2015 NFL Combine: Cornerback Workouts

What matters and what the cornerbacks need to prove at the 2015 NFL Combine

For those invited and participating in the 2015 NFL Combine, what matters? What did they need to do? How was the workout? What to take away from …

1. Trae Waynes, Michigan State 6-8, 186
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: With his size and toughness against the bigger receivers, and strength against the run, now he just has to be fast to be the first corner taken. Is he smooth? Is he fluid? Straight-line speed will be key, but to be someone’s must-have, shut-down corner, he has to look like he could get stuck on an island.
Key To The Workout: He just needed to be fast? How does 4.31 work for you? Throw in 19 reps on the bench, and now he’s the no question whatsoever No. 1 corner in the draft. A mid-to-late first rounder before, now he’s a probable top 15 pick, possibly a top ten. He has a whole other quickness level he can go to, even if his hips are a bit tight.

2. Marcus Peters, Washington 6-0, 197
The interview process has to go perfectly. He’ll say all the right things, and he’ll look the part of a potential star on the field, but can he get by his attitude and issues after having problems with the new Washington coaching staff? He has first round talent, but he could freefall if no one wants to deal with his baggage.
Key To The Workout: Was the workout good enough to overcome the off-the-field concerns? Sort of. He was fluid in the drills, and he jumped great with a 37 ½” vertical and broad jump of over ten feet. He’s a terrific football player, and he did enough in Indy to be a good prospect to potentially still be a first round option.

3. P.J. Williams, Florida State 6-0, 194
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: Can he be the first corner taken? He has all the tools and all the abilities, but if he looks more athletic and faster than Trae Waynes, he might be seen as the main shut-down corner. Physical and quick, a 4.4 might be enough to be a top 20 pick.
Key To The Workout: The 40 was disappointing, but the 4.57 isn’t totally devastating. The 40” vertical and the 11’ broad jump made up for the lack of raw wheels. The 12 reps on the bench were okay, but he’s supposed to be a physical corner. A slightly better pro day 40 – get to around 4.5 even – and he’s still a first round talent.

4. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon 5-9, 192
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: Just how bad is his knee? He might need a redshirt year, but if he’s given time to heal up, and if he never suffered the knee injury, he’s be the No. 1 corner taken. One of his question marks was his raw speed, but he’s not going to be able to show that yet. Obviously, the physical is the most important part of his weekend.
Key To The Workout: He didn’t workout because of his knee. He was slightly smaller than expected.

5. Jalen Collins, LSU 6-1, 203
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: Is he ready? Everything is in place as yet another LSU prototype, but he might need a little time after only really making a splash for a year. He has to hit up to his size, and he has to be fluid, but if he rips up the 40, look out – he could sneak into the late first round if he rocks the workout.
Key To The Workout: Terrific. He was supposed to come into the combine with all of the tools and he showed it off. The 4.48 wasn’t superior, but it was okay for a corner of his size. He moved well and jumped great, coming up with the workout needed to still be considered a possible first round pick.

6. D'Joun Smith, Florida Atlantic 5-10, 187
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: As long as he’s fast and as long as he’s quick and as long as he cranks out a great 40, he’ll be fine. Teams stayed away from him after he turned into a devastating playmaker, so he needs a lot of tape work for the scouts, but more than anything else, he can’t be slow.
Key To The Workout: Fantastic – it was the exact workout he needed to have. The jumps of 36” in the vertical and the 10’4” vertical were great, and the 18 reps on the bench were shocking considering his wiry frame. The 4.45 did far more, now making him a certain second round must-have to go along with his great tape.

7. Senquez Golson, Ole Miss 5-9, 176
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: Is there any way he can look physical? Not big enough, he’ll be manhandled by the tougher NFL targets, and while he’s a fighter, that might not be enough. While he’s a true baller, he doesn’t have the body to hold up if he has to make a lot of big plays. The physical might turn out to be the key to his stock.
Key To The Workout: Here’s the problem. He’s a fantastic football player, and he’s a peerless ball hawk, but he needed to show off something to make up for his lack of height and bulk, and the 33 ½” vertical didn’t quite do it. However, the 4.46 40 was great and the speed and quickness were there in the drills. Someone will be ecstatic to get him in the second round.

8. Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest 6-0, 188
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: If it’s possible to show some strength of physical abilities, he might rocket up the charts. He’s athletic and he’s fluid, but he’s not all that strong and he’s too lanky. Anything he can do – ten reps on the bench? – to give the appearance of being tough will be a big help.
Key To The Workout: The 4.52 might have been disappointing, but jumped out of the stadium with a 41 ½” vertical and coming close to 11 feet on the broad jump. Really, really smooth, he looked the part and he proved that he’s ready to battle among the second-tier of corners to be a second round selection.

9. Alex Carter, Stanford 6-0, 196
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: All eyes will be to see how he looks in the agility drills. No one questions his ability to get in against the run, and he’s a veteran who knows what he’s doing, but he might be more of a safety than a true corner. Can he work the field? Can he sit on an island? His workout could up his draft stock into the second round if he’s quick.
Key To The Workout: A little bit stiff, he moved okay, but not great. While he’s definitely a corner, he could make a lot of money and have a long career as a safety. The 17 reps on the bench helped his versatility, and his 40” vertical was special. He’ll go much lower compared to the top corners, but someone will love his potential at a veariety of spots.

10. Ronald Darby, Florida State 5-11, 193
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: He has to sell the scouts that he can hit. There might not be a faster corner in the draft, and he has the size and skills, but will he tackle anyone? If he cranks out a 4.3, no one will care if he’s not a middle linebacker against power running games. The interview will be vital considering he was named and involved – and cleared – in the Jameis Winston sexual assault issue.
Key To The Workout: Yup. He was supposed to light it up and look the part, and he did just that with a whopping 41 ½” vertical and blazing away with a 4.38 40. There are still big questions about his ability and hitting skills, and still has to somehow prove he wants to hit, but as a pure coverman, he has the wheels and abilities.

11. Lorenzo Doss, Tulane 5-10, 182
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: The 40 time, the 40 time, the 40 time. He’s an overaggressive ball-hawk – in a good way sometimes – and he’s not going to tackle anyone, but his stock is going to totally and completely depend on his 40. He’ll be fine if he comes in around a 4.5, but a 4.6 or worse sinks him.
Key To The Workout: Good enough. He’s a ball-skills guy, and while he was a little bit stiff and didn’t run all that well, the 4.5 40 was just what he had to do. The nine reps on the bench were a bit soft, and the 33 ½” vertical was okay, but overall he looked good enough to not drop on draft boards.

12. Steven Nelson, Oregon State 5-10, 197
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: How well does he move? He has good size, and he’ll beat up receivers, but can he cut? Can he plant and go at an NFL level? He’s going to have to hit and fight against the better targets, but the athleticism has to be there.
Key To The Workout: Absolutely excellent. He might not have been smooth, and he was just okay throughout the drills, but in terms of raw measureables he came through big with a 4.49 40 and a big-time 19 reps on the bench. The numbers are good enough warrant an even longer look come pro day time.

13. Josh Shaw, USC 6-0, 201
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: He might be among the most interesting interviews in Indy. He’s more of a safety than a true corner, and he has to run well and be smooth to not be seen as a free safety, but he has to be solid when talking to GMs and coaches after all the drama.
Key To The Workout: Forget the other part of the equation – wow. He might turn out to be a whale of a safety considering his average movement skills and stiffness, but when it was time to workout, he got the job done. The 26 reps on the bench set the tone, and then he blew it away on the field with a 4.44 40 and with a 27 ½” vertical to go along with a broad jump of close to 11 feet.

14. Craig Mager, Texas State 5-11, 201
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: Really, really tough, he’s going to be a scout favorite and the coaches are going to love him, so now he has to show he can move. He doesn’t have to be blazing, and he doesn’t have to dominate the workout, but as long as he’s just okay, someone will want him as a possible safety if he doesn’t turn into a corner.
Key To The Workout: Perfect. He had a few tight hip issues, but for his size and his physical ability, the 4.44 was outstanding and the near-11 foot broad jump along with the 38” vertical were fantastic. The 17 reps on the bench helped show his potential as a big-time safety down the road – he’s strong enough.

15. Doran Grant, Ohio State 5-10, 200
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: Is there anything special about his game or his tools? He has decent size, and he’s a willing fighter, but he was a good cog on a great defense. There has to be something about his workout that opens up eyes – he has to look smooth and he can’t afford any mediocrity in the 40.
Key To The Workout: Very, very, very good. He needed to show something special, and he did that and then some with a 4.44 40 and a nasty 21 reps on the bench. He’s a Buckeye, and they always test well, but he showed that he belongs. He might not be a flashy elite corner, but he looked like a guy who’ll be in someone’s secondary for the next several years.

16. Quinten Rollins, Miami Univ. 5-11, 195
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: How long does he need before he becomes a real, live corner? The upside is limitless, but he’s a basketball player still figuring out how to be a next-level corner. As long as he runs well and moves as smoothly as any of the other corners, he’ll make himself an intriguing second round pick.
Key To The Workout: Smaller and lighter than expected, he was okay, but he didn’t tear it up. The 4.57 40 was rough, and while he jumped 36 ½” it wasn’t enough. He’s a bit of a project, and he was more than athletic enough to be a second-rounder, but he didn’t do enough to boost his stock.

17. Quandre Diggs, Texas 5-9, 196
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: He’s a better pure football player than he ever received credit for, and now he has to have the tools. His lack of bulk is going to be a slight concern, and he’s not really built to be a powerful defender, but he needs to open some eyes with a good 40 and by looking physical.
Key To The Workout: It was okay, not great. The 4.56 40 was way too slow for a player of his size, but the 35 ½” vertical helped overcome his height. He didn’t show enough in the drills to demand a spot as a starting corner, and while he’s a good baller who’ll fight for plays, he might simply be missing the raw tools.

18. Ladarius Gunter, Miami 6-1, 202
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: Be loose. He doesn’t have to be lightning quick considering his size, but he has to be straight-line fast and he has to look like he has the tools to work with. He can’t come off as stiff – the smoother, the better. He can’t afford a slow 40, either.
Key To The Workout: Nope. He didn’t look fluid or quick, and the 4.69 40 was a total disaster. He’s not purely a safety prospect or a special teamer depending on the scheme. There were too many questions coming into Indy about his overall talent, but and now the workout dropped him down.

19. Kevin White, TCU 5-9, 183
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: The measurements are going to matter. He’s tall, but he doesn’t really look like an NFL corner. He’s not built to be a big hitter, and he doesn’t have the overall length. He has to somehow look physical, and the raw hand/arm/length numbers are going to be scrutinized.
Key To The Workout: Yuck. The 35 ½” vertical was good, and he jumped well, but he wasn’t loose enough and the 4.63 40 was a nightmare. He needs to come up with something far, far better during his pro day, but this is who he is – a fighter of a corner without the tools.

20. Jacoby Glenn, UCF 6-0, 179
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: Speed, speed, speed. He’s a baller who always finds his way around the ball, and he’ll do whatever is needed. Scouts are going to be looking for reasons to make their case, but they can’t do it with a 4.6. He has to be in the low 4.5s, and if he comes up with something big, his stock blows up.
Key To The Workout: Slow. He needed to be fast and he needs to be smooth, and he wasn’t either. He didn’t look athletic and he didn’t cut or change well, and he came up with a 4.64 40 which might have dropped him off the map. The 34” vertical wasn’t bad, but the overall workout was a problem.

21. Charles Gaines, Louisville 5-10, 180
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: Will a team be patient? Either he’s just scratching the surface and he has the upside to be an absolute steal, or he’s too raw and needs too much technique work after starting out his career as a receiver. He could be someone’s pet project in the second round with a fantastic workout.
Key To The Workout: There’s still the overall question mark if he can play the position or not, but he ran really, really well, moved fine, and tore off a 4.44 40. With his size and his upside, his wheels and skills were there to get a longer look.

22. Bobby McCain, Memphis 5-9, 195
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: Just how smooth and explosive is he out of his cuts? The 40 time is vital – he can go from a late-round flier to a possible fifth-rounder with a great run. He’s a ball-hawking playmaker, so the scouts are going to want to find reasons to take him. He has to provide them.
Key To The Workout: While he measured two inches shorter than originally listed, his leaping ability might have made up for it. The 36” vertical and near 11-foot broad jump were among the best of the corners. The 4.51 was disconcerting, but to go along with the 17 reps on the bench, he’ll be a safety at some point to make a team.

23. Damian Swann, Georgia 6-0, 189
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: A better football player than a prospect, does he have the basic tools? He looks fine on tape, and he was a good, sound SEC corner, but does he have enough of a game to make any sort of an NFL impact? He might be just too slow and just too small to find a sure-spot in a secondary.
Key To The Workout: He moved well, he was fluid, and he looked smooth and solid in every drills. The 33” vertical was good and his 4.5 40 was solid, doing enough to show off that he’s an athlete as well as a football player. Everyone will want to make him a safety, but he’ll be given corner a shot.

24. Byron Jones, Connecticut 6-1, 199
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: He has the size and he has the leadership and personality, and now he needs the workout. He might not have the raw speed or athleticism to be a starter, and he’s trying to get over a shoulder injury, but he’s the type of prospect teams will want to draft. A good run might make that happen.
Key To The Workout: Has he landed yet? The 12’3” broad jump was freakish, and the 44 ½” vertical to go along with it was insane. However, he didn’t run the 40 and he needs to show off the quickness and feet to go along with the leaping ability. He did what he had to do to create the buzz for his pro day.

25. JaCorey Shepherd, Kansas 5-11, 199
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: Get tough. He’s a good playmaker who can hold his own, and he has the body to possibly get a little bit bigger and stronger, but he has to prove to everyone that he can hit. His future might be as a versatile option for several spots, and now he has to give the scouts a reason to be creative.
Key To The Workout: He wasn’t able to run. He lifted, coming up with a solid 14 reps on the bench. He’s not a power corner and will have to come up with a whale of a pro day.

26. Garry Peters, Clemson 6-0, 191
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: He has to show the feet. He was great as a physical corner who could shove receivers around, but he has to show off the quickness to make him workable for a coaching staff. He’s a good hitter with room to get a little bigger and stronger, and now it’s about his athleticism and speed.
Key To The Workout: Considering he had to show off some speed and quickness, he did neither. The 4.61 40 was a total disaster, and he didn’t jump well enough to overcome it. He’s a decent football player, but he wasn’t strong, wasn’t fluid, and the tools weren’t there.

27. Deshazor Everett, Texas A&M 6-0, 193 (Not Invited)
It’s going to be tough to stand out on his pro day compared to being in Indy, but he needs to be as quick as possible. He’s not going to blaze away, and he’ll eventually be a versatile safety and a special teamer if he sticks, but his options open up if he can move.

28. Imoan Claiborne, Northwestern State 5-11, 187 (Not Invited)
The lower-level competition will be tough to overcome, but he can move and he’ll look the part. The 40 time and the straight-line speed will be the differentiator – he has to be around a low 4.5 to be draftable. He’ll be a special teamer who could be a great late round flier if he’s fast.

29. Troy Hill, Oregon 5-10, 182
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: Can the scouts get past his body type? He doesn’t really look like a physical hitter in any way, but he’s an athlete who can move. If his money will be made on his speed and quickness, then he has to fly. The interview process – after having some issues getting suspended a few years ago – will be vital.
Key To The Workout: He beefed up a bit and looked a bit thicker and stronger, but he wasn’t fluid enough – his hips were a bit too tight. The 4.55 was okay for his size, and his jumps were okay with a 10-foot broad jump and a 32 ½” vertical, but he just didn’t look the part.

30. Justin Coleman, Tennessee 5-11, 185
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: More of a football player than a raw prospect, he needs to come up with something that stands out. Is he fast enough? Is he explosive enough? Is he strong enough? He has to overcome his lack of bulk and look versatile enough to be used as a backup at several spots.
Key To The Workout: While he’s not going to move to safety right away, he might end up being a starter there at some point after showing off the strength on the bench with 20 reps to go along with the great explosiveness. The 4.53 40 was good enough, but the 37 ½” vertical was great.

31. Anthony Jefferson, UCLA 6-1, 198
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: Is he a corner or a safety? He might be a tweener, and not in a good way to be a starter at the next level. He might turn out to be a great backup for several spots, but does he have the speed to be a corner? Does he have the pop to be a safety? He has to give scouts a reason to get excited.
Key To The Workout: Bigger than expected, he also ran like it with a brutally slow 4.72 with little pop in the leaping drills. He’s going to end up as a safety, but he’s still going to try out early on at corner and try to be more physical. He doesn’t play fast, and now, apparently, he’s not fast.

32. Donald Celiscar, Western Michigan 5-11, 194
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: A tough, physical football player who isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty, he’ll be draftable with a few good runs and some explosiveness. He could be a free agent with a bad 40. The sprint might be a bit overrated, but not in this case.
Key To The Workout: Awful. Not only did he not look athletic, he was really, really slow with a 4.62 40. He didn’t have the movement, he was clunky when he had to shift gears, and he didn’t run or jump well enough. While he is more of a physical defender than a speed guy, he needs to show something more in his pro day.

33. Julian Wilson, Oklahoma 6-2, 205
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: Is he a football player? He looks like the prototype, but he gave up way too many big plays. He’s absolutely everything you’d want in an NFL corner except for one problem – he’s not that great at playing football. He should blow up the drills, though.
Key To The Workout: For his size it was great. He’s never going to be the most fluid of runners, but he moved okay and the 4.58 40 wasn’t a total disaster considering what he’s probably going to be at the next level. The 36” vertical showed a little athleticism – he has just enough to potentially be a safety.

34. Tye Smith, Towson 6-0, 195
What He Needed To Prove In Indy: Along with the small-school issues, he has to get past his way-too-thin body type. He has to be really fast, really quick, and really explosive to overcome the basic issues. He has to show something to make him draftable.
Key To The Workout: He packed on the weight and he now might be used as a safety. The 4.6 safety was too sluggish, but he jumped great with a 36 ½” vertical and 10’4” broad jump. He was strong, relatively quick, and just good enough to potentially be drafted as a versatile part of a puzzle.

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