Day One Recap | Day Two Recap | Day Three Recap | Day Four Recap
Tuesday’s Combine finale was a bit of an anticlimax on the heels of the Cam Newton hype train, but there were still 40s to be run and drills to be run through.
The two cornerbacks expected to go in the top 10 both lived up to their press clippings. LSU’s Patrick Peterson blazed a 4.34 40, all the more impressive given that at 219 pounds he was the bulkiest corner at the Combine. Peterson also showed well in the position drills and should be off the board within the first three picks.
Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara, already known for his physicality, had questions to answer about his speed. Mission accomplished; his 4.43 40 was fifth among the cornerbacks assembled in Indy and all but locks Amukamara into the draft’s top ten.
The next tier of corners also showed well. Miami’s Brandon Harris (4.51) and Texas’ Aaron Williams (4.52) weren’t quite as fast as Colorado’s Jimmy Smith (4.46), but all handled the position drills without incident. Smith’s off-the-field issues, however, might be what stands between a fast corner with outstanding size (6-2, 211 pounds) and a first-round contract.
Harris’ Hurricane teammate, DeMarcus Van Dyke, posted the fastest 40 time of the Combine at 4.28. Overall it turned out to be a very fast class; 29 of the 33 cornerbacks who ran in Indy were in the 4.5s or lower, with 10 cornerbacks running sub-4.5.
The 2011 safety class is not nearly as impressive, and it showed in the workouts. Rutgers’ Joe Lefeged was the only safety to break 4.5, and 13 of the 20 who ran at the Combine were clocked at 4.6 or higher. UCLA’s Rahim Moore, generally considered the top-ranked safety in the class, was good but not great—which in this class pushes him to the top. Florida’s Ahmad Black, expected to join Moore among the first safeties off the board, did himself with no favors with a 4.76 40—slowest in the group.
If there was a Combine standout among the safeties it would likely be Idaho’s Shiloh Keo. Expected to be a Day Three selection, Keo opened the eyes of NFLN analysts Mike Mayock and Deion Sanders—and, quite possibly, scouts and GMs as well—with a 3.90 shuttle and a strong showing in the positional drills. At 5-11 and 219 pounds and with a 4.73 40 time Keo is more of a strong safety type who could also help on special teams, but with little else in this class that may be enough to push him into the early portion of Saturday’s final four rounds.
And that puts a wrap on the 2011 Scouting Combine. Now the scouts and GMs will scurry back to their draft rooms to digest what all the times and measurements mean... assuming they’re still at work after Friday.