There is no consensus on the top cornerback available in the draft and there likely won't be even after the NFL Scouting Combine. Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert is one of those in the mix, and he had a good Monday.
Gilbert, who measured 6-foot and 202 pounds at the official weigh-in, had 20 reps in the bench press. The other leading contenders for the "best cornerback available" moniker are Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard (15 reps), Ohio State's Bradley Roby (17), Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller (12) and TCU's Jason Verrett (didn't lift).
Gilbert and Roby are thought to be the fastest of that quintet, and the cornerbacks will run the 40-yard dash Tuesday. Dennard's 40 time will be heavily scrutinized; he is considered the most physical corner among the top five, but he also might be the slowest.
Obviously, the bench press isn't that big a deal for corners, but it's at least interesting to compare. For instance, the two corners generally regarded as the best in the league are Arizona's Patrick Peterson and Seattle's Richard Sherman, and they managed 15 and 16 reps, respectively. The best bench-press number by a cornerback since 2006 is 28 reps by North Carolina's Da'Norris Searcy in 2011; he was a fourth-round pick by Buffalo who was a part-time starter at strong safety in 2013.
The best bench-press total from a corner on Monday was 22, by Florida's Jaylen Watkins (who played safety in 2013 after starting his career at corner) and Florida Atlantic's Keith Reaser. Watkins is the half-brother of Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
The best number from a safety was 25, by Minnesota free safety Brock Vereen, who is considered a potential third-day selection. Vanderbilt free safety Kenny Ladler, another potential third-day pick, was second with 24.
Louisville's Calvin Pryor and Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix are the top two safeties overall; both are free safeties, and Pryor had 18 reps and Clinton-Dix 11. The top strong safety is either Northern Illinois' Jimmie Ward or Washington State's Deone Bucannon. Bucannon had 19 reps, Ward just nine.
The two haven't played on the same team since 2006, Shane's senior season and Brock's freshman year at Valencia (Calif.) High.
"Both of us want to play against each other so much that we haven't really talked about being on the same team," Brock told the Herald.