2011 NFL Combine : Defensive Backs

Patrick Peterson NFL Draft

Patrick Peterson showed everyone exactly what all the fuss was about.

NEPD Staff Writer: Doug Kyed

As the 2011 NFL Combine came to a close today the Cornerbacks shined while the safeties… well the cornerbacks shined!

We saw the top 40 time of the combine today and we saw perhaps the best prospect of the draft out on display.

Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
I was looking forward to this workout today for a few reasons. I wanted to see his speed and I wanted to see how he compared to Peterson and the rest of the corners. His 4.43 40 helped his stock, but he played a little too high at times. He showed nice hip fluidity and good hands, but he’s a solid level below Peterson.

Curtis Brown, CB, Texas
Brown knocked the vertical jump out of the park with a 38” leap, and ran a solid but not spectacular 4.50 40. Brown showed great skills in the drills though staying low and displaying great hands. Brown showed some great ball skills really turning on a second gear going for the football.

Marcus Gilchrist, CB, Clemson
There was some question whether Gilchrist had the speed to stay at corner in the NFL, but with unofficial times of 4.49 and 4.46, he disproved critics. Though Gilchrist showed stiff hips at time, he displayed nice quick footwork.

Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
Harris did a good job of ensuring his place in the top 5 on draft boards with a 4.43 40. He did a great job staying low while backpedaling, but crossed his feet up a few times while changing directions.

Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
Peterson did everything he needed to do today by running a 4.34 40 at 219lbs. Peterson showed off his athleticism finishing top 5 in the 40, the vert jump, the 3 cone drill and the 60 yard shuttle. On the practice field he showed the ability to play low, make nice transitions while backpedaling and soft hands. Peterson’s hips appeared stiff at times, but he’s by far the top defensive back prospect in the draft.

Buster Skrine, CB, Tennessee-Chattanooga
Skrine might be a project at the pro level, but he knows hot to stay low and showed off incredible closing speed. His 4.48 40 will help him, and he also turned in the top 3 cone drill and 60 yard shuttle times. Skrine’s transitions still need some work.

Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
Smith did a nice job staying low while moving backwards, but he really looked tight at times especially in the hips. He displayed a nice 4.46 40 time, but he didn’t stand out at the combine.

DeMarcus Van Dyke, CB, Miami
DVD had the top 40 time of the entire combine with a 4.28, but it was obvious at times why he only started three games his senior season at Miami. He had trouble controlling his speed and had trouble catching the ball.

Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
Williams’ unofficial 4.52/4.53 40 times might have silenced some critics that suggested he might need to move to Safety. Williams looked like one of the most fluid defensive backs on the field on Tuesday.

The combine isn’t totally fair to the safeties, but this year’s weak class didn’t help matters. Though almost all drills seem to be weighted in the CBs favor, almost all of the safety prospects looked stiff and had trouble in the backpedal.

Ahmad Black, S, Florida
The former Gator disappointed with a 4.78 40 time, but stays low well for a Safety. He looked stiff and displayed poor hands.

Quinton Carter, S, Oklahoma
Carter had a decent 4.62 40 time and made smooth transitions and decent hands.

Chris Conte, S, Cal
Conte didn’t look quick out on the practice field, but he displayed great hands for the position.

Eric Hagg, S, Nebraska
Hagg was one of the most surprising players on the field in Indy on Tuesday. He looked very natural for the position displaying some nice hands and quick feet.

Shiloh Keo, S, Idaho
Keo was a favorite of NFL Network analysts Mike Mayock and Deion Sanders, but it was obvious why. His 4.72/4.74 40 times were nothing to write home about, but he had fluid hips, really nice quick feet and great ball skills. Keo finished first in the 20 yard shuttle and third in the 3 cone drill confirming his quickness.

Mark LeGree, S, Appalachian State
LeGree was another nice surprise out on Lucas Oil Field. The FCS project had smooth hips in transitions and soft hands.

Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
Moore was by far the best safety prospect in Indy this weekend. His 4.62 40 time was among the best for his position and it was tough to find anything wrong with his game. He displayed fluidity and knee bend like a corner and had nice quick feet and soft hands.

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10 Responses to “2011 NFL Combine : Defensive Backs”

  1. Eric Saint says:

    Will the CBA or lack there of screw us out of trading Meriweather? If we are serious about trading him I would not want to replace him with an Ahmad Black or Shiloh Keo no matter how much Mayock and Deion were high on Keo. Basically, I’m asking if we do get a deal done down the road for Meriweather where does that leave us at SS and FS and are there any safties worth taking after Rahim Moore possibly Hagg?

  2. Joe Blake says:

    Butler has the skills but lacks confidence; needs to have a short memory after he gets burnt. Lets give the kid another year and see if he can be “coached up”. Play him alot in the preseason (if there is one!). Spikes lack of speed is scarey. Draft the two BC kids: OL and OLB…say at 17 and 4th round. Use 28 for a DL, 33 for best available OLB, trade 60 and move up 15 slots or so and draft either a WR or another OL or DL….

  3. Ryan says:

    Either through the draft or through FA, the Patriots are going to have to add another CB. Butler plane out sucks, I wanted to give him three years to get better, but he does not deserve it. Chung needs to play safety. Facts are we need one more CB a decent guy, who can just play ball. Nothing flashy. It would be nice to get one of the top three corners, but I doubt that will happen as well. I see a run on CB’s between 8-15 in which the top three will all be gone.

    • pats says:

      Butler was key player that kept the patriots secondary from collapsing.
      Chung sucked as 3rd CB
      Arrington was incompetent as a pass defender

    • DWE says:

      That’s the problem with constently picking all these value player’s…..wishing, hoping and waiting three year’s for nothing.

  4. TD says:

    Peterson is a freak, kind of like the 2 WR’s (Green, Jones), but we are not going to see him at #17. I doubt we will see some of the other top guys either (Harris, Amukamara, Smith).

    • Doug Kyed says:

      The Patriots might not get one of this year’s top corners, but we did get last year’s, so a shutdown corner isn’t a huge need with Bodden coming back. What the Patriots need is a corner who can cover the slot, since Chung was used in that role a lot last season. Chung did an admirable job, but he’s far more valuable as a center fielder/pass rusher. I see Brown, Gilchrist or possibly Skrine as possible targets for New England if they decide to draft a corner. Gilchrist and Brown could immediately come in and be more effective at covering the slot than Arrington or Butler (both better suited to cover an outside receiver) and Skrine would be a nice project to (possibly) eventually line up across from McCourty.

      I personally see New England stocked full with safeties, but if they were to take one it would be someone like Keo, Hagg or Conte who could play a variety of roles on the team.

      • Bill says:

        I vaguely remember a college basketball player from NC(Thompson?) He could routinely jump high enough to retrieve a coin from the top of the backboard. He did nothing in the NBA! That’s probably why I cannot recall his first name.

        I wish this NFL combine nonsense had as much influence on the Pat’s draft team as a 50-year-old Sally Struthers would have on the Pat’s cheerleading team.

        Just study the college game films and have scouts research the character of the athletes. That’s all Red Auerbach needed to do to draft Larry Bird. And that’s all the Pat’s need to do to recognise that JJ Watt and Castonzo should be their first two draft picks.

      • JMC says:

        David- He was at Gavit’s camp the day he signed his NBA contract.

      • JMC says:

        Hey- 25 year old Sally Struthers was red hot-

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