INDIANAPOLIS -- The NFL Scouting Combine wrapped up Monday with a thin class of defensive backs taking center stage for scouts at Lucas Oil Stadium. With fast 40-yard dashes and a plethora of on-field drills designed to test their flexibility, the top cornerbacks and safeties in college football were able to show what they're made of in front of all 32 NFL teams.
Here is a recap of the day's events:
Monday's top performances
- Florida State cornerback Ronald Darby blazed a 4.38 40-yard dash, which was the third-fastest time among defensive backs Monday. Throw in a quality outing in the drills portion of the event, and there was some well-earned praise thrown his way.
- Cornerback Trae Waynes was considered by NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock to be the top corner in the 2015 NFL Draft, and he did nothing to change that with a blazing-fast 4.31 in the 40-yard dash, the fastest time of the day. He also showed some terrific moves when running through drills. In short, he locked up his first-round selection and made himself a hot name on the road to the draft.
- Josh Shaw has received some buzz around the combine because of the story surrounding his suspension from USC, but there were questions about his speed, and most viewed him as a press corner. He answered those questions with a 4.44 in the 40-yard dash, which most analysts agreed was a great mark for him. Add in the bench press number -- 26, the highest among defensive backs -- and Shaw helped himself at Lucas Oil Stadium.
- Alabama's Landon Collins ran a 4.53 40-yard dash, and a 4.54 on his other attempt, to help solidify his status as the top safety prospect in a draft that is razor thin at that position. Don't expect Collins to do much more than position drills at Alabama's pro day event on March 11 -- his draft stock couldn't be helped much more.
What they're saying
"Golson tracks the ball as well as anyone I've seen in years." -- Mayock on Ole Miss All-American cornerback Senquez Golson, cautioning only that height (5-foot-9) will definitely be an issue for some teams.
Biggest workout winner
Trae Waynes really stood out Monday, but even Waynes -- Mike Mayock's top-rated cornerback in the draft -- was overshadowed by Byron Jones' incredible performance. Without running the 40, Jones stole the show, soaring to a 12-foot, 3-inch broad jump, which is believed to be a world record. He also posted a 44.5-inch vertical, the second-best mark of this year's combine, a 60-yard shuttle of 10.98 seconds (the best mark of this year's combine) and a 20-yard shuttle of 3.94 seconds (third-best this year). Jones ranked 50th in NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's recently updated Top 50 rankings, and the arrow is pointing directly up for him after Monday's sensational showing.
Biggest workout loser
» Who else stood out during Monday's combine workouts? Bucky Brooks highlights three of the day's buzz-worthy prospects, and a couple who disappointed.
What NFL Network analysts are saying
"I think the two fastest corners in the building today might be in suits." -- NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock on the lack of speedy cornerbacks at the combine. The guys in suits he was referring to? Deion Sanders and DeAngelo Hall, who contributed to the NFL Network broadcast.
"The safety class is poor." -- Mayock said, giving his opinion of a position group that many think is one of the weaker ones in some time.
*Five other things we learned *
- There was a lot made about ex-Washington cornerback Marcus Peters after he was dismissed from school and missed most of last season, but he didn't show much rust when going through drills. His slower than expected 40 time of 4.53 might concern some, but he looked pretty sharp when moving around the turf and picking off passes. Peters had a nice backpedal and kept his center of gravity right where you wanted it.
- The New England Patriots figure to make a strong investment in the offensive line during this draft, and bostonherald.com has connected some interesting dots between that search and the bevy of offensive line talent at Florida State. Seminoles guard Tre' Jackson and versatile center Cam Erving are FSU's top prospects up front.
- It's a thin year for safeties behind Alabama's Landon Collins, but a few of them had an opportunity to step up and throw their name into the mix -- yet they didn't. Obviously, more work will have to be done on this group, but there seems to be a significant drop-off in terms of athletes after Collins. If anybody helped his stock recently, Arizona State's Damarious Randall looked the part and had some good testing numbers.
- You hate to put so much emphasis on 40 times, but Utah's Eric Rowe is a player many teams are looking at as both a safety and a corner. He ran a 4.45, which suggests he's fit to play corner, but given how thin the safety position is in the draft, he could have just earned himself some money with his ability to truly play both positions at the next level.