- ROB RANG'S 2013 NFL DRAFT DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH: Ray Polk, Colorado, 6-1, 219, 4.42* ... Demonstrating a combination of physicality and athleticism to go along with his prototypical size, Polk was a surprising combine snub. He certainly made up for it during his Pro Day, registering times in the low 4.4s in the 40-yard dash, a 39" vertical jump, 10-6" broad jump and 19 repetitions of 225 pounds, each which would have ranked among the elite among his position at the combine. Polk's impressive workout isn't the only reason why it was surprising that he wasn't invited to Indianapolis. After a career in which he showed blatant disregard for his own well-being (as well as the health of others), teams may to formulate a consensus medical grade on the big-hitter. While perhaps a bit stiff in coverage, Polk certainly has the explosive closing speed to intrigue as a late-round in-the-box safety and special teams demon.
Five Other Safeties to Consider: 1. John Boyett, Oregon, 5-10, 204, 4.65 (est.) ... 2. Josh Evans, Florida, 6-1, 207, 4.54 ... 3. Cooper Taylor, Richmond, 6-5, 228, 4.49* ... 4. Duke Williams, Nevada, 5-11, 203, 4.48 ... 5. J.J. Wilcox, Georgia Southern, 6-0, 213, 4.51 - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
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A former highly regarded running back prospect, Polk made the switch to free safety and has developed into one of Colorado's most dependable players.
Polk tied for second on the Buffs with 80 tackles a season ago despite missing two games due to a concussion. Most players would have missed considerably more time as Polk played much of last season with a cracked sternum, as well.
Statistically-speaking, Polk hasn't shown much in terms of pass defense. He enters his senior campaign having started 26 games and in that time has broken up only seven passes and recorded just one interception. Scouts might be willing to cut him a break on those totals considering that the Buffs have often been forced to play Polk especially deep to protect a cornerback group that was ravaged by injuries in 2011 but to boost his stock Polk will have to demonstrate better instincts and ball skills as a senior.
Polk looks the part, offering an exciting combination of size and athleticism and is a fearless hitter. One of the concerns about him, in fact, is that he has shown a willingness to go for the splashy hit, which has contributed to his own durability concerns and drawn several penalty flags over his career.