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NFL Scouting Combine: What we learned Tuesday

The final day of the NFL Scouting Combine turned its lens on cornerbacks and safeties. Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis now will grow silent, but the back end of the 2013 NFL Draft's defensive crop made plenty of noise Tuesday. Not all of it was positive.

Perhaps nobody hurt their draft stock more than Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound corner recorded a disappointing time of 4.61 seconds in the 40-yard dash. NFL.com's Gil Brandt told Around The League that Banks would need sensational work in the cone and short-shuttle drills to repair the damage done by his 40 run, but his field work wasn't outstanding.

"I still think Johnthan Banks is a football player, but it's been a bad day for him," NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said.

Banks' troubles conjure references to Joe Haden, who also struggled with his straight-line speed at the combine back in 2010. That didn't stop the corner from going seventh overall to the Cleveland Browns.

» Kenny Vaccaro didn't help himself with a sluggish 40 time, but his 4.63 mark doesn't hurt the Texas safety the way it might a cornerback. We still believe Vaccaro will be the draft's first safety off the board.

» Another safety, Matt Elam had a bad drop in drills, but that didn't stop Mayock from comparing the Florida safety to Donte Whitner of the San Francisco 49ers. Elam is undersized (5-foot-10, 208 pounds), which is a concern against big-bodied tight ends, but his 4.54 40 was serviceable and teams remain attracted to his aggressive hitting style.

» The unofficial/official 40 splits continue to baffle. Cal's Steve Williams put Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson on high alert with his unofficial mark of 4.25. Williams' official time of 4.42 meant CJ2K's combine-record 4.24 was safe for yet another year. Mississippi State's Darius Slay came closest to making history Tuesday with an official time of 4.36.

» "The kid that's really intriguing me is David Amerson," Mayock said. The N.C. State corner had an excellent combine and Mayock believes he managed to "open some eyes," and could sneak into the first round. Mayock acknowledged some teams might still see Amerson as more of a third-rounder, but his work in Indy was impressive.

» Someone's going to draft Tyrann Mathieu. The former LSU corner is draped in off-the-field concerns, but left no doubts about his speed after ripping off a solid 4.50 40. That helped put him back on solid footing after he recorded just four reps in the bench press Monday. "I'm not one of those guys who gets stronger in the weight room," Mathieu told NFL Network, "but it's something I will focus on going forward."

» Dee Milliner struggled in drills -- dropping some balls -- but the Alabama corner recorded an official 40 time of 4.37, second-best overall. Milliner will have a chance to improve on those ball skills at the Crimson Tide's pro day, and he's still in the mix to become the top corner taken in the draft.

» As this year's combine drew to a close, Mayock insisted that we still have no idea who will emerge as the top overall pick in the draft. This is a deep crop of athletes, but it's not a great year to pick high.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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