As the winner of the Big Ten receiver of the year last season, Tony Lippett walked into the NFL Combine expecting that would be his only workout position.
But when his workout day arrived, it came with a little surprise. Some coaches and general mangers wanted to see the former Michigan State standout at cornerback as well.
”I was a little skeptical at first because I hadn’t backpedaled since like the Baylor game,” Lippett said. “I just kinda went out there and got it done.”
Lippett, a three-year starter at wide receiver, had 1,198 yards and 11 touchdowns on 65 receptions as a senior. But as the NFL Draft approaches, teams are intrigued by his ability to play cornerback at 6-foot-3 as well. He started seven games at the position in his career, with a pair coming at the end of his senior year.
“I don’t wanna say everybody is interested in both, it’s kinda back and forth,” Lippett said.
So at Michigan State’s pro day, Lippett worked out at both wide receiver and cornerback – which he had planned to do all along – in front of all 32 NFL teams on hand.
“I really think today opened a lot of people’s eyes,” coach Mark Dantonio said. “I think Tony Lippett really helped himself by his play – his demonstrations out here at corner, wideout, but corner, catching the football the way he did and his movements at corner.”
Given the fact that he essentially is a known commodity at wide receiver, a lot of the questions about Lippett at pro day were about that ability in the secondary.
”There are very few of those diamonds in the rough, so people are starting to say he may be,” Dantonio said. “That’s always exciting because you’re looking at future perspectives, so I have got a lot of questions about that. I thought he performed very well.”
Lippett, who dropped his 40-yard dash time to 4.50 after running a 4.61 at the NFL Combine, said he felt like he showed his footwork that he can bring as a defensive back.
”I can play the position and I can learn quick and things like that,” he said. “I can blend in with everybody else and probably even more standout.
”I just showed them that I can move like a corner.”