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NFL Scouting Combine: Secondary Becomes Primary Focus

I'm not able to keep watching the DVR at the moment, but we can't let the day pass without bringing you a Scouting Combine update. Groups 10 and 11 are the final participants, 55 secondary players in all.  Secondary is probably the group in need of the most work for the Dallas Cowboys, with no known answers available for either safety position and both lead corners having off years. I'll cover group 10 mostly here. Patrick Peterson, LSU and Jimmy Smith, Colorado are in group 11.  Without further ado, here is the group 10 early drill recap.

--- Prince Amukamara, often times linked with the Cowboys at the #9 slot, runs 2nd.  Mayock likes his burst out the stance, and he runs a 4.37 40. MM likes that he plays both press and off coverage well. Second run is slower than the first, 4.44. Deion is waiting for the drills to evaluate his skill sets.  During the transition drill,  Mayock comments that he's tightly built, with a negative connotation.  2nd go through and Deion hates that he starts the drill extremely high. Mayock isn't displeased with the turn.

--- Another one of my pet cats (Kedrick Ellis yesterday) is up next, safety Ahmad Black out of Florida. He's not expected to run a great time, but he is a genuine ball hawk. Only 5' 9" 185, he runs a 4.78. Deion and Mayock speaks to his stance while running, too straight up  for everyone's liking. I hope the slow time knocks him down to Dallas in the 3rd round. Second run is a 4.74.  His form when running definitely could use some improvement that would have shaved some milliseconds of that time. Black stumbles in the transition drill.

--- Quinton Carter, 6'1" safety from Oklahoma runs a very decent safety time of 4.62, benched 225lbs  23 times.  Carter has been shooting up some of the big boards recently. The broadcast team ignores Carter's transition drills, but from what I saw (comparing to previous analysis of how the drills should be done) he got average depth in his squat, and the turn was a little slow with exaggerated movement. I just know it wasn't one of the better looking efforts from Group 10, nor one of the worst.  Carter looks really good in the 'backpedal, two turns and run' drill.

--- Virginia cornerback Ras-I Dowling (ranked 10th by pulls up at the end of his first run, and still clocks in at 4.4 flat. Charles Davis later reports that he pulled up because he pulled his hamstring. Wow.

--- Marcus Gilchrist of Clemson (top 5 safety for Mayock) has NO hands. 53 career games and only one interception? Wow. Think Carlos Rogers but at the safety position.  He runs a 4.49 which is great for a safety, and follows it up with a 4.46.  Gilchrest makes one of the cleaner catches though in the BTT&R drill, and then runs a great man turn drill until he drops the ball.

--- Ohio State's Chimdi Chekwa, runs a 4.33. he's the 11th ranked CB prospect for Draftek. The speedometer clocks him at 23.5 mph down the stretch. Second go around he runs a 4.37 definitely the fastest player in Group 10. Deion and Mayock aren't fans at all of Chekwa in the transition drill

 --- My pet cat at the corner position, Brandon Harris, runs a 4.43 in his first attempt. Mike Mayock is really down on Harris and doesn't feel that he is a first round corner. There's a BTB member that goes to The U that isn't high on him either. Apologies, I forgot the screen name. I liked what I saw of Harris during the Miami-Maryland game this year and thought I had found a nugget when I saw him rising on boards.. Both Deion and Mayock though are extensively pleased with Brandon Harris' low stance, backpedal and turn in the transition drill. Mayock thinks he comes up a little high, but overall a great drill. After a great man turn drill, Deion says that Harris looks the best out of the entire group.  His next drill he doesn't run exactly what is asked of him and fails to do a good job of locating the ball.

 --- The broadcast picks up Group 11 during the broad jump drills, and we pick up on Patrick Peterson, CB from LSU. The #1 secondary prospect on most boards, Peterson weighs in at 219. Deion has been lamenting how someone that big will stay at the corner position as he puts on man-body weight. Peterson jumps a 10' 6" on the broad jump both attempts.

--- Curtis Brown from Texas made a great snag of the pass in the drill where you back pedal and turn the hips twice before the pass is put in the air (BTT&R from earlier).  He really soared in the air to go get the ball, a few seconds after Deion (on the field with the players) talked about getting up high to snare the pigskin. On the man turn, Curtis Brown elicits a WOW from Mayock, but he projects as a Cover 2 corner according to the analyst.

--- Other names that made some good impressions in the drills: Kendrick Burney, UNC. Shilo Keo of Idaho. Rashad Carmichael, VaTech.

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