on the bench and springing for a 37.5 inch vertical jump. He also recorded a broad jump of 127 inches and finished in the top half of most tests, solidifying his top-three corner status. ... LSU's Krisitan Fulton finished fourth in the three-cone drill throwing up a time of 6.94 while also recording a solid 4.46 40-yard dash time. ... TCU's Jeff Gladney slotted right behind Fulton with a 4.48 40-yard dash time and finished seventh in the group with 17 bench press reps. He also finished with a solid 37.5 inch vertical jump but ran the three-cone drill in a rather leisurely 7.26 seconds which was near the bottom of the group.