Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports


2018 NFL Combine: Day 4 Winners and Losers

Mar 5, 2018 at 10:11 PM


The defensive backs closed out the final day of the 2018 NFL combine and, as a group, they did not disappoint.

Winners


Derwin James - S, Florida State (6'2", 215)
Displaying a rare blend of size, speed, and athleticism (4.48 in the 40, a 40" vertical and an 11' broad jump), James had network commentators comparing him to current elite NFL players like the Kansas City Chiefs' All-Pro safety, Eric Barry, and the Jacksonville Jaguars' All-World cornerback, Jalen Ramsey. Though that's incredibly high praise, it's not entirely off-the-mark, but more importantly for James, he may have very well locked up a spot in the top 15.

Denzel Ward - CB, Ohio State (5'11", 183)
Ward, who many see as the #1 available cornerback, may have locked up that position with his performance today. Though his day would end prematurely with an ankle injury (causing him to miss the positional drills), he managed to run a blazing 40-time of 4.32 (tied for the best time across all groups at the 2018 combine). Ward compares favorably to his former Ohio State teammate, 2017 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, Marshon Lattimore of the New Orleans Saints. It wouldn't shock anyone if the cornerback-needy Chicago Bears made him their pick at No. 8 overall.

Jaire Alexander - CB, Louisville (5'10", 196)
By virtue of his last name, Alexander was the first cornerback today to run a 40-yard dash, and he set the bar pretty high by running a 4.38. He finished the day as strongly as he started it by looking incredibly athletic in positional drills, causing NFL Network and former professional scout Daniel Jeremiah to proclaim on air about Alexander, "he looks like a top-50 pick."

Tony Brown - CB, Alabama (6'0", 199)
Though Brown arrived in Tuscaloosa as a 5-star recruit, his career never really took off. The work he put in today, though, definitely makes him one of the more intriguing defensive back prospects in the draft. He has the prototypical size of an NFL cornerback, displayed above-average speed (4.35 in the 40) and quickness (6.78 in the 3-cone drill) all while looking as confident and athletic as anyone in the defensive back positional drills.

Losers


Josh Jackson - CB, Iowa (6'0", 196)
Heading into the combine, Jackson was widely considered one of the top cornerbacks in this draft. However, after putting up a very average 40-time of 4.56 and struggling mightily in the positional drills, Jackson may have hurt his stock as much as any player in this year's combine.

Tarvarus McFadden - CB, Florida State (6'2", 204)
The big question scouts had about McFadden's game was the noticeable absence of long speed. Unfortunately, for the ex-Seminole, his 40-time of 4.67 will likely force him to make a positional change to safety.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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