INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 29: Defensive back Jalen Ramsey of Florida State runs the 40-yard dash during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 29, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Monday at the NFL Combine made for another particularly exciting afternoon for Bucs fans, as it meant it was time for defensive backs to run the 40-yard dash and show their fluidity in position drills. The in-state prospects – Florida’s Vernon Hargreaves III and FSU’s Jalen Ramsey – put on a show, while Ohio St. cornerback Eli Apple clocked in a 4.40 40-time and Southern Utah safety Miles Killebrew benched 22 reps.
Below are some notes from the defensive back performances on Monday.
• Jalen Ramsey, seen by many as the draft’s top defensive back, posted an impressive 4.41 40-time and benched a respectable 14 reps. The former Seminole also had the highest vertical jump at 41.5, showing his elite athleticism. Ramsey, who can play both corner and safety, will almost certainly be taken in the top 5 this April, well out of the Bucs reach.
• One player who’s seen his name next to Tampa Bay in many mock drafts is Vernon Hargreaves III. At 5-foot-11, 192-pounds, his size could be an issue, though he certainly showed some strength by putting up 15 reps on the bench Monday. Hargreaves ran the 40-yard dash in 4.50 seconds, which was likely expected and had a great vertical jump of 39 inches. The question with Hargreaves is whether or not he can match up against taller wide receivers, something he did fairly well at throughout college.
• Mackensie Alexander didn’t participate in agility drills on Monday, as he continues to deal with a pulled hamstring. The Clemson prospect has claimed that he’s the draft’s best cornerback, and his tape could make a strong case. But the Combine likely won’t likely help his stock, at least from an ability standpoint. Alexander posted an underwhelming 11 reps on the bench.
• Ohio State’s Eli Apple, built similarly to Johnthan Banks at 6-foot-1, 200-pounds, blazed through the 40-yard dash with a 4.40 time. The long-armed corner benched 11 reps. Apple is known as an athletic corner with great technique in coverage (22 pass breakups in 2015), but a guy who lacks physicality for his size. He’ll likely be taken in the first-round.
• Alabama’s Cyrus Jones, who many wide receivers heaped praise on during their interviews at the Combine, didn’t blow anyone away during the workouts. He posted a decent 4.49 40, but benched just 10 reps and posted a 33 and 116 vertical and broad, respectively. That said, game tape against top competition should help Jones in the draft. The 5-foot-9 corner is still seen as a mid-round prospect who will ultimately play in the nickel spot.
• William Jackson of Houston, who was injured during the Senior Bowl, had an excellent day, turning in a 4.37 40 time and showed very good footwork and agility during the on the field portion of the Combine. Jackson, who was viewed as a second rounder coming into the workouts in Indianapolis, may have done enough over the weekend to see his name called in the latter half of the first round.
• As for safeties, Southern Utah’s Miles Killebrew ran a somewhat disappointing 4.65 40-yard dash, leading Mike Mayock to believe that something was wrong with him. He did, however, do well on the bench, throwing up 22 reps. Killebrew made up for his 40-time a little bit with an impressive 38 inch vertical and 127 inch broad jump. Killebrew has been described as a great tackler but with average instincts in coverage.
• West Virginia’s Karl Joseph, Mike Mayock’s top ranked safety, didn’t participate at the Combine as he’s still recovering from an ACL injury suffered at the end of last season. Similarly, Vonn Bell out of Ohio State had limited participation at the Combine as he, too, is dealing with an injury.
• DeAndre Houston-Carson from William & Marry clocked in at 4.54 in the 40-yard dash. A former corner, Houston-Carson is more known for speed and coverage than he is for is ability to play in the box. At the Senior Bowl he listed run-stopping as an area he’s looking forward to improving.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
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I’m more impressed with the top 4 CB’s than I am with the Top 4 DE’s. I don’t think we go wrong with picking CB at Spot 9. I like the idea of using Glennon trade to move up from Round 3 to Round 2 and draft two DE’s in the 2nd round. Go Bucs.
i like where your going with this idea!
i agree funkdoc19
Nice idea but can’t see giving up Glennon. Need the security blanket for Winston if an injury happens to him.
I like Horse comments but Its really gives Tampa Bay a chance to do something special in Rd-2 &3. THere are QB in FA and draft that can be the b/u qb. Maybe another Bradt! in the late rounds down the road
Still not sold on Hargreaves. Onl;y because of his size. He struggles mightily with bigger receivers. Take for instance when they played fsu in 2013. Kelvin Benjamin, a guy he will have to cover, smoked him for 220 yards and 3 TD’s. If it’s not Ramsey there, and he won’t be, I don’t go after a DB,. I would go with a DE or trade down. Trading down is sounding better and better to me. Might even be able to get this guy a couple of picks later.
I too would prefer a DE, but not sure value would be there. Rather than reach, would prefer Hargreaves or an OT. Take BPA for at least the first 3 rounds…
Still leaning towards Spence or Hargreaves assuming that the board falls accordingly. I think the size issue is overblown. I’d take Tyrann Mathieu or Ronde Barber on my team if you think they’re too short?
Well you make a point about to of the good ones at that size but with Hargreaves, it’s not just his height, but his arm length is also very short. And when you’re that short and still run a 4.5 there is an issue. I”m only stating my belief about his size problems because that’s what I’ve seen him struggle with first hand.
I’m not saying he’s not good, because that’s definitely not the case. I just don’t like him at pick 9.
Who’s your leading contender at 9 (assuming the board falls as projected)?
Well seeing as how I don’t get into the meeting rooms, I’m not sure how the interview process goes with these guys. But if I’m just going off of what I saw and production, I’d go with Ogbah.
Personally I’d trade back as this is honestly one of the most underwhelming I’ve seen in a while. Ramsey is my choice hands down, but he’s gone in the top 5 so to answer your question, if we stay, I’d take Ogbah.
Jon also makes a great point below about Hargreaves playing small.
But those guys mentioned don’t play short Hargreaves does, that’s the difference, don’t get me wrong I think he is a talented corner heck I even like the Gators they are my fav collegiate “Fl Team” but I am not a homer by any means I tell it like it is
Hargreaves reminds me a lot of Asante Samuel a guy who is smaller in stature and gives up a play or two but is a ball hawk and that’s what Hargreaves is, the thing I don’t like about him is he isn’t a physical corner like M. Alexander is in the run game etc I would take a Spence or trade down take Alexander in first than Nassib in the second round
Just curious–you say Hargreaves is 5’11”, 192. Is that what UF claimed? Combine measurements published on nfl dot com were 5’10”, 204.
I’m a Gator and have watched just about every game Hargreaves has played. He can lock onto smaller WRs and does well to come up and make plays on the football. Where he struggles is with the deep ball. He was beaten too often on deep balls where he struggled to locate and then make a play on the ball in the air. He is consistently beaten to the highest point on long jump balls. That isn’t going away in the NFL. I keep hearing about “ball skills” and these guys to parrot each other. Can he catch the football? Yes. Can he make plays consistently on deep balls to bigger WRs? Nope.
I like Ramsey and Alexander more than Hargreaves and Apple might prove to be the better player in the NFL as well.
Give me a DE or OT at number 9.
Apple is an interesting choice if we trade back as well. I like his size much better and he ran way faster than most thought. I am for trading back more and more by the day. Unless ND Stanley is there at 9. I would take him.
I saw William Jackson in the Peach Bowl. Wow, he was impressive. All over the field. A little yappy, but he backed it up with 10 tackles (8 solo) and two picks. He seemed to be everywhere.
Agreed, I’m a Noles fan and he was everywhere that game. I think he played himself into the first round after the combine though. I like him a lot actually and he is Much faster than I thought he was.
Ogbah should be the pick. He’ll be a all probably I promise you
I mean a all pro
Revis is only 5’11…and for the most part has been over his career the most dominant DB in the NFL
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