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Darqueze Dennard, Bradley Roby top DBs to watch at combine

The NFL Scouting Combine runs Feb. 22-25 in Indianapolis, and it brings together 335 of the nation's most draftable players and numerous front-office representatives and scouts from each NFL team.

A big portion of the combine is the individual events, such as the 40-yard dash, the bench press and the vertical jump.

This is Part 5 of our position-by-position look at the combine, spotlighting defensive backs. We look at six prospects who will be scrutinized this year and also look at noteworthy event performances in the past five combines. We'll also look at how notable current players performed at their combine events.

Six to watch this year

CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State: Will he be the first corner off the board? His 40 time might tell the tale. Most scouts love his physical, aggressive nature, but his detractors wonder about his speed -- or lack thereof. He certainly isn't as fast as Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert or Ohio State's Bradley Roby.

CB Pierre Desir, Lindenwood (Mo.): He has good size (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) and is a big-time athlete who physically overmatched his Division II opponents. He has some issues with his technique, not surprising, given his level of competition. How early he goes could be determined by how well he runs in the various combine drills.

CB Keith McGill, Utah: At 6-3, 214 pounds, McGill played a lot of safety with the Utes and is a physically imposing corner, which NFL teams covet, thanks to Seattle's suffocating style of play. But does he truly have the speed and quickness to be a corner in the NFL?

FS Calvin Pryor, Louisville: Pryor (6-2, 208), who left after his junior season, is a big hitter who really brings the wood, and he has crept into the first round in some mock drafts. Is he the best safety in the draft? Most say that moniker belongs to Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who like Pryor is a Florida native. Can Pryor outperform Clinton-Dix at the combine?

CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State: His draft stock is lower now than it was at this time last year. Roby (5-11, 192) is a big-time athlete who should have a sub-4.4 40 time. He needs to show off his athleticism at the combine.

SS Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois: He probably is the No. 1 strong safety on numerous draft boards and can solidify that spot with a strong combine. Ward (5-10, 191) played in the shadow of NIU QB Jordan Lynch but is a vastly better pro prospect. He is more quick than fast, but his 40 time still bears watching.

Combine bests over past five years

40-YARD DASH/CORNERBACKS

1. CB Demarcus Van Dyke, Miami
Time: 4.28 in 2011
Draft status: 3rd round, Oakland

2. CB Josh Robinson, UCF
Time: 4.33 in 2012
Draft status: 3rd round, Minnesota

3. CB Patrick Peterson, LSU
Time: 4.34 in 2011
Draft status: 1st round (5th overall), Arizona

4. CB Darius Slay, Mississippi State
Time: 4.36 in 2013
Draft status: 2nd round, Detroit

5. CB Ron Brooks, LSU
Time: 4.37 in 2012
Draft status: 4th round, Buffalo

5. CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
Time: 4.37 in 2013
Draft status: 1st round (9th overall), New York Jets

» Top 40 times by CB since 2006

Notable players

Prince Amukamara, Nebraska: 4.43 seconds in 2011
Morris Claiborne, LSU: 4.50 seconds in 2012
Jonathan Joseph, South Carolina: 4.31 seconds in 2006
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Tennessee State: 4.33 seconds in 2008
Richard Sherman, Stanford: 4.54 seconds in 2011

40-YARD DASH/SAFETIES

1. FS Chris Clemons, Clemson
Time: 4.41 in 2009
Draft status: 5th round, Miami

2. SS Shamarko Thomas, Syracuse
Time: 4.42 in 2013
Draft status: 4th round, Pittsburgh

3. FS Taylor Mays, USC
Time: 4.43 in 2010
Draft status: 2nd round, San Francisco

4. SS Earl Wolff, North Carolina state
Time: 4.44 in 2013
Draft status: 5th round, Philadelphia

5. FS David Bruton, Notre Dame
Time: 4.46 in 2009
Draft status: 4th round, Denver

5. SS Shawn Williams, Georgia
Time: 4.46 in 2013
Draft status: 3rd round, Cincinnati

» Top 40 times by S since 2006

Notable players

SS Mark Barron, Alabama: 4.56 seconds in 2012
SS Eric Berry, Tennessee: 4.47 seconds in 2010
FS Antoine Bethea, Howard: 4.39 seconds in 2006
SS Kam Chancellor, Virginia Tech: 4.62 seconds in 2010
FS Kenny Phillips, Miami: 4.48 seconds in 2008

20-YARD SHUTTLE/CORNERBACKS

1. B.W. Webb, William & Mary
Time: 3.84 seconds in 2013
Draft status: 4th round, Dallas

2. Desmond Trufant, Washington
Time: 3.85 seconds in 2013
Draft status: 1st round, Atlanta

3. Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt
Time: 3.90 seconds in 2012
Draft status: 2nd round, Green Bay

3. Buster Skrine, Chattanooga
Time: 3.90 seconds in 2011
Draft status: 5th round, Cleveland

5. Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina
Time: 3.94 seconds in 2012
Draft status: 1st round, Buffalo

» Top 20-yard shuttle times by CB since 2006

Notable players

Champ Bailey, Georgia: 3.79 seconds in 1999
Richard Sherman, Stanford: 4.33 seconds in 2011
Aqib Talib, Kansas: 4.25 seconds in 2008
Alterraun Verner, UCLA: 4.12 seconds in 2010
Charles Woodson, Michigan: 4.06 seconds in 1998

20-YARD SHUTTLE/SAFETIES

1. SS Shiloh Keo, Idaho
Time: 3.90 seconds in 2011
Draft status: 5th round, Houston

2. FS Rahim Moore, UCLA
Time: 3.96 seconds in 2011
Draft status: 2nd round, Denver

3. FS Sherrod Martin, Troy
Time: 3.98 seconds in 2009
Draft status: 2nd round, Carolina

4. FS Duke Williams, Nevada
Time: 4.00 seconds in 2013
Draft status: 4th round, Buffalo

5. FS George Iloka, Boise State
Time: 4.03 seconds in 2012
Draft status: 5th round, Cincinnati

» Top 20-yard shuttle times by S since 2006

NFL Exposure

Combine through the years

Take a look at NFL stars showing off their skills at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Notable players

SS Barry Church, Toledo: 4.17 seconds in 2010
FS Antoine Bethea, Howard: 4.13 seconds in 2006
FS Harrison Smith, Notre Dame: 4.12 seconds in 2012
SS Kenny Vaccaro, Texas: 4.06 seconds in 2013
SS Eric Weddle, Utah: 4.12 seconds in 2007

VERTICAL JUMP

1. CB Donald Washington, Ohio State
Jump: 45 inches in 2009
Draft status: 4th round, Kansas City

2. CB A.J. Jefferson, Fresno State
Jump: 44 inches in 2010
Draft status: Undrafted

3. SS Eric Berry, Tennessee
Jump: 43 inches in 2010
Draft status: 1st round (5th overall), Kansas City

3. CB Darius Butler, Connecticut
Jump: 43 inches in 2009
Draft status: 2nd round, New England

5. FS David Bruton, Notre Dame
Jump: 41.5 inches in 2009
Draft status: 4th round, Denver

5. FS C.J. Spillman, Marshall
Jump: 41.5 inches in 2009
Draft status: Undrafted

» Top verticals by CB/S since 2006

Notable players

CB Joe Haden, Florida: 35 inches in 2010
FS Eric Reid, LSU: 40.5 inches in 2013
CB Richard Sherman, Stanford: 38 inches in 2011
CB Aqib Talib, Kansas: 38 inches in 2008
SS T.J. Ward, Oregon: 34 inches in 2010

3-CONE DRILL/CORNERBACKS

1. Buster Skrine, Chattanooga
Numbers: 6.44 seconds in 2011
Draft status: 5th round, Cleveland

2. Chykie Brown, Texas
Numbers: 6.50 seconds in 2011
Draft status: 5th round, Baltimore

3. Will Davis, Utah State
Numbers: 6.52 seconds in 2013
Draft status: 3rd round, Miami

4. Josh Robinson, UCF
Numbers: 6.55 seconds in 2012
Draft status: 3rd round, Minnesota

5. Patrick Peterson, LSU
Numbers: 6.58 seconds in 2011
Draft status: 1st round (5th overall), Arizona

» Top 3-cone drills by CB since 2006

Notable players

Leodis McKelvin, Troy: 7.06 seconds in 2008
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Tennessee State: 6.74 seconds in 2008
Carlos Rogers, Auburn: 6.48 seconds in 2005
Richard Sherman, Stanford: 6.82 seconds in 2011
Charles Woodson, Michigan: 6.93 seconds in 1998


Pre-draft events:
» Senior Bowl | NFL Scouting Combine | Pro days

Mock drafts:
» Brooks: Projecting first two rounds
» Huguenin: Texans would regret not taking QB
» Jeremiah: Surprise team takes a QB
» Goodbread: Diabolical duo for Detroit
» Smith: One of 'Big 3' QBs is going to slip
» Fischer: Bridgewater falls out of first round
» Davis: Clowney No. 1; Bridgewater to Browns

Draft coverage:
» Tracking teams' interest in prospects | Draft rumors
» Mayock's position-by-position prospect rankings
» Brooks' Big Board | Position rankings | Blog
» Jeremiah's top 50 draft prospects
» Brandt's top 50 draft prospects
» Top positional draft needs for all 32 teams
» College Football 24/7 Podcast: Latest draft buzz

Draft's top five at each position:
» QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S

Draft Tracker:
» Rounds | Teams | Players | Positions | History

Interact:
» Fan War Rooms | Predict the Pick | Twitter

Video:
» NFL comparisons for top draft prospects
» Combine workouts: Top prospects go through drills

3-CONE DRILL/SAFETIES

1. SS Shiloh Keo, Idaho
Numbers: 6.55 seconds in 2011
Draft status: 5th round, Houston

2. FS David Bruton, Notre Dame
Numbers: 6.60 seconds in 2009
Draft status: 4th round, Denver

2. FS Sherrod Martin, Troy
Numbers: 6.60 seconds in 2009
Draft status: 2nd round, Carolina

4. FS Harrison Smith, Notre Dame
Numbers: 6.63 seconds in 2012
Draft status: 1st round, Minnesota

5. FS Josh Evans, Florida
Numbers: 6.64 seconds in 2013
Draft status: 6th round, Jacksonville

» Top 3-cone drills by S since 2006

Notable players

SS Kam Chancellor, Virginia Tech: 7.36 seconds in 2010
SS Barry Church, Toledo: 6.65 seconds in 2010
FS Louis Delmas, Western Michigan: 6.67 seconds in 2009
FS Kenny Phillips, Miami: 6.97 seconds in 2008
SS Eric Weddle, Utah: 6.68 seconds in 2007

BROAD JUMP

1. CB Donald Washington, Ohio State
Numbers: 11 feet, 3 inches in 2009
Draft status: 4th round, Kansas City

2. CB Darius Butler, Connecticut
Numbers: 11 feet, 2 inches in 2009
Draft status: 2nd round, New England

2. FS Eric Reid, LSU
Numbers: 11 feet, 2 inches in 2013
Draft status: 1st round (18th overall), San Francisco

2. SS Earl Wolff, North Carolina State
Numbers: 11 feet, 2 inches in 2013
Draft status: 5th round, Philadelphia

5. CB Josh Robinson, UCF
Numbers: 11 feet, 1 inch in 2012
Draft status: 3rd round, Minnesota

5. SS Shamarko Thomas, Syracuse
Numbers: 11 feet, 1 inch in 2013
Draft status: 4th round, Pittsburgh

» Top broad jumps by CB/S since 2006

Notable players

SS Eric Berry, Tennessee: 10 feet, 10 inches in 2010
SS Matt Elam, Florida: 9 feet, 8 inches in 2013
FS Earl Thomas, Texas: 9 feet, 4 inches in 2010
CB Alterraun Verner, UCLA: 9 feet, 7 inches in 2010
CB Charles Woodson, Michigan: 10 feet, 3 inches in 1998

BENCH PRESS

1. SS Kevin Ellison, USC
Numbers: 32 reps in 2009
Draft status: 6th round, San Diego

2. FS Jamarca Sanford, Ole Miss
Numbers: 29 reps in 2009
Draft status: 7th round, Minnesota

3. FS Lucien Antoine, Oklahoma State
Numbers: 28 reps in 2010
Draft status: Undrafted

3. SS Shamarko Thomas, Syracuse
Numbers: 28 reps in 2013
Draft status: 4th round, Pittsburgh

5. SS John Boyett, Oregon
Numbers: 28 reps in 2013
Draft status: 6th round, Indianapolis

5. CB Da'Norris Searcy, North Carolina
Numbers: 28 reps in 2011
Draft status: 4th round, Buffalo

» Top bench press numbers by CB/S since 2006

Notable players

CB Vontae Davis, Illinois: 25 reps in 2009
CB Patrick Peterson, LSU: 15 reps in 2011
CB Richard Sherman, Stanford: 16 reps in 2011
SS Eric Weddle, Utah: 11 reps in 2007
CB Charles Woodson, Michigan: 24 reps in 1998

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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