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2010 NFL Combine - Cornerback Analysis
Boise State CB Kyle Wilson
Boise State CB Kyle Wilson
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Mar 5, 2010


It's a good year for corners with several interesting prospects like Boise State's Kyle Wilson. Looking at the strengths and weaknesses of each top prospect, here's the Combine look at all the top corners.

2010 NFL Post-Combine

Cornerback Rankings


2010 NFL Combine Quick Looks & Post-Combine Rankings

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2010 NFL Combine Results
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1. Joe Haden, Florida 5-11, 193
Post-Combine Skinny: As awful as any workout a sure-thing, top-ranked prospect could possibly have. He was glacier slow for a No. 1 corner running a 4.57, and while he jumped well and was quick through the short drills at times, he wasn't fluid, stumbled a little too much, and had everyone scrambling for the tape to make sure he really was as good as he looked throughout his career.
Pre-Combine Rank: 1
Positives: A tremendous playmaker who does everything well. Is a lockdown defender against the pass and is strong against the run. … Very strong and has the necessary speed and quickness to be left on an island. … Arguably the best player over the last few years on one of the nation’s elite defenses.
Negatives: Not always consistent and doesn’t have impeccable instincts. … Made up for mistakes by simply being better and more athletic than everyone else and was helped by having an elite group of players around him. … Isn’t afraid of taking chances. Will get beaten deep by craftier NFL targets.

2. Patrick Robinson, Florida State 5-11, 190
Post-Combine Skinny: The 4.42 was fast enough and the 16 reps on the bench were fine. The 40" vertical highlighted the explosiveness he displayed throughout the workout. If you liked him before, you'll really be a fan now.
Pre-Combine Rank: 2
Positives: A ball-hawk who destroys quarterbacks who make mistakes. A game-changer. … Not a bad tackler. Isn’t afraid to get dirty. … Great instincts. Great at anticipating the breaks.
Negatives: Reputation kept him from doing much as his career went on. No one wanted to throw at him. … Banged up too much but isn’t going to stop being a hitter. … Doesn’t have elite quickness. Gets by on instincts and work.

3. Kyle Wilson, Boise State 5-10, 194
Post-Combine Skinny: In one of the most disappointing aspects of the Combine, Wilson had a chance to blow up and be seen by some as the possible No. 1 corner overall but didn't run. However, the 25 reps on the bench for a 5'10", 194-pound player were amazing. The film on him is fantastic, and the lifting set the stage for what will be a key workout in a few weeks.
Pre-Combine Rank: 3
Positives: Tremendous skills. Took away half the field and has arguably been the WAC’s best defensive player for the last few years. … Strong. Can erase receivers by shoving them around. … Ultra-reliable. Almost never made big mistakes.
Negatives: Not quite the all-around athlete of some of the other corners. … Not the greatest of tacklers. Okay, but not a sure-thing in the open field. … Not tested much and will have to learn what its like to get beaten. Hasn’t faced much on-field adversity.

4. Devin McCourty, Rutgers 5-11, 193
Post-Combine Skinny: He had a strong enough workout to move up the draft boards. He was relatively big, he moved extremely well with a 4.48 40 and fantastic times in the agility drills, and he showed off the raw skills to become a possible producer from Day One. The 16 reps on the bench were really, really good for this group.
Pre-Combine Rank: 9
Positives: A good athlete with nice size and strength. Has a good all-around combination of skills. … Moves well. Fluid. … Is always around the ball. Sniffs plays out well.
Negatives: Will get pushed around a little bit. Will fight, but doesn’t always win. … Not much of a run stopper. Not really a safety prospect. … Not a difference maker. Good and solid, but not special.

5. Brandon Ghee, Wake Forest 6-0, 192
Post-Combine Skinny: Really, really quick as part of the best workout of any of the corners. No other corner had Ghee's combination of raw skills running a 4.45 with 15 reps on the bench. He also destroyed the short drills sticking and exploding around the cones and in the shuttle. The 10'7" broad jump was among the best of the bunch.
Pre-Combine Rank: 15
Positives: Great athlete at an NFL level. Looks the part. … Big and long. Has the size to be great against bigger targets. … Not that bad against the run. Willing to make a big stick.
Negatives: Scratching the surface. Still has work to do to reach his potential, but he isn’t a sure thing. … Tall, and plays like it. Has to be able to get down and turn a little better. … Not all that instinctive. Doesn’t sniff out plays well enough.

6. Donovan Warren, Michigan 5-11, 193
Post-Combine Skinny: It wasn't the Combine he probably wanted. He only ran a 4.59 in the 40, came up with a paltry 12 reps on the bench, and didn't look the part of a top-shelf corner. He'll have to try to make amends with a better, stronger workout.
Pre-Combine Rank: 4
Positives: Very quick and does several things really well. Can play a variety of positions. … Nice sized and versatile with the athleticism to play any safety spot in a pinch if he doesn’t work out at corner. … Physical. Likes to push around receivers.
Negatives: Doesn’t have elite corner wheels. Might not have the skills to be a No. 1 corner. … More of a baller than a top athlete. … Needs film work. Doesn’t sniff out plays well enough.

7. Perrish Cox, Oklahoma State 5-11, 195
Post-Combine Skinny: There's a mixed bag of views on him from the tape, and he didn't do quite enough to overcome the concerns. The 4.53 40 wasn't good enough and he wasn't quite quick enough to shine.
Pre-Combine Rank: 5
Positives: Extremely productive. Was a playmaking key to the Cowboy defense. … Stepped his game up against the better receivers. Knows how to raise his effort at the right time. … Goes after the ball well. Picks off everything he has a chance at.
Negatives: Doesn’t bring it each and every week. Takes plays off against weaker teams. … Inconsistent technique. Lazy in his footwork way too often. … Not a form tackler. Needs to use his size a bit better.

8. Dominique Franks, Oklahoma 5-11, 194
Post-Combine Skinny: It wasn't good enough. The 4.52 wasn't exactly blazing and he didn't blow up the short drills. He didn't do anything special and needs to show something else to prove he's worthy of being a starting corner.
Pre-Combine Rank: 6
Positives: A great all-around mix of skills. Good size and nice quickness. … Very brash and very confident. Isn’t afraid to get in the opponent’s head. … Can be moved around where needed. Could end up starring as a nickel or dime defender.
Negatives: Doesn’t play up to his talent. Talks a great game but doesn’t always play it. … Not a form tackler. Needs to be even more physical. … Lots of technique work needed.

9. Kareem Jackson, Alabama 5-10, 196
Post-Combine Skinny: He was fast, and that made up for everything else. The 4.48 40 was good in this class of corners, but the quickness wasn't exactly there compared to the other top corners in the short drills. He was fine on the move, but not spectacular.
Pre-Combine Rank: 7
Positives: A good, sound, all-around corner. Can handle a variety of tasks and assignments and fits any system. … Works hard. Likes to be challenged and rises to the moment. … Nice footwork and quickness. Smooth.
Negatives: Not a great tackler. Willing, but not great at it. … Has had problems staying healthy suffering shoulder problems. … A gambler. He’ll make his share of plays, but he’ll get torched at times at the next level.

10. Alterraun Verner, UCLA 5-10, 189
Post-Combine Skinny: Very, very quick. The 4.53 40 was a bit slow, but the 11 reps on the bench weren't awful. He made his money with a superior performance in all the short drills flying around as well as any corner. It was a great workout that will move him up.
Pre-Combine Rank: 13
Positives: Terrific athlete who moves easily and well. Cuts on a dime and can be explosive. … Can be shot out of a cannon into the backfield. Is a strong closer. … Instinctive. Sniffs out plays well.
Negatives: Okay against the run. Not great. … A better athlete than technician. Makes up for his mistakes with his quickness. That won’t work at the next level. … Needs to be more consistent. Missed a few too many plays.

11. Amari Spievey, Iowa 5-11, 195
Post-Combine Skinny: Fast, but not fluid. He tore off a 4.47, but he didn't lift and he was a bit too stiff. He's more of a baller whose talent won't necessarily show up at a workout like this, but the speed helped his cause.
Pre-Combine Rank: 8
Positives: High-motor hard worker. Tries to make himself better at all times. … Goes after the ball well. Fights for it and makes plays. … A playmaker who was a key playmaker for the Hawkeye secondary.
Negatives: Not a good enough tackler for his size. … Struggles with receivers with deep speed. Will need safety help. … A try-hard type who might have a hard ceiling.

12. Trevard Lindley, Kentucky 5-11, 183
Post-Combine Skinny: It wasn't a bad workout with explosion and excellent cutting ability, but the knock on him is his body type and his strength, and he was tall and thin and only came up with nine reps on the bench.
Pre-Combine Rank: 11
Positives: Extremely productive when healthy. Was a terrific all-around playmaker at a high SEC level. … All over the place. Runs well and gets around the ball. … A nice athlete who won’t have any problems hanging around with most NFL receivers.
Negatives: Very slight. Thin. … Durability concerns after being banged up in an extremely disappointing senior season. … Will get beaten up by the more physical receivers. Won’t do much in run support.

13. Syd’Quan Thompson, California 5-9, 186
Post-Combine Skinny: Really physical as a player, he didn't get a chance to show off any strength by not lifting. He didn't run the 40, but he was extremely quick in the cone drills. A bit short and squatty, he didn't necessarily look the part, but he could zip.
Pre-Combine Rank: 12
Positives: Extremely quick. Fluid and can cut on a dime. … A willing run defender. As physical a corner as they come. Extremely durable and a great tackler. … Versatile. Can see time at safety if needed and can be used as a returner.
Negatives: Not big. Can be beaten on jump balls by normal-sized NFL receivers. … Small and slow. … Quicker than fast. Questionable deep wheels.

14. Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Indiana (PA) 6-0, 207
Post-Combine Skinny: He did what he needed to do. For a player of his size, the 4.47 40 was terrific and he was quick, too. If he was from Indiana instead of Indiana (PA) he'd be ranked up a lot higher. He showed that he belonged.
Pre-Combine Rank: 14
Positives: Tremendous size. Built like a safety but moves like a corner. Fast for his size. … Extremely productive. Did everything well and can play any position at the next level. … Good tackler. Physical.
Negatives: Division II. Had no problems with the lesser talent. … Awful technique. Needs a ton of work. … A project. Good upside but hardly a sure thing.

15. Myron Lewis, Vanderbilt 6-2, 203
Post-Combine Skinny: An interesting prospect going into Indy because of his size, he tore off a 4.45 40 and moved himself up the rankings. He exploded in the broad jump with a 10'6" leap and wasn't bad around the ball drills. Basically, he showed he had the skills to be a corner and won't have to instantly be moved to safety.
Pre-Combine Rank: 17
Positives: Great size and surprising speed. Has all the raw tools to be a very good player for a long time. … Not afraid to use his size. A hitter who isn’t shy as a corner. … A fighter. Has an attitude in a good way.
Negatives: Banged up late and might have a few durability concerns with the physical way he plays. … Not polished. Not the smoothest player around. … Might have to be a safety. Isn’t a lockdown NFL corner in any way.

16. Jerome Murphy, South Florida 6-0, 196
Post-Combine Skinny: It wasn't bad, but the 4.52 was a bit slow. That was expected out of him, though, and he did a good job in the shuttle drill and shined in the ball drills. The 16 reps on the bench helped his cause.
Pre-Combine Rank: 15
Positives: Productive. Was a strong playmaker at a consistently high level. … Attacks well. Is good in space and could grow into a dangerous zone defender. … A baller. A pure football player who does a lot of things well.
Negatives: Not necessarily an NFL athlete for a top corner. … Not fast. Will end up doing more as a nickel or dime player. … Needs to be a stronger tackler for his size.

17. Javier Arenas, Alabama 5-9, 197
Post-Combine Skinny: Not great enough. The 4.52 was relatively slow, and the quickness wasn't as explosive or as impressive as it should've been for the way he plays. He needed to rip up the short drills, and he didn't.
Pre-Combine Rank: 10
Positives: A peerless return man. Can make a team doing a variety of things. … A football player who seems a natural no matter what he’s doing. … Extreme burst and quickness.
Negatives: Not big. Has to make the most of his size to get by. … Bad technique. Needs a ton of work on the basics to be a regular corner. … Not a No. 1 corner in any way. Needs help around him.

18. Walter Thurmond, Oregon 5-11, 189
Post-Combine Skinny: He didn't run the 40 and he didn't lift as he's still trying to get past his knee injury. He had a good wingspan and decent overall size, though.
Pre-Combine Rank: 18
Positives: Good size and a nice burst. A strong athlete. … Always around the ball. A ball-hawk and a playmaker. … A willing run defender. Not afraid to get dirty and make the tough play.
Negatives: His knee. He’d be rated much higher if he didn’t suffer a bad knee injury. … Wants to be physical but will be shoved around a bit. … A great worker and a baller, but might have a hard ceiling.

19. Crezdon Butler, Clemson 6-0, 191
Post-Combine Skinny: Fast, fast, fast. He blazed away to a 4.41 and rocked on the vertical with a vertical leap of 39.5", and he looked the part of a smooth, fluid corner. The 17 reps on the bench also helped him out. The workout wasn't enough to overcome his technique, but it was a fantastic Combine that will help him.
Pre-Combine Rank: 21
Positives: A terrific athlete who moves fluidly. … A big corner who plays bigger with a great vertical. Can jump out of the stadium. … Has the overall look. Has good skills to work with.
Negatives: Not a natural at the corner. Fights his technique to make plays. … Not tough. Doesn’t tackle up to his size. … Can be pushed around too easily.

20. Brian Jackson, Oklahoma 6-1, 202
Post-Combine Skinny: The rep on him was that he'd be big, strong, and fast, and he turned out to be big, strong, and quick. His 4.58 40 wasn't a positive but the 20 reps on the bench were only three fewer than his former teammate, Gerald McCoy. He was among the best of the bunch in the short drills moving extremely well for a player of his size. He made some money with the workout.
Pre-Combine Rank: 19
Positives: Big, strong, and very fast. Moves well. Great weightroom strength. … Supports like a safety and can hit. … Versatile. Could be moved to a variety of positions.
Negatives: Big like a safety, but also covers like one. … Faster than quick. Not all that fluid. … Needs to be in a zone and needs help. Not going to stick to a man at an NFL level.

21. Walter McFadden, Auburn
Not Invited To The Combine

22. Sherrick McManis, Northwestern 5-11, 195
Post-Combine Skinny: He didn't run and he needs to show everyone his 40 time before he can be in the mix, but he's big and has the look of an NFL corner on the eyeball test.
Pre-Combine Rank: 22
Positives: Moves well and cuts nicely. … Great instincts. Gets by on knowing what he’s supposed to do and being in the right position. … Decent against the run in the open field.
Negatives: A mediocre athlete. Likely a cover-2 corner who’ll need help. … Not explosive. Doesn’t fly around. … Gets blocked easily. Can’t slip through.

23. A.J. Jefferson, Fresno State, 6-0, 193
Post-Combine Skinny: It was one of the biggest workouts of the Combine for a player who needed to shine to make a bigger name for himself. He had to be athletic, and he blew everything off the charts with a 4.43 40, a whopping 44" vertical, and lightning quick times in the short drills. He only came up with seven reps on the bench, but no one cares.
Pre-Combine Rank: Not Ranked
Positives: Tall and has NFL athleticism. Has the raw skills. Very fast. Functional fast. … A great returner who can be a special teams playmaker. .. Great upside. Is just scratching the surface.
Negatives: Needs time. Raw, raw, raw. … No instincts whatsoever. Needs to see the field far more to be even close to being thrown on an island. … A workout warrior. All measurables.

24. Chris Hawkins, LSU 6-0, 187
Post-Combine Skinny: If you can run a 4.4 you'll get drafted. The former LSU CB blazed a 4.43 and lifted an excellent 16 reps on the bench. Quickness was never an issue, but he didn't stand out as expected with his cutting ability.
Pre-Combine Rank: 24
Positives: A strong player who was overshadowed by flasher Tiger defenders. … Fast. Moves well and recovers easily. … Great against the run. Always willing to come up and pop.
Negatives: Not instinctive. Doesn’t sniff things out. … Not sound. Was able to make up for mistakes by being athletic, but that’s not going to fly at the next level. … Was helped by having a ton of talent around him.

25. Devin Ross, Arizona 5-10, 183
Post-Combine Skinny: The slowish 4.56 40 time hurt, but was expected, but the 40" vertical helped to make up for the problems a bit. He worked out relatively well and looked like he belonged, but he doesn't have elite raw skills.
Pre-Combine Rank: 25
Positives: Had an extremely good season and was better than he got credit for. … A baller. Is good enough to wrap up in run support and is quick. … Closes quickly. Good athleticism and wraps up well.
Negatives: Not a natural with his technique. Needs a lot of work. … A try-hard type who works hard and has athleticism, but doesn’t have it all together as an NFL prospect. … Not instinctive and makes to many wrong decisions.

26. Jamar Wall, Texas Tech 5-10, 204
Post-Combine Skinny: He didn't run the 40, but he showed partly why he's such a big hitter with a solid 15 reps on the bench. He's big and will likely spend most of his career at safety.
Pre-Combine Rank: 26
Positives: Played well at a high Big 12 level. … A good hitter who intimidates. Great against the run. … Competitive. Rises up to the occasion and has good ball skills.
Negatives: Needs technique work. Isn’t a natural and doesn’t move well with top targets. … Gambles a bit much. Will try to make the big play a bit much. … Doesn’t sniff out moves. Bites on everything.

27. Chris Cook, Virginia 6-2, 212
Post-Combine Skinny: It was a phenomenal workout for a player of his size. At 6-2 and 212 pounds he was the biggest corner in the mix, and he ripped up an impressive 4.46 and came up with a CB Combine-best 11'0" in the broad jump. But he was expected to be athletic; it still doesn't mean he can play.
Pre-Combine Rank: 34
Positives: Very big and very athletic. Has some of the best raw skills of any DB in the draft. … Plays up to his size. Doesn’t shy away from contact. … Can be moved around anywhere. Should see time as a safety.
Negatives: Strange as this might sound, the athleticism doesn’t necessarily translate. Not quite quick enough at an NFL level. … Probably more of a safety after a little work. Won’t work much in man coverage. … Not a corner for every scheme. Might need safety help.

28. Kevin Thomas, USC 6-0, 192
Post-Combine Skinny: Everyone knew he'd be a great athlete, that was never in question, but he still helped himself by being among the fastest of the corners running a good 4.48 while being among the quickest and most impressive prospects in the short drills. The 10'6" broad jump and the 19 reps on the bench helped boost his stock, too.
Pre-Combine Rank: 27
Positives: A good all-around athlete. Has all the basic NFL tools. … Tall and long. Makes himself bigger by jumping well. … Worth working out the negatives because of his speed and quickness.
Negatives: A far better athlete than a football player. … Awful technique and no football instincts whatsoever. … Can’t tackle and has durability problems. Can’t stay healthy.

29. Stephan Virgil, Virginia Tech 5-11, 183
Post-Combine Skinny: It wasn't good. While he's quicker than fast, the 4.65 40 was still a disaster and he didn't show anything to help his cause. It wasn't a good workout.
Pre-Combine Rank: 23
Positives: Quick and moves extremely well. Cuts on a dime. … Tries hard against the run and has no problems making the stick. … A good, sound defender who does things the right way. A baller.
Negatives: A nice athlete but not an elite one. … Mediocre instincts. Can get beaten way too easily. … Injury problems. Suffered a variety of dings.

30. David Pender, Purdue 6-0, 180
Post-Combine Skinny: Fast and explosive. A 4.47 40 was impressive and he jumped 39", but the eight reps on the bench cemented him as just a corner and not likely a safety. It was a good workout for a player who needed to show off flashes of speed.
Pre-Combine Rank: 28
Positives: Great ball skills. Great break on the ball and is fantastic and breaking up plays. … Good size and uses it well. Is physical with receivers. … Good in run support. Works well to help out against the run and is always in the right spot.
Negatives: Doesn’t necessarily make up for his mistakes well. Can’t catch up. … Not an instinctive player. Breaks up passes but doesn’t make enough regular plays. … Gets fooled and doesn’t always read the play well.

31. Josh Pinkard, USC (S) 6-1, 214
Post-Combine Skinny: He didn't run with a knee injury and he didn't lift, but he looked big and might potentially be used more as a safety than a corner.
Pre-Combine Rank: 29
Positives: A big corner who could end up working as a safety. … Fights hard against the run and is great and sticking his nose in to make plays. … Has good instincts. Knows what he’s supposed to do.
Negatives: Doesn’t have NFL corner skills. Not enough of a thumper to be a star safety. … Knee problems. Not an NFL corner athleticism-wise before, and the bad knee is going to make things worse. … Not smooth and not a technician.

32. A.J. Wallace, Penn State
Not Invited To The Combine

32. Prince Miller, Georgia
Not Invited To The Combine

33. Chris Chancellor, Clemson 5-9, 177
Post-Combine Skinny: Like most Clemson players, Chancellor worked out well flying through the short drills with good quickness including a 4.07 shuttle. The 4.5 40, though, wasn't good enough for a player of his size. He proved to be far quicker than fast.
Pre-Combine Rank: 32
Positives: Extremely quick. Cuts on a dime and moves well. … Experienced. Has seen it all and has logged a ton of miles. … A good tackler for his size.
Negatives: A bit small. Not tiny, but he’s not a prototype. … More quick than fast. Doesn’t have enough athleticism to make up for the lack of size. … A hard ceiling. Can be a cog but won’t be special.

34. Nolan Carroll, Maryland 5-11, 204
Post-Combine Skinny: He didn't run as he's still trying to get past a broken leg, and he didn't lift either. However, he was big and looked like a short safety.
Pre-Combine Rank: 33
Positives: Good size and great athleticism when healthy. … A good hitter. Very physical and is willing to push receivers around. … A strong tackler. Wraps up and pops like a safety.
Negatives: His broken leg. Missed too much time hurt. … Not all that fast. Quicker than speedy. … No instincts. Projects to be more like a safety.

35. Rafael Priest, TCU
Not Invited To The Combine

36. Cornelius Brown, UTEP 5-11, 198
Post-Combine Skinny: He needed to show something special to get on the radar, and he didn't He wasn't all that big, he wasn't all that fast with a 4.56 40, and he was just a guy in all the drills and nothing more.
Pre-Combine Rank: Not Ranked
Positives: A good athlete with speed to stay on an NFL field. … Moves well. Both quick and fast. … Decent ball skills. Has a way of finding himself to the ball.
Negatives: More of an athlete than a football player. … Was fine at UTEP, but was hardly standout special. … A projection based on athleticism. Has the skills to work with, but is a project.

37. Joshua Moore, Kansas State 5-11, 188
Post-Combine Skinny: He surprised by being quicker than expected and moving better in drills than he does on tape. The 4.48 40 was a big help and the paltry two reps on the bench aren't all that big a deal unless he's planning on being tried out at corner.
Pre-Combine Rank: Not Ranked
Positives: A good college player who played better than his athleticism. … Moves well enough to be tried out in a variety of spots. Could flourish as a nickel or dime back. … More of a baller than anything else. A football player but not a workout warrior.
Negatives: Doesn’t have the quickness at an NFL level. … A decent tackler, but hardly special. … Might have to be a safety. Not a next-level corner.