The second day of on-field drills at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis saw defensive backs -- first corners, then safeties -- take the stage in Indianapolis. A handful of prospects elevated their stock with strong performances, while others sent scouts back to the tape, questioning their initial evaluation.
Here are some of the winners and losers from Friday's on-field drills in Indianapolis, starting with a look at some measurements of notable prospects:
|40-yard dash||Bench press||Vertical jump||Broad jump||10-yard split|
Christian Gonzalez (Oregon)
Kelee Ringo (Georgia)
Joey Porter Jr. (Penn State)
Deonte Banks (Maryland)
|Jartavius Martin (Illinois)||4.46||---||44||11-foot-1||1.47|
Jakorian Bennett (Maryland)
|DJ Turner (Michigan)||4.26||---||38.5||10-foot-11||1.47|
|Sydney Brown (Illinois)||4.47||---||40.5||10-foot-10||1.51|
|Cam Smith (South Carolina)||4.43||---||38||11-foot-2||1.49|
|Emmanuel Forbes (Mississippi State)||4.35||---||37.5||10-foot-11||1.48|
Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon I'll just say it -- Gonzalez solidified himself as CB1 in this class with his showing in Indianapolis. What I mean by that is, most people and teams will have him as CB1, and he'll most likely be the first cornerback off the board. At 6-foot-1 and 197 pounds, the former Colorado-turned-Oregon star ran 4.38 with a 41.5-inch vertical and 11-foot-1 broad jump. He's drawn Patrick Surtain II comparisons from some analysts out there and tested a little better.
Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland: Running 4.35 with a 42-inch vertical and 11-foot-4 broad jump will get you drafted in the first round at corner in most situations. Banks has quality size, too, at 6-foot and 197 pounds with arms just under the 32-inch threshold many teams have today. We all expected Banks to test like a gazelle this weekend, and he did.
Jartavius Martin, S, Illinois: Martin's 44-inch vertical is the highest to date at this year's combine, and his 11-foot-1 broad was tops among safeties. Dude has bunnies as they used to say during my high-school days. Oh, he also ran 4.46 and had a blisteringly fast 1.47 10-yard split, also tops at his position. He'll instantly be one of the most explosive safeties in the NFL this fall.
Jakorian Bennett, CB, Maryland: Banks was supposed to be the headlining corner from Maryland. Bennett channeled his inner Lee Corso and said "not so fast, my friend." Bennett ran the second-fastest 40-yard-dash time (4.30 seconds) with a 40.5-inch vertical -- just 1.5 inches lower than Banks -- and an 11-foot-1 broad. These Terrapins play with rockets on the top of their shells.
Julius Brents, CB, Kansas State: Brents was 6-foot-3 and 198 pounds with ridiculous, offensive-tackle like 34-inch arms at the weigh in. Then he approached rarified Bryon Jones territory with an 11-foot-6 broad which initially reads like a typo but is indeed not. He had an 41.5-inch vertical and ran a solid 4.53 in the 40, too. Most corners as large as Brents aren't as explosive as he is.
Sydney Brown, S, Illinois: Brown rocked at the Senior Bowl and continued the acing of the pre-draft process with his combine workout. At a stocky 5-foot-10 and 210 pounds, Brown cruised to a cornerback-like 4.47 in the 40 and had a stunning 40.5-inch vertical with a 10-foot-10 broad jump. He is a three-down, multi-level safety who can do it all.
DJ Turner, CB, Michigan: The award for fastest 40 among corners -- which could eventually be the fastest among every combine participant -- goes to Turner, who flew to a 4.26. He will make many go back to the film because he didn't look quite that fast on film. But the number is the number.
Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State: From a measurement perspective, Porter and his gartanuanly long 34-inch arms were obvious winners. Working out, not so much for the Penn State stud with NFL bloodlines, especially when comparing to his cornerback contemporaries in this class. The 10-foot-9 broad is nothing to be ashamed of, however in this atomic group of athletic corners, it placed 12th. His broad jump? Tied for 18th. Look, this isn't a stock-plummeting effort; it just didn't stack up to the other perceived top corners in the class.
Christopher Smith III, S, Georgia: Smith spent a long time patrolling the deep middle on some epically-loaded Kirby Smart defenses at Georgia. Captain. He probably crushed his team interviews. Running 4.66 with a 33-inch vertical and 9-foot-8 broad jump don't scream big-time athlete, which will hurt his otherwise squeaky clean draft stock.
Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia: Ringo ran 4.36, so it wasn't all bad for the Georgia star. However, based on the immensely high expectations, the 4.36 was a little disappointing, and his jumps -- 33.5-inch vertical and 10-foot-2 in the broad -- were surprisingly not good. Ringo doesn't mirror outstandingly. His game is almost fully predicated on his burst and long speed. Wish we would've seen a better overall showing from him. I assume he feels similarly.
The 2023 NFL Draft will be held April 27-29 in Kansas City, Missouri.
For live reaction from yesterday's festivities, check out Friday's live blog. The quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends take the field Saturday.