2018 NFL combine: What we learned from defensive back weigh-ins, measurements

As Josh Allen and Co. took to the field for the morning workouts for the quarterbacks and receivers, the defensive backs were the last position group to weigh in at the 2018 NFL combine. 

Length is the name of the game for the cornerbacks, particularly those who expect to match up with the 6-foot-3 and up wideouts at the next level.

Here are my biggest takeaways from the defensive linemen and linebacker measurements.

Notable cornerback measurements

PlayerHeightWeight (lbs)Arm LengthHands
Jaire Alexander5'10-2/8"19631 1/8"9 4/8"
Anthony Averett5'11 1/8"18330 2/8"8 4/8"
Chris Campbell6'0-6/8"19533 4/8"8 6/8"
Carlton Davis6'1"20632 6/8"8 7/8"
Duke Dawson5'10-5/8"19731 4/8"9"
Rashaan Gaulden6'0-6/8"19730 6/8"9 6/8"
Holton Hill6'1-5/8"19632"9 5/8"
Mike Hughes5'10-1/8"18930 7/8"8 6/8"
Donte Jackson5'10-4/8"17829 4/8"8 6/8"
Joshua Jackson6'0-3/8"19631 1/8"9 3/8"
Tarvarus McFadden6'2-2/8"20432 4/8"10 3/8"
Quenton Meeks6'1"20931 6/8"10 2/8"
Nick Nelson5'10-5/8"20030 6/8"9 2/8"
Perry Nickerson5'10-3/8"18230 2/8"8 2/8"
Isaiah Oliver6'0-2/8"20133 4/8"9 6/8"
Darius Phillips5'9-7/8"19331 4/8"9 1/8"
D.J. Reed5'9-1/8"18831 5/8"10"
M.J. Stewart5'10-7/8"20031 2/8"9 2/8"
Greg Stroman5'11"18229 7/8"8 6/8"
Kevin Toliver6'2"19230 1/8"9 3/8"
Levi Wallace6'0-2/8"17932 6/8"9 3/8"
Denzel Ward5'10-7/8"18331 2/8"8 6/8"
Isaac Yiadom6'0-7/8"19032 2/8"8 7/8"

Cornerback winners

Isaiah Oliver, Colorado. Known mostly for his downfield speed, Oliver gets his hands on plenty of passes -- he had 19 pass breakups and three picks in his final two seasons at Colorado. His length helps in that area. At just over 6-foot with mammoth 33 1/2-inch arms he's one of the longest cornerbacks in this class. Starting in 1999, only six combine corners measured in with longer arms.

Tarvarus McFadden, Florida State. McFadden had a down year after snagging eight interceptions in 2017. His measurements were a reminder of how physically imposing he is at corner. At over 6-foot-2 and with 32 1/2-inch arms, McFadden has the size to play with bigger perimeter wideouts in the NFL. His 10 3/8-inch hands are gigantic.

Holton Hill, Texas. Hill hit a few thresholds for larger cornerbacks. He was over 6-foot-1 and had 32-inch arms. He's an aggressive boundary cornerback with plenty of length.

Mike Hughes, UCF. On film, Hughes looks very small. Nearly reaching the 5-foot-11 and 190-pound marks will be viewed as a positive by many defensive back coaches across the league. Having arms just shy of 31 inches was a good development for Hughes as well. 

Carlton Davis, Auburn. One of the most physical cornerbacks in this class, Davis has length to go with his nasty playing style. At 6-foot-1 with 32 3/4-inch arms, he's another defensive back who can lined up with bigger boundary receivers in the NFL. 

Christian Campbell, Penn StateMore length. Campbell is just under 6-foot-1 and has the same length arms as Oliver (33 1/2 inches). Ideal combination for zone schemes. 

Isaac Yiadom, Boston College. Yiadom is a feisty, underrated cornerback with impressive ball skills. At a shade below 6-foot-1 with 32 1/4-inch arms, he'll break up a lot of passes in the NFL. He defended 17 passes and had two picks in his final two seasons at Boston College.

Cornerback losers

Quenton Meeks, Stanford.  Labeled as a long defensive back, Fitzpatrick failed to hit the 32-inch arm threshold. This won't ruin his stock. It definitely won't help though. 

Kevin Toliver, LSU. To be 6-foot-2 with arms under 31 inches is somewhat unusual. 

Notable safety measurements

PlayerHeightWeight (lbs)Arm LengthHands
Marcus Allen6'2-1/8"21530 5/8"9 1/8"
Jessie Bates6'1-1/8"20031 5/8"9 6/8"
Quin Blanding6'2"20731 6/8"8 3/8"
Sean Chandler5'10-4/8"20530 6/8"8 2/8"
Deshon Elliott6'0-7/8"21032 2/8"10 4/8"
Minkah Fitzpatrick6'0-1/8"20431 1/8"9 3/8"
Ronnie Harrison6'2"20733 3/8"9 4/8"
Godwin Igwebuike5'11-3/8"21331 2/8"9 6/8"
Derwin James6'1-6/8"21533"9 4/8"
Kameron Kelly6'1-5/8"20431 6/8"8 7/8"
Justin Reid6'0-4/8"20731 5/8"9 6/8"
Armani Watts5'10-4/8"20231"8 6/8"
Damon Webb5'10-6/8"20931 1/4"8 1/8"
Kyzir White6'1-7/8"21831 5/8"10 /8"
Jordan Whitehead5'10-3/8"19829 6/8"8 1/2"

Safety winners

Kyzir White, West Virginia. White is an intimidating presence at safety. Nearly 6-foot-2 and 218 pounds with 31 5/8-inch arms and 10 1/8-inch hands. 

DeShon Elliott, Texas. The versatile safety was blessed with long arms (32 1/4 inches) and huge hands (10 1/2 inches). 

Ronnie Harrison, Alabama. Harrison's a high cut, hard-hitting safety who will his presence felt often. At 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds -- with room to add weight to his frame -- and 33 3/8 inch arms, he looks like a modern-day strong safety.

Safety losers

Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama. Fitzpatrick failed to hit the 32-inch arm threshold. Hmmm. Then again, he barely played on the outside at Alabama and I like him as a safety only in the NFL.

Marcus Allen, Penn State - Another defensive back over 6-foot-2 with arms shorter than 32 inches. Obviously not as big of a deal at safety as it is at corner, but length is vital in the secondary.

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