Login  |   Register
On Now
Coming Up
  • Tue., Feb. 28, 2017 12:00 AM MST Combine Timing and Testing The Combine begins in Indianapolis and runs through March 6.
  • Wed., Mar. 01, 2017 2:00 PM MST Deadline to designate Francise or Transition Players Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
  • Tue., Mar. 07, 2017 12:00 AM MST Teams may negotiate with their own Unrestricted Free Agents

    During the period beginning at 12 noon, New York time, on March 7th and ending at 3:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9th, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2016 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9.

    During the above two-day negotiating period, no direct contact is permitted between a prospective unrestricted free agent and any employee or representative of a club, other than the player’s current club.

  • Thu., Mar. 09, 2017 12:00 AM MST 2017 League Year and Free Agency begin

    The 2017 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

    The first day of the 2017 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the League office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9.

    Trading period for 2017 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2016 contracts.

  • Sun., Mar. 26, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Annual League Meeting Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Mon., Apr. 03, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Clubs with new head coaches may begin offseason workouts Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2016 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
  • Fri., Apr. 21, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets.
  • Wed., Apr. 26, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents. Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.
  • Thu., Apr. 27, 2017 12:00 AM MDT 2017 NFL Draft The 2017 NFL Draft begins in Philadelphia and runs through April 29.
Print
RSS

Combine Stock Watch: DBs

Posted Feb 26, 2014

Independent analyst Andrew Mason takes a look at the notable performers Tuesday's workouts.

INDIANAPOLIS --Bigger has become better, but it's not everything for defensive backs. Speed, the ability to quickly change directions and fluidity matters, as well.

But with bigger receivers comes a demand for bigger, rangier cornerbacks. But those that have the right blend of size and speed are coveted, and demand outstrips supply by a considerable margin.

"No, and especially a lot of them that can run and do that," said Executive Vice President and General Manager John Elway. "And I'll say that when the bigger corners cover up -- guys are not as open against big guys as they are against little guys, even though they're in the same spot. 

"So if I'm a little guy covering you or a big guy covering you, to a quarterback, they're going to look more covered on the big guy."

And that's why, beyond the film, teams will study the times and measurements from the Combine closely the next few weeks. Even an eighth of an inch could be the tiebreaker between two otherwise equal defensive backs.

One cornerback who enhanced his chances was Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert. Not only did he post the best 40-yard dash time (4.37 seconds) among defensive backs, but the 6-foot cornerback also had the second-longest arms of any cornerback at the Combine (33 1/8 inches). 

Another was Ohio State's Bradley Roby. His 40 time (4.39 seconds) was an eyelash behind Gilbert's, and his short shuttle (4.04 seconds) was sixth-best at the Combine. His arms were 1 5/8 inches shorter than Gilbert's, but he compensated with three extra inches in vertical jump (38.5 inches to Gilbert's 35.5).

Western Kentucky safety Jonathan Dowling is also another player whose ranginess and reach will draw interest. His 6-foot-3 frame is accentuated by his 33 1/8-inch arms, and helps make up for 40-yard speed that was average among defensive backs (4.52 seconds, 21st of 48 defensive backs who ran Tuesday). Dowling noted Sunday that teams have talked to him about playing cornerback, and felt he could handle the role, given his work in cover-zero schemes used by WKU last year.

Dowling, Nebraska's Stanley Jean-Batiste and Utah's Keith McGill were the tallest defensive backs at the Combine, at 6-foot-3. McGill had the longest arms of the group (and the entire defensive back class), at 33 1/4 inches. McGill also had a comparable 40 time to Dowling (4.51 seconds), but Jean-Batiste had arms that were nearly an inch shorter than McGill's and a 40-time that was a tenth of a second slower, placing him 34th of 48 defensive backs.

Bigger has become better, but it's not everything for defensive backs. Speed, the ability to quickly change directions and fluidity matters, as well.

But with bigger receivers comes a demand for bigger, rangier cornerbacks. But those that have the right blend of size and speed are coveted, and demand outstrips supply by a considerable margin.

"No, and especially a lot of them that can run and do that," said Executive Vice President and General Manager John Elway. "And I'll say that when the bigger corners cover up -- guys are not as open against big guys as they are against little guys, even though they're in the same spot. 

"So if I'm a little guy covering you or a big guy covering you, to a quarterback, they're going to look more covered on the big guy."

And that's why, beyond the film, teams will study the times and measurements from the Combine closely the next few weeks. Even an eighth of an inch could be the tiebreaker between two otherwise equal defensive backs.

One cornerback who enhanced his chances was Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert. Not only did he post the best 40-yard dash time (4.37 seconds) among defensive backs, but the 6-foot cornerback also had the second-longest arms of any cornerback at the Combine (33 1/8 inches). 

Another was Ohio State's Bradley Roby. His 40 time (4.39 seconds) was an eyelash behind Gilbert's, and his short shuttle (4.04 seconds) was sixth-best at the Combine. His arms were 1 5/8 inches shorter than Gilbert's, but he compensated with three extra inches in vertical jump (38.5 inches to Gilbert's 35.5).

Western Kentucky safety Jonathan Dowling is also another player whose ranginess and reach will draw interest. His 6-foot-3 frame is accentuated by his 33 1/8-inch arms, and helps make up for 40-yard speed that was average among defensive backs (4.52 seconds, 21st of 48 defensive backs who ran Tuesday). Dowling noted Sunday that teams have talked to him about playing cornerback, and felt he could handle the role, given his work in cover-zero schemes used by WKU last year.

Dowling, Nebraska's Stanley Jean-Batiste and Utah's Keith McGill were the tallest defensive backs at the Combine, at 6-foot-3. McGill had the longest arms of the group (and the entire defensive back class), at 33 1/4 inches. McGill also had a comparable 40 time to Dowling (4.51 seconds), but Jean-Batiste had arms that were nearly an inch shorter than McGill's and a 40-time that was a tenth of a second slower, placing him 34th of 48 defensive backs.