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NFL Combine Day 4 Notes – DB Edition

Jalen Ramsey
This entry is part 14 of 15 in the series 2016 NFL Combine

*The following are some of the NFL Combine Day 4 notes taken while watching live. DB Edition.

Press coverage. Off coverage. Ball hawks. Thumpers. Make up speed. Quick twitch. Hands. Aggressiveness. Physicality. Edge protector. In the box. Over the top. Blitz ability. These are some of the terms used when describing what a defensive back does on game day. As a team, as a coach or as a fan you want it all.

The league went about making it a passing league a few years back and let’s be frank. They have. That means you have to either stock a defense that equates to the NFL version of the Washington Generals or you can try and compete ala Seattle and Denver.

As I mentioned in my Day 1 Preview, the number of underclassmen declaring for this season should make this draft as a whole exceedingly deep. The DB class isn’t as good as the defensive tackles (no group is) but there are blue chippers to be had and plenty of depth to be mined. I would rank this group as the second deepest of 2016.

Cornerbacks, Strong and Free Safeties are on the menu today. As a bonus we get to see Rich Eisen’s “Run Rich Run” 40 yard extravaganza. What’s not to like?

FYI – My technique is to take notes on players based on their jersey number. After that I compile my notes for each drill. Then I look up the player information. While I am making observations I only know who the player is approximately 20-30% of the time. There is usually a player or two who stood out I hadn’t been counting on and (of course) one or two that I am blown away by how badly they performed. It’s a revealing process.

The last item is a warning. If I didn’t see a player display “great feet” when they have such a reputation it’s because I didn’t see it, not because they don’t have it. There is a lot going on and you only have one angle to view it (depending on replay). NFL Network doesn’t show every player on every drill. They try. Now if I state “bad feet” it’s because I saw that displayed. Was it an outlier? Sometimes my notes will carry both positive and negative statements for the same skill as a player is often nervous to start the day. It’s a subjective process but one that levels out due to the many opportunities a player has to display their physical traits.

Quick take? This is one incredibly talented and deep group.

Below is a compendium of my notes from Monday’s DB combine session as it happened.

CB Mackensie Alexander – 5’10” 190 lbs Clemson – n/a 40 yard dash. Nursing hamstring injury. Solid interviews.

CB Eli Apple – 6’1″ 199 lbs Ohio State – 4.40 40 yard dash. Good length. Good hips. Good lateral. Compact movement. Ok transition. Explosion after transition. Excellent one handed grab.

CB Artie Burns 6’0″ 192 lbs – Miami (Fla.) – 4.46 40 yard dash. Rough transition. Compact movement. Good in space. Nice explosion after transition.

SS K.J. Dillon – 6’0″ 210 lbs West Virginia – 4.53 40 yard dash. Solid frame. Tight hips in transition. Good explosion. Focus.

CB DeAndre Elliott – 6’1″ 188 lbs Colorado State – 4.55 40 yard dash. Solid frame. Needs to catch the ball. Fights ball. Bad ball tracking. Nice sideline catch on deep ball w/tip toe sideline run. Good hips.Calmed down. Good explosion.

FS T.J. Green – 6’2″ 209 lbs Clemson – 4.34 40 yard dash. Solid frame. Good out of the break. A bit tight. Slipped in COD (change of direction). Nice high point grab. Needs to catch ball more consistently. VG explosion.

CB Deiondre’ Hall – 6’2″ 199 lbs Northern Iowa – 4.68 40 yard dash. Solid frame. Good out of the break.Good out of the break. Good hips. Good drills. Physical.

CB Vernon Hargreaves – 5’10” 204 lbs Florida – 4.50 40 yard dash. Superior out of the break. Sloppy transition. Nice high point grab. Looks relaxed now. Everything MUCH better. Transitions are EXCELLENT. Great feet. Complete CB.

FS DeAndre Houston-Carson -6’1″ 201 lbs William & Mary – 4.54 40 yard dash. Very good out of the break. VG drill, transition. Good explosion.

CB William Jackson III – 6’0″ 189 lbs Houston – 4.37 40 yard dash. Crooked back peddle line. Much better later. Nice hips. Excellent explosion. Good break.

CB Cyrus Jones – 5’10” 197 lbs Alabama – 4.49 40 yard dash. Good out of the break. Explosion after transition. Excellent transition. Solid drill, transition. Gets a bit out of control on second COD.

CB Jonathan Jones – 5’9″ 196 lbs Auburn – 4.33 40 yard dash. Good out of the break. Explosion after transition. Gets a bit out of control on second COD. Excellent explosion.

FS Karl Joseph – 5’11” 197 lbs West Virginia – Excellent interviews. Could be best DB of the group.

SS Miles Killebrew – 6’2″ 217 lbs Southern Utah – 4.65 40 yard dash. Solid frame. Good hips. Nice ball tracking. Good break. Transition is ok. Focus. Good mover in space.

CB Eric Murray – 5’10” 198 lbs Minnesota – 4.49 40 yard dash. 39.5 vert. Relaxed. Good drill runs. Ok hips. Nice lines forward or backwards. Good transition. Good break.

FS Tyvis Powell – 6’3″ 211 lbs Ohio State – 4.46 40 yard dash. Solid frame. Nice transitions. Good explosion. For his size moves very well. Ok tracking. Hips a bit tight. BIG man but no real problems with movement.

FS Jalen Ramsey – 6’1″ 209 lbs Florida State – 4.41 40 yard dash. Little wide on first transition. The only one. Excellent break. Excellent feet. Long, fast, under control. Very good interviews. Excellent explosion. Not a natural catcher. Tracks ball ok. Eats up ground with gait. Smooth. Efficient. Superior athlete.

CB Rashard Robinson – 6’1″ 163 lbs LSU – 4.49 40 yard dash. Good hips. Good transition. Nice break.

FS Justin Simmons – 6’2″ 202 lbs Boston College – 4.61 40 yard dash. Moves well. Solid frame. Consistently makes false step in transition. Good pad level.

CB Brandon Williams – 5’11” 200 lbs Texas A&M – 4.37 40 yard dash. Excellent explosion. Nice break. Ok transitions. Ok ball tracking. Hands an issue.

  • DT deepest group. This is number two
  • Second DB group was as incredibly slow as first group was fast
  • Ramsey plays better w/ball in front of him.
  • Ramsey can play CB or excel at FS
  • Ramsey does NOT bring turnovers to the party
  • Tape of Killibrew hits was awesome!
  • Eli Apple is exciting. He has warts
  • Hargreaves is everything advertised
  • Karl Joseph pro day – bring it
  • 6′ DB’s were everywhere – thank you Mr. Sherman

FYI – NFL Network did an awesome job covering the combine except for the last day. They got focused on pimping the Run Rich Run thing and I get that. It was cool. Charity rocks. End result there were quite a few drills passed over in the second group due to programming. They showed the big names, just not all of them. If “your guy” is missing from my notes, that’s probably why.

Ramsey is a special talent. Play him at FS. Loads of speed with this group and the talent is deep. Will be working on the Winners/Losers post later.

Free Agency starts March 7th!

Apologize for the late post. CPU died just as I was finishing up yesterday. FYI – hand written notes rock. Old School baby!

What say you Sports Nation?

Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over

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Steven Van Over

Steven Van Over

Analyst, Editor, Photographer, Writer at SportsTalkLine
Editor, Writer, Podcaster & Photographer for @SportsTalkLine Network. I watch sports, I talk about sports then I write about sports. Catch me on Twitter @StevenVanOver
Steven Van Over