NFL Combine Notebook: Defensive Backs Impress on Final Day

Posted Mar 5, 2018

The defensive backs were on field on Monday to close out the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine.

The defensive backs were on field on Monday to close out the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. After a hectic week of drills, interviews, and measurables, 70 safeties and cornerbacks took to the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium for their chance to impress coaches, scouts, and executives from all 32 clubs. 

Check below for the top takeaways from Day 6:

James Shines at Combine:

Florida State defensive back Derwin James had one of the most impressive Combine performances on Monday. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound hybrid safety posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.47, a 40-inch vertical jump (sixth-best among all DBs), an 11-foot broad jump (fifht-best), and 21 bench press reps at 225 pounds (third-best).

According to the NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks and Mike Mayock, James was one of the day’s biggest winners. Brooks said the Florida State product “exceeded expectations” through his movement and athleticism in the positional drills, and believes his solid Combine showing could elevate him into top-15 consideration.

Speed on Full Display:

But James wasn’t the only defensive back to blaze through the 40-yard dash. This year’s group of DBs was particularly quick in this drill.

According to NFL research, in the last decade only five defensive backs have run the 40 in 4.32 seconds or faster at the NFL Combine. And three of the five came on Monday.

LSU’s Donte Jackson, Tulane’s Parry Nickerson, and Ohio State’s Denzel Ward all clocked in at 4.32 seconds.

Colorado’s Isaiah Oliver and Iowa’s Josh Jackson — two players several mock drafts have projected could be heading the Rams way come April — also had similar numbers in the 40-yard dash. Oliver clocked in at 4.50 seconds, while Jackson posted a 4.56.

Run Rich, Run:

The 2018 edition of Run Rich Run has officially arrived. The final day of on-field workouts marked everyone’s favorite Combine tradition — watching the NFL Network’s Rich Eisen try his hand at the 40-yard dash.

The 48-year old analyst has run the event at every Combine for the past 14 years in support of the St. Jude Children’s Hospital. The NFL Network, AT&T Audience Network, Courtyard by Marriott, and Under Armour each pledged $25,000 dollars as part of the initiative.

But aside from the incredible charity shown by Eisen and the rest of his supporters, one of the best parts of the “Run Rich Run” segment is the simulcasts put together by the NFL Network. The video below showcases Eisen’s 2018 40-yard dash time of 4.97 in comparison to several of the Combine’s top prospects.