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Derwin James validates freakish athletic reputation at Combine

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Florida State's Derwin James validated his reputation as a freakish athlete Monday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Seminoles' gifted and versatile safety recorded a 40-yard dash of 4.47 seconds (ninth-best among combine safeties) at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, along with a 40-inch vertical jump (sixth-best of all DBs) and an 11-foot broad jump (fifth-best among DBs). Two years ago, a 2015 FSU teammate of James' in Jalen Ramsey posted a strong combine and went on to become the No. 5 overall draft pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Ramsey called his friend a "beast" and issued a congratulatory tweet Monday afternoon:

On Sunday, James tied for third among defensive backs in bench-press testing with 21 reps at 225 pounds.

By comparison, Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick -- also a top prospect who offers versatility similar to James' -- turned in a 4.46 40-yard dash, with a 33-inch vertical jump and a 10-1 broad jump.

James is projected as a first-round pick, and set himself apart athletically in the FSU locker room over two seasons as a starter. His sophomore year was cut short by a knee injury, but he returned last season to make 84 tackles, a team-high 11 pass breakups and two interceptions for the Seminoles. He entered the combine ranked the No. 11 player in the draft by NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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