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2016 Season Blog.

Combine.

Part IV.

By TOM

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DBs For Everyone.

By TOM

DB Group II was one of the best Groups of DBs I have ever seen, and that doesn't include Group I DBs with: Jamal Adams, Chidobe Awuzie, Bubba Baker, Gareon Conley, Rasul Douglas, Marlon Humphrey, Adoree' Jackson, Sidney Jones, and Desmond King. All of which have been mentioned in the 1st at some point this year.

"Think of these two Swiss army-knife players: Jabrill Peppers of Michigan and UConnís Obi Melifonwu," Mayock said. "Peppers was king of the versatile guys going into the Senior Bowl. He is probably the third safety in the crop, and could play nickel or even a light linebacker. But Melifonwu could run in the low 4.4s, and if he does, the buzz will start about trying him at corner. Thatís crazy talk, a 6'4", 219-pound guy playing NFL corner, but imagine the matchup nightmare heíd be if he had the quickness to cover quick-twitch tall receivers."

I have postulated that half the 1st round was going to be a mix of just D-end and Corners. Now? You could see half the 1st Round be just DBs. It is just incredible to think that you could, or should I say 'should', see 16 DBs go in the 1st. And that might not even include Fabian Moreau, who is the most underrated CB in this Draft. 

"I don't think we're talking about him enough," Mayock said about Moreau. "He ran 4.35 in the 40. How about 38" Vert, 11-4 Broad. His game tape is really good. And then you get out here in the drill section, and he was just smooth. Everything's under control. He catches the football. I think Fabian Moreau is gonna be a tremendous value for some team."

This years DBs have overwhelming talent. We know how much BB loves big corners, so what is he going to do at pick 32, if he loses Logan Ryan, and Rasul Douglas or Kevin King is still on the board. Both guys were not considered to be 1st Round picks before the Senior Bowl. It is tough to remember two guys who could cover like King or had ball skills like Douglas with their size speed ratios.

"Kevin King, thatís my guy. Left, right corner," Sydney Jones said. "Iíve been with him for three years now. Heís watched me grow. Iíve watched him grow. He was a safety last year in nickel, and now heís an outside corner. Just watching his athletic ability and seeing that, and watching him grow as a player and as a leader too, that was something special to see."

I mean, you cannot have 16 DBs go in the 1st. Teams have too many needs at too many other positions. So the 2nd Round is going to be stacked with 1st Round talent DBs from front to back. What if the Pats are sitting their at 64, and King or Moreau are still on the Board. You cannot get better value than that in a Draft. 

"This is as good and as deep a class as Iíve seen in a draft in several years, with the exception of quarterback and offensive line. Running backs and tight ends, top end and depth are outstanding. Tight endsóI havenít seen a group like this in years. Wide receivers, very good," Mayock said. "Defensively itís unbelievable. The edge rushers [are great]. We havenít seen a group like this in a long, long time. Youíll be able to get a starting edge rusher in the fourth round that last year or most drafts youíd compare to an edge rusher in the second round. Cornerbacks and safeties, itís the best Iíve seen in 10 years at least."

So don't be shocked if the Pats pass on a DB in the 1st. If a dozen or DBs pop off the board in front of them, that is gong to push down some extreme talent to pick 32. Preferable an edgerusher like Taco Charlton, Charles Harris, Kpassagnon, Lawson, Hassan Riddick (reminds me of Jamie Collins), Tim Williams, or how about Jordan Willis (he reminds me of Ninkovich), who was popping off 4.5's like they were firecrackers.

How about this, I am predicting that half the picks in the 1st two rounds will be DBs and DLs. 32 DLs and DBs will be off the Board after the Pats pick at 64 (the Pats should go DL at 32 and DB at 64, which of course means BB won't:). I have no doubt that teams are going to be gobbling up theses guys in the 1st two Rounds. I mean, I just flashed off eight Edge guys off the top of my head that could be on the Board at 32. And this is the best DB class ever at the Combine. 

Combine Notes- DB Group II:

#31 Kevin King- 6-3, 200 (4.44-4.48), Washington- He is one of the best sized CBs I have ever seen. He may have run himself into the 1st with a 4.44. He is a terrific cover guy, with a 6-3 200-pound body. "Iím a tall guy, but I can run and move well," King said. "And I want them to know that I have the intangibles that canít be taught." His only question was speed, and that is not a question any more. I like him almost most as much as Sidneyin coverage, but like everyone else I assumed he was much slower. That 4.44 put him in the 2nd, and for a team in a division with some big WRs or TEs maybe into the 1st. He just hopped over Desmond King. 

#32 Ashton Lampkin- 6' 1/4, 189 (4.53-4.58), Oklahoma St.- I liked this kid on Tape. "We want our cornerbacks to be physical in run support. Our defense demands it," a scout said. "He turns down chances to step up and stick people in support so there is no reason for me to even put his name in front of our coaches." He is a Day Three DB who could help a team as he develops.

#33 Brendan Langley- 6' 3/8, 201 (4.44), (O) 4.43, Lamar- I don't even know who this guy is and I'm impressed. Over 6-foot, over 200-pounds, and he ran under a 4.5. "Personally I wouldn't kill the guy," a scout said. "They ran like two coverages and he's still learning how to play after being a receiver. He's got size and speed and I think he can be coached up to be way better that what you saw in Mobile."  He has the size speed ratio you want in a CB. If he has it mentally he will play for a long time in the NFL.

#34 Marshon Lattimore- 6', 193 (4.36-4.39), Ohio St.-  I was not expecting a 4.36, He may have run himself into the top Three. He is terrific in coverage, and he can track and catch the ball. He is a one-year wonder like the other two Ohio ST DBs. This guy has great feet and hips, and shadows guys as well as anyone. Getting a 4.3 next to his name, twice, is incredible. He is a guy who was incredible in coverage at Ohio St, and is still relative new to playing CB. In a few years when his experience as a CB has doubled, how good is he going to be?

However, he does come with a concern. He struggled to stay healthy, and had hamstring issues at Ohio State. Then he pulled a hammy at the Combine. "Marshon Lattimore's hamstring "tightened up on him, it's nothing serious," per source. But he is expected to be ready for March 23 pro day," Shefter.

#35 Jourdan Lewis- 5-10 1/4, 188 (4.55), Michigan- I loved this guy before I knew he was over 5-10. That is a great number for him. I think normally that would lock him in 2nd, but the 4.55 drops him down into the 3rd. Someone is going to see as a nickel all day and take him. This is the best crop of CBs I have ever seen. 

#36 William Likely- 5-7, 180, 29" arms, Maryland- Likely undraftable. "Stick that guy in a 6-foot body and he's probably the first cornerback off the board this year," a scouting director said. "He's got everything you want other than NFL size. He's a really good football player but it's going to be hard to bang the table for a 5-foot-7 cornerback who is coming off of an ACL tear." If his knee checks out he could be a priority. 

#37 Shalom Luani- 5-11.3, 202 (4.56-4.56), Washington St- Samoan. Great soccer player, so you know he can run in space.  

#38 Marcus Maye- 5-9 3/4, 189 (4.66), Florida- A 4.6 is usually not a bad time for a Safety, but in this crew of DBs it made him look like he ran like an old lady. He was injured and missed the end of the 2016 season. Which I think puts him in the 3rd Round. He has to improve his Forty or he will drop to the 4th Round. 

#39 Art Maulet- (4.66, 4.63), Memphis- Very good Nickel. "Just run fast," Maulet said. "Thatís my goal. Run fast, run fast, and run fast." Great blitzer from the slot. "In the NFL, thatís what they want to see. if you can run," Maulet said. "For me, they want to see me run my 40, and see how fast I can run it. Thatís the biggest thing for me, just showing them that I have the speed to play at the next level." He might have to play Safety. He improved in his second time. 

#40 Obi Melifonwu- 6-3.7, 224 (4.46-4.4), 44" Vert, 11'9" Br, Connecticut- I loved this guy at the senior bowl. He just ran his way into the 1st. "I'm a hard worker, I'm a dependable guy," Melifonwu said. "I'm a guy that can fill a lot of roles, and I'm a guy that [coaches] can count on. Like I said, I'm very versatile. I want [teams] to know that choosing me will be one of the best decisions they have made." It is starting to look like half the 1st Round is going to be DBs. 

He has great ball skills. "I know NFL guys who think, 'Iíd love to try him [out at CB]. Letís see if he fails.' Thatís where the NFL is going. A big, very athletic guy. And instead of thinking him automatically as a safety who may be able to play linebacker? Now weíre thinking of him as a safety who just might be able to play cornerback." This guy is now a top 16 pick. He just hopped over: Tabor, White, Peppers, Baker, Wilson, and White; And then improved his Forty to a 4.4-flat. He is a 6-4 220-pound Byron Jones. "Live look at Pete Carroll watching Obi Melifonwu complete this combine workout. 44" Vert. 4.40 40 yd. 11'9" broad at 6'4" 219;" Maland (I think Seattle just became his floor:).

#41 Fabian Moreau- 6' 1.2, 206 (4.35-4.38), UCLA- He is so physical that he reminds me of Logan Ryan. "He's big and strong but I just want him to play with more edge," a regional scout said. "He should be whipping and overwhelming some of these skinny receivers but he just lets them take too many liberties. I would want to bust their ass and let them know whatís up early in the game." And like Ryan he is terrific against the run. 

He just locked himself in the 1st with a 4.35. Ryan was the best CB in the NFL in the run game last season, and Moreau has the same physicality and aggressiveness in the run game. Only he runs a 4.35, and I think Ryan ran a 4.55 (and I'm not looking that up:). I just don't see how this guy gets by BB (who also likes to Draft Shrine guys as well;) at pick 32.

#42 Jalen Myrick- 5-9.5, 200 (4.29-4.32), Minnesota- This is turning out to be the best Combine Group I have ever seen. Then a guy I don't know stepped up and run a 4.29. He can return kicks. He has the size of a nickel, but with that time he could play outside some. That time may run him into Day Two, but this stack of DBs is so talented that the guy who just ran a 4.29 is not going in the 1st. He has nice instinct in coverage. But most importantly he is a very tough kid, so he has a chance to be a good one. He has run himself into Day Two, and I have some film work to do.

#43 Montae Nicholson- 6-2.3, 212 (4.48-4.43), Michigan St- If you need a strong safety he is  a guy that I liked, but him running a 4.48 is unbelievable. This guy is half a linebacker who I never would have guessed would run under a 4.5. This cache of DBs is going to change the NFL. I'm starting to wonder if it is going to hurt some of the free agent DBs. Do you give big money to a free agent DB when the 2nd round DBs in this Draft are starting to look like they could be better than last year's 1st Round DBs. He is another guy whose speed shocked me. He is a FS at 212-pounds, who can lay the wood to RBs. I thought he was a box safety, but that speed is incredible. 

#44 Ezra Robinson- 5-11, 189, (4.48-4.5), Tennessee St- He is transfer from Mich ST, which means he was a high recruit. He has excellent feet. He played Off coverage primarily in college.  

#45 Sojourn Shelton- 5-9, 177 (4.58-4.52), Wisconsin- This is another tough little Corner that I like. He is another Nickel all day and night in the NFL. A 4.58 looks terrible in this Group, but is not bad for a Nickel. He improved his Forty to 4.52 in his second Forty. He had some off the field issues. But he has been clean the past couple of years. But he does have that crazy guy strength. He is very small, but doesn't get bullied on the field. His 4.52 is a very nice time for a Nickel.

#47 Cameron Sutton, Tennessee- 5-11, 188 (4.53-4.57),- This is a guy I really liked on Tape. But he disappeared a little the past couple of years. He has short arms. He is a guy who could get lost in the shuffle, and a team steals on Day Three. 

#48 Teez Tabor- 6', 199, (4.63-4.68), Florida- Wow! He just ran himself out of the 1st. I love the way he moves on the field. He is as fast as anyone moving sideways, 3/4ing, and backwards. He plays a lot faster than that time. "With Vernon (Hargreaves) there last year he played with a lot more confidence," a scout said. "I don't think he's a lockdown cornerback. He's a good football player and can cover in our league, but he's also going to be a pain in the ass for whoever takes him." But in the 4.6s? In this Draft? He just ran himself into Day Two. 

#49 Cordrea Tankersley- 6-1 1/4, 199 (4.47-4.4), Clemson- He actually showed up bigger and faster than I thought he was. I like his tape, but couldn't squeeze him into the 1st in my Player ratings. But he is as solid a 2nd round CB as I have ever seen. Being over 6-foot is a great number for him, and getting a 4.4-flat next to his name is even better.

#50 Tedric Thompson- 6', 204 (4.6-4.63), Colorado- I liked him on tape. He is a good FS. He should be a nice pick up on Day Three.

#51 Jack Tocho- 6' 1/4, 202 (4.55-4.6), N.C. State-  He has the size to play Safety. But with that Forty he will have good speed for a FS. He is a guy who could squeeze into the 4th with a nice interview and workout with the right team.

#52 Michael Tyson- 6-1.1, 204 (4.53-4.64), Cincinnati- He is good in man. He might end up being a big Nickel with that speed. He played in the slot at Cincy as well.  

#54 Marquez White- 5-11 3/4, 194 (4.68-4.6), Florida St-  This is another corner I liked on Tape. I like the way he moves backwards. He has some great feet in COD. He has some snap in his hips. He played basketball. He just ran himself into Day Three. His 4.6 may have made him draftable. He is a Dime special teams guy at that speed. He has to improve his Forty at his Proday.

#55 Tre'Davious White- 5-11 1/4, 192 (4.47-4.55), LSU- White has top character. He is a great leader. They moved him all around the secondary to help out where they needed it the most last season. He not only didn't complain, but excelled. Press teams are going to love this kid. He has the size, speed, hips, and work ethic to be a great Press Corner in the NFL. He is very twitchy, and has some great hips. 

#56 Marcus Williams- 6' 5/8, 202 (4.57-4.58), Utah- This guys is a terrific athlete. He also has great ball skills. Again, a 4.5 looked slow in this Group, but that is a good time for a FS. He can get sideline to sideline and make plays on the ball. 

#57 Howard Wilson- 6' 5/8, 184 (4.58-4.62), Houston-  This kid can play. He is one of those guys who can make plays on the ball, and they are always the most valuable. But I still think he is a Day Three pick.

#58 Quincy Wilson- 6-1 1/2, 211 (4.56-4.54), Florida- He is a big Press corner who is great at shadowing WRs so well that he disrupts the timing of the pattern, or there is no space for the QB to throw into. He was a true shut down CB in college. But he would focus so much on the WR that he often didn't always see the run. Teams knew that and had the WR run deep to his side when they ran instead of trying to block him. But he consistently covered a WR, who would garner 1 or less catches when he covered them. 

#59 Ahkello Witherspoon- 6-2 1/4, 198 (4.45-4.49), Colorado- This guy just ran an incredible time. He can cover as well. But at 6-2, to run under 4.5, is just incredible. 23 PBU. He has some great ball skills. He had some great size and speed. He could end up in the 2nd round. I really like the Colorado kids.

#24 Jabril Peppers- 5-10.7, 213 (4.47-4.46) Michigan- Why in the hell is he working with the linebackers. He is a Safety. "I was informed that since I was listed as a linebacker in college, that I had to only work out with the linebackers,'' Peppers said. "So they were just gonna make me do linebacker stuff. So I asked if there was somehow some way I could do the DB work, because that's what I was doing all offseason and leading up to the Combine. And I told my agents that and they made it happen, and they said the only way I can do it is if I do both. I was like, that's easy. That's no problem at all.'' They had him working out with the DB-2 Group after the Forties.

He play LB last year in Michigan. So they forced him to workout with the LBs at the Combine, but he is not an LB. I compare him as a faster more dynamic Patrick Chung. Chung played a ton in the box, but he also covered guys all over the field. He covered Slot guys, TE, and RBs. He was one of the leading tacklers on the Pats. Pepper can fill the hole like Chung against runs.

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