Combine Winners & Losers  

 

NFL combine: Trae Waynes shines; P.J. Williams has work to do

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Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is spotlighting the prospects who make a mark -- for better or worse -- at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine. On Monday, the defensive backs took the field. Bucky provides his impressions from Indianapolis. Click here for full workout results.

MORE WINNERS & LOSERS: Offensive linemen/tight ends | Quarterbacks/running backs/receivers | defensive linemen/linebackers

Buzzworthy

Jalen Collins, CB, LSU: Scouts are always intrigued by big, athletic corners with speed, quickness and ball skills. Collins certainly has the hype machine humming after running a 4.43-second 40 and showcasing exceptional movement skills in positional drills. The 6-foot-1, 203-pounder flashed outstanding fluidity in his turns and transitions, which is critical to playing effectively in "off" coverage. Collins showed excellent hands and ball skills Monday, snagging passes like a wide receiver in the gauntlet drill and circling under deep balls like a centerfielder in positional drills. Given the affinity for big, athletic corners in the NFL, Collins' sensational performance will send his stock soaring heading into the pro day circuit.

Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State: Waynes might have cemented his status as the top corner in the 2015 class with his spectacular showing on the turf in Indy. The ex-Spartan posted the top 40 time among defensive backs (4.31 seconds) and exhibited the kind of athletic prowess that is routinely associated with blue-chip prospects. From his outstanding footwork, quickness and agility, to his strong hands and ball skills, Waynes has all of the tools to be an elite playmaker at the next level. If he can continue to refine his footwork and fundamentals as an "off" cover, Waynes could be the consensus No. 1 corner by the draft.

Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State: The buzz is building around Darby's prospects as a possible first-round pick following his strong performance at Lucas Oil Stadium. The 5-11, 193-pound defender posted a blazing 4.38-second 40 time, while displaying exceptional short-area quickness and acceleration in positional drills. Darby not only looks like a prototypical nickel corner candidate, but he has the athleticism and technical skills to be a legitimate starting corner in the right situation. With teams desperately looking for athletic corners who possess the right combination of versatility and cover skills, Darby has entered the conversation as a Top 40 prospect.

Buzzkill

Marcus Peters, CB, Washington: Scouts frequently tell media members that the NFL Scouting Combine workouts don't affect the evaluation process, but there is no doubt that coaches have a tough time falling in love with a corner prospect who runs a slow 40 time. Although Peters shows enough speed and quickness on tape to hang with elite prospects in coverage, some evaluators will struggle to rate him as the top corner in the class considering his 4.53 effort placed him among the bottom half of defensive backs. Thus, he will need to improve upon his time when he performs in front of scouts and coaches at his pro day workout in a few weeks.

P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State: Although he was viewed this past season as the top cover corner at Florida State, Williams needed to impress scouts during his combine workout to cement his standing as a borderline Day 1 prospect. Scouts wanted to see the ex-Seminole run a fast 40 time while displaying exceptional agility, footwork and movement skills in drills. Williams certainly disappointed evaluators with his 4.57-second performance and didn't look completely comfortable with his turns and transitions in drills. While that is somewhat to be expected based on the amount of press coverage Florida State employed during his three years in Tallahassee, Williams needs to tighten up his backpedal and run faster at his pro day on March 31 to salvage his chances of being a first-round pick come April 30.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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