INDIANAPOLIS --The 27th consecutive NFL Scouting Combine to be held in Indianapolis concluded Tuesday, as usual, with the safeties and cornerbacks wrapping up the collection of workouts -- and a few in particular enhancing their stock:
CB DEE MILLINER, ALABAMA: As was the case with Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan on Monday, this was Milliner's last chance to impress teams before he undergoes surgery to repair a torn labrum, and he did so with a 4.37-second 40-yard dash that was only .01 off the best time for any defender in Indianapolis. His position drills weren't great, as he struggled to catch the football, but given his upcoming surgery, he receives credit for attempting to push through.
S SHAMARKO THOMAS, SYRACUSE: In the two spotlight events, Thomas outpaced every other safety, logging 28 bench-press repetitions Monday and a 4.42-second 40-yard dash during Tuesday's work -- even though he did his best Jennifer Lawrence impersonation as he crossed the finish line. Only four defensive backs were shorter than Thomas here, but he's always played bigger than his 5-foot-8.7-inch frame -- his vertical leap of 40.5 inches was tied for the best among defensive backs -- and the 213 pounds he carries on it is rock-hard. He came into Indianapolis as a late-round prospect and might have moved up at least two rounds.
CB DESMOND TRUFANT, WASHINGTON: A 4.38-second 40 time will draw notice, but so will the second-best short-shuttle time (3.85 seconds), although he did not run the three-cone drill. Trufant's solid combine follows a surprisingly splendid Senior Bowl week, when he consistently outplayed his fellow North team cornerbacks during practice. He now has an outside shot to sneak into the first round. The bloodlines don't hurt, either, with brothers Marcus and Isaiah already in the league with the Seahawks and Jets, respectively.
CB XAVIER RHODES, FLORIDA STATE: His 40 time was solid (4.43 seconds), but the 6-foot-1, 210-pounder has arms that are nearly an inch longer apiece than anyone else who ran a sub-4.5 40 on Tuesday. It will be interesting to see whether Rhodes surges past Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks on draft boards; Banks' 40 (4.61 seconds) and three-cone (6.97 seconds) times placed him 40th and 27th, respectively, among defensive backs.