Probably more than any other position group, the corners have to test well at the combine if they hope to go early in the draft. One thing is certain: Without the proper measurables, regardless of how good a player's tape is, NFL clubs won’t pull the trigger in the premium rounds. It’s just too risky.
What are clubs looking for? Height, length, speed, quickness, agility and explosiveness. Many clubs draw the line at 5-foot-10 as far as minimum height. That is not a cast-in-stone rule with every club, but a good number of the NFL’s 32 teams share that philosophy. That means that if a corner measures in at 5096, that player is just too small and will be off the boards of clubs that have that rule.
Throughout most of my career, the minimum testing numbers we have looked for with corners are 4.55 in the 40, a 36” VJ, 10’ LJ, 7.10 in the 3-cone and 4.05 in the 20-yard shuttle
In most drafts, there are usually 12-15 corners who get selected in the first three rounds. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at combine performances of the top 12 corners in the 2019 Pro Football Weekly Draft Guide.
1. Deandre Baker – Georgia
Baker was my number one corner going into the combine, and at 5110 – 193, he looks the part, but it seems like my grade won’t hold up. He only ran and did the long jump — and neither was what we had hoped for. His 40 time was 4.52, which is adequate for the position but not for a guy who I thought would be the first corner drafted. His long jump was only 9”10,” which matches the 40 time. Baker has to hope for a much better pro day, or going in the first round is out of the question
2. Greedy Williams – LSU
Greedy is tall and long, as well as being very smooth. He has very good cover skills but isn’t the most physical guy when it comes to supporting the run and shedding blocks. At 6017 – 185, he is tall and very lean. The only thing he did at the combine was run — and he ran very fast, timing 4.37. He says he will do the rest at the LSU pro day. One thing is certain, his time got everyone’s attention.
3. Michael Jackson – Miami
Every club wants tall corners, but they are hard to find. At 6005 – 210 with 32.5” arms, Jackson fits the bill. His testing didn’t hurt his cause as he ran 4.45, jumped out of the building with a 40.5” vertical and an equally impressive long jump (10’10”). His agilities were right at the minimums: 4.12 in the 20 yard shuttle and 7.12 in the 3-cone.
4. Joejuan Williams – Vanderbilt
I really liked Williams on tape, and with his rare size (6035 – 211), he looked as if he could match up well against the taller receivers in the league. He ran poorly (4.64) and didn’t do the other measurable drills, so we will have to wait for his pro day to get final results. Unless he recovers really well, his grade will drop. Some clubs may even look at him as a safety now.
5. Byron Murphy – Washington
There are some who had Murphy as the top corner. There is no question that he has very good cover and ball skills. My main concern was that he looked and played small on tape. Murphy came in much heavier than expected (190) but also ran slower than expected. At the new weight, he only ran 4.55. I had estimated he would run in the 4.4s. The only other thing he did was jump, where he was respectable in the vertical (36.5”) and long (10’) drills. My guess is that Williams will be a few pounds lighter at the Washington pro day and he’ll run a bit faster.
6. Trayvon Mullen – Clemson
Mullen only ran and jumped — with mixed results — so we will have to wait for the Clemson pro day for the final verdict. His time of 4.46 was very good, especially for a guy who measured 6014 – 199. His 34.5" vertical was off a bit, but he recovered in the long jump (10’4”).
7. Julian Love – Notre Dame
For Love, the question was always going to be speed. While he plays well, he doesn’t always look as sudden or explosive as we would like. As predicted, his speed was average: 4.54. His jumps were fine with a 36” vertical and a 10’1" long jump. The same can be said for the agilities, where he posted times of 6.72 (3-cone) and 4.10 (20-yard). I thought going into the combine that Love could be a second-round pick, but he will more than likely be a third-rounder.
8. Kris Boyd – Texas
Boyd has strong tape and had an equally impressive workout. He measured 5114 – 201, ran 4.45 and was very good in all the other areas with jumps of 36.5” and 10’7”. His agilities were 6.94 and 4.08. His grade will probably go up a bit.
9. Derrick Baity – Kentucky
Baity is a tall corner (6021 – 197) with good tape. A question I had on him was strength that was validated was his strength after he only completed 10 reps of 225. Baitry did not run in Indy but his jumps were 38.5” and 10’7”. He had a good 3-cone (7.06), but his 20 yard shuttle was slow at 4.31. We will get his 40 time at the Kentucky pro day, where Baity will probably try and improve his 20-yard shuttle time.
10. Rock Ya-Sin – Temple
Some had Ya-Sin rated higher than me, but after his combine performance, I may be just about right. He ran 4.51 and his jumps were 39.5” and 10,’ but his agility drills were a little slow with a 4.21 in the 20-yard shuttle and a 7.31 in the 3-cone.
11. David Long – Michigan
Testing shows I had David rated too low. At 5105 – 196, he has good size, and his workout was outstanding. He ran 4.45, jumped 39.5’ and 10’ in the vertical and long jumps and was excellent in agility drills (3.97 in the 20-yard shuttle and a spectacular 6.45 in the 3-cone). He will easily move up, and I should watch more tape.
12. Lonnie Johnson – Kentucky
For a tall corner (6017 – 213), he had a good workout. He ran 4.51, had jumps of 38” and 10’9”, respectively, and agility drills of 7.01 and 4.10. His grade will stay just about where I had him.