Defensive backs heating up NFL Combine with fast 40s
Before we go any further, we must offer a disclaimer: No player will be selected in April’s NFL draft solely on the basis of his 40-yard dash time.
With that said, it’s been an interesting day at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, where defensive backs are running the 40-yard dash. You should be well-versed in the reasons their performances are relevant to the Bucs, who weren’t exactly solid against the pass in 2012 (they ranked last in pass defense).
Another reason we’re posting this: The 40-yard dash is more relevant to defensive backs than just about any position.
Already, a quintet of players have run 40 times under 4.4 seconds, more than the mere two defensive backs who managed that feat last year.
Mississippi State’s Darius Slay (4.36 seconds) is the clubhouse leader, with a blazing fast time. Slay isn’t seen as an early-round pick, but a 40 time that quick is going to get teams’ attention leading up to the draft.
Also impressing today were Alabama’s Dee Milliner, the class’ best defensive back, who ran 4.37. Washington’s Desmond Trufant, who is a player Bucs fans should become familiar with, ran 4.38 to follow up a strong performance at the Senior Bowl last month.
Also running under 4.4 seconds were Robert Alford (Southeastern Louisiana) and Jamar Taylor (Boise State), both at 4.39 seconds. Miami’s Brandon McGee was right on their heels, finishing his run in 4.4 seconds.
Two other cornerbacks you probably have heard a great deal about are Johnathan Banks of Mississippi State and Xavier Rhodes of Florida State. They ran 4.61 and 4.43 seconds, respectively. Banks’ time is much slower than teams would prefer from a early-round cornerback. Time will tell how much of an impact it has on his draft status.
For more, see NFL.com for all Combine results.