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2015 NFL DRAFT

Iowa State CB Johnson proves poor Combine a fluke at Pro Day

By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com
Iowa State's Leonard Johnson had been one of the more highly regarded cornerbacks in the country entering the 2012 Scouting Combine. A slow time in the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis, however, put his stock in flux.

While Johnson posted solid numbers in virtually every other drill at the Combine, he was officially credited with having run the 40-yard dash in 4.71 seconds. Scouts who liked Johnson argued that his "speed in shorts" didn't matter as Johnson performed well in highly anticipated one on one matchups with Marvin McNutt, Justin Blackmon, Kendall Wright and Mohamed Sanu during the season and several noteworthy receivers at the Senior Bowl. Several receivers at the Combine touted Johnson as the toughest opponent they faced this year. That said, the slow time had even Johnson's staunchest supporters concerned. Frankly, it doesn't matter how good one's game tape is, 4.71 seconds is an alarmingly slow time for a cornerback.

Which is why it was critical for Johnson to prove faster Tuesday in front of scouts... and he did.

Johnson was timed at 4.56 and 4.52 according to one scout on hand for the workout. Those two precious tenths of a second difference could result in Johnson boosting himself right back into Top 100 consideration, as Johnson looked "pretty damn smooth" during positional drills, demonstrating the loose hips to change directions, a quick burst out of his cuts and excellent ball skills.

Scouts, of course, will have to decide for themselves which 40-yard dash time is more in tune with Johnson's playing speed. I watched Johnson play too much quality football to believe his field speed is anything worse than the 4.55 time he'll generally get credited with by scouts following Tuesday's workout. Because of this reason, I stand behind NFLDraftScout.com's current 2nd-3rd round grade for the ISU cornerback.

Though the draft stock of offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele was not nearly as in flux as his former teammate's, the massive four-year starter helped himself with a solid positional workout of his own.

Weighing in six pounds less than he did at the Combine (333 pounds), Osemele certainly didn't lose his power nearly knocking over coaches and former teammates helping out during his blocking drills.

Other than his positional drills, Osemele elected to stand on the results he'd posted at the Combine.

An estimated 30 NFL teams were represented. There were not a lot of decision-makers in the audience, though Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson was a notable exception.
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