<
>
Insider

Safeties impress; mixed bag for corners

3/2/2010

Editor's note: All 40-yard dash times listed below are unofficial unless otherwise noted. Scouts Inc.'s daily combine buzz will include as many official numbers as possible and expanded takes on players mentioned in the blog.

• Everyone expected USC S Taylor Mays to shine in this setting and Mays did not disappoint. At 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Mays posted an official time of 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash. While we are still concerned about his inconsistencies on film, Mays clearly has early-first-round natural ability, and teams are sure to fall in love with his upside if they haven't already.

• Our top-ranked safety, Tennessee's Eric Berry, is showing the same explosiveness here that he shows on film. Berry posted an unofficial 4.40 in the 40 and recorded a 10-foot-6 broad jump. He also eased some concerns about his size when he weighed in at 211 pounds and measured 5-11.

• Alabama's Kareem Jackson posted an unofficial 4.41. We didn't get a good look at Jackson's top-end speed on film because Alabama's scheme didn't give him many chances to run downfield with receivers, but we now know he has good speed to go with impressive burst, instincts and fluidity.

• Virginia CB Chris Cook turned some heads at the Senior Bowl, and he's doing the same in Indianapolis. At 6-2 and 212 pounds Cook posted an unofficial 4.43 seconds. That's an excellent size-speed combination for a safety and rare to see in a corner. Cook also recorded a jaw-dropping 11-0 broad jump.

• We learned that Rutgers CB Devin McCourty is a quiet kid who doesn't draw much attention to himself when we got a chance to sit down with him at the Senior Bowl. McCourty may not be flashy, but he handles his business and is showing he is worth considering late in the first round. McCourty officially ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds, and he looked fluid changing directions during drills, just like he did in Mobile.

• Florida S Major Wright posted an official 40-yard dash time of 4.48 seconds after checking in at 5-115, 206. Wright didn't garner much national attention playing on a star-studded Florida defense, but a closer look at the film reveals a player capable of developing into a starting safety in the NFL. He doesn't have elite man-to-man cover skills, but he shows good range in zone coverage and plays the ball well.

• At 6-0 and 180 pounds, Purdue's David Pender is lean but has room on his frame to bulk up without losing too much speed. Pender officially ran the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds, posted a 39-inch vertical and has 32-inch arms. Don't be surprised to see him move up some draft boards based on his potential.