The defensive backs ended the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine with a bang.
NFL Network brought out Deion Sanders and Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden to discuss this year’s cornerback class, and each did a great job of discussing what they were seeing and why it was important. Sanders and Haden were impressed with Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert, whom they said did a nice job dropping into his backpedal and flipping his hips to turn into a sprint.
Sanders was enamored with TCU cornerback Jason Verrett, who didn’t seem overwhelmed when the Pro Football Hall of Famer came over to talk to him before positional drills.
Check out the winners and losers from the final day of the combine.
Justin Gilbert: He ran the fastest 40-yard dash among defensive backs at 4.37 seconds, and he also had a respectable 10-foot-6 broad jump and 35.5-inch vertical leap. He finished the three-cone in under seven seconds.
Jason Verrett: He’s undersized at 5-foot-9, 189 pounds, but he proved he could play last season, and the combine confirmed it. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds and had top vertical leap (39 inches) and broad jump (10-foot-8) numbers. His three-cone (6.69) and short shuttle (4.00) were top five among cornerbacks.
Deone Bucannon: He was one of just five safeties to run the 40-yard dash in under 4.5 seconds (4.49). He was a top-five finisher in the three-cone (6.96), vertical leap (36.5 inches) and broad jump (10-foot-5). The Washington State product already was expected to be a top safety off the board, so the combine only helped him.
Terrence Brooks: He looked and performed like a cornerback, despite being an undersized safety. He ran a 4.42-second 40-yard dash, and he had a 38-inch vertical leap and 9-foot-11 broad jump. He also looked fluid in positional drills. Safeties with Brooks’ speed and athleticism are rare.
Keith McGill: He’s a massive cornerback who can run, turn and drop into a backpedal. The Utah product is 6-foot-3, 211 pounds and still learning the position — he started his college career as a safety. McGill ran a 4.51-second 40-yard dash with a 39-inch vertical leap and 10-foot-9 broad jump.
Brock Vereen: Shane’s brother was a top-five finisher in the 40-yard dash (4.47), three-cone (6.90) and short shuttle (4.07). Perhaps that could lead to a reunion with his brother on the New England Patriots.
Calvin Pryor: He’ll still be a top safety off the board, but his 4.58-second 40-yard dash was only middle of the road. He had a bottom-five broad jump and average vertical leap.
Marcus Roberson and Loucheiz Purifoy: The two Florida cornerbacks ran matching 4.61-second 40-yard dashes. They’ll have to improve those times at Florida’s pro day, just as Haden did four years ago after he ran a 4.57-second 40-yard dash at the combine.
Kyle Fuller: The Virginia Tech cornerback ran well, clocking a 4.49-second 40-yard dash, but he had trouble staying low in positional drills. Fuller has solid film, so it might not matter how he performed in Indianapolis.