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Safeties our final act of Indy Combine coverage

The NFL Combine officially ended Tuesday when the defensive back were put through their paces at the Lucas Oil Can.

And there are varying opinions of players that improved their stock and those whose stock dropped like Toyota, including this view from Sports Illustrated.

Here we've got our own personal scout and Chris Cordero watched the drills and delivered this assessment of what he saw:

Eric Berry continues to impress putting his explosiveness on display with a very good 4.47 40-yard dash and an astonishing 43-inch vertical leap and great broad jump of 10-10. Not only did he display excellent athleticism but showed the footwork of a premier CB. He also showed premier ball skills. A two-time captain for the Volunteers he was only seven yards from breaking the NCAA record for return yardage. This guy's a playmaker in the mold of Ed Reed (although that sounds like []_[] blasphemy). He is the 3rd best player in the draft on my board and if he is there at #12, there is no question whom the Dolphins should select - regardless of how they feel about Gibril Wilson.

Earl Thomas was impressive. Coming in 12 pounds heavier than his regular playing weight and still running a 4.49 40-yard dash is big. He is another player that has CB skills at the safety position - displaying excellent footwork and good ball skills (though he did drop a ball on one drill that I saw). He looked fluid in his backpedal and turning and opening his hips to run with the receiver. He also displayed good upper body strength with 21 reps in the bench. He is a Top 15 talent in this deep draft; and at only 20 years old he should get better. Among the nation's leaders in interceptions and passes defended, he is a playmaker and would allow a defense many options with his supreme coverage skills. Should be in the conversation at #12.

Taylor Mays, outside of Maryland OT Bruce Campbell, might have been the most impressive athlete here. Going in, it was known that he would excel in the physical drills and he did not disappoint - blazing a 4.43 (and I think it was faster than that) at 6-3 and 230 pounds. However, he did not look sudden or quick in drills, did not display good ball skills, and had trouble opening up his hips and running. Due to his height he also has trouble staying low in his backpedal. On physical skills alone, he is a Top 5 talent but we have seen players like Mike Mamula and Vernon Gholston come in and light up the combine, get drafted very high, and not accomplish much in the pros (to be fair Gholston still has time). I give Mays a 2nd round grade due to his lack of coverage instincts for the position and could see him ending up at LB -- much like Thomas Davis of Carolina. Make no mistake, however, he will go in the 1st round and maybe as high as to the Raiders or to his former college coach with the Seahawks. But I see that as a reach.

Major Wright of Florida impressed me with his footwork in coverage drills. I had questions as to whether he could cover the deep third and felt as though he might be better off as an in-the-box strong safety type. But he took a step to answer those questions here at the combine. Timing at under 4.49 in the 40 was also impressive. He had a lot of talent around him on that Florida defense and that helped mask some of his deficiences on film. He had some trouble turning and running with fluidity of his hips, but overall was more impressive than I expected. I currently give him a 3rd round grade and see him as more of a strong safety type with the ability to cover backs and tight ends and some range in the deep secondary.

Two possible cornerback converts that stood out were Chris Cook (who was impressive in the Senior Bowl and reminds me of Sean Smith) and Myron Lewis. Cook stood out as an explosive athlete with the best broad jump of the combine at 11 feet and a 4.46 in the 40. He also flashed good footwork and fluidity in drills for a 6-2 CB and appears to be able to make the transition to safety. I give him a 3rd round grade. Lewis tested almost as well, running a 4.48 with a 10 and a half inch broad jump. However, he did not look nearly as fluid in drills and had trouble flipping his hips to turn and run -- meaning he would be better served by beginning the transition to safety from the get go. I give him a 4th round grade as he was a solid performer in the SEC for 3 years.

Two prospects that attended the combine but did not participate due to injury were Nate Allen and Morgan Burnett. Allen, who was very impressive at the Senior Bowl, is a player I feel can step in and lead a secondary for years. I give him a high 2nd round grade. Burnett, who has very good size and was among the NCAA leaders in interceptions two years ago as a sophomore, gets a 3rd round grade from me. I worry about his movement skills at the NFL level and feel that a talented front 7 at Georgia Tech helped mask some of his faults. His pro day will answer some of those questions.

The majority of the other safeties were In-the-box, strong safety types who lacked the fluidity and coverage instincts on film to cover the deep 3rd of the secondary. The Dolphins more likely do not want another Gibril Wilson situation with two strong safety types in the deep seconday. One guy that flashed some versatility was Darrell Stuckey of Kansas. He showed good speed and overall athleticism and had decent footwork and fluidity in coverage drills. I have him in the 4th round.


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Ready for the start of another off season I see.
How have you been? You guys had to dig out of a lot of snow. Now you know how I feel up here.
I've been working out and terrorizing the "villages" with a bottle of Beam and my new snow buggy.

Question for you:
If Berry and McClain were both still on the board, who do you pick?

Breaking news Adam Shefter just reported that the Broncos just placed a 1st rd tender on Brandon Marshall.

Hahhaa, ALoco goes from telling NJ to take a hike at 2:37 to telling him he loves him at 2:41. Hahahaa, ALoco runs hot and cold!!!


How come you are the ONLY one in this whole blog that is getting so uptight because I say provable, factual things about a guy you happen to be very into choosing?

I have said a trillion times it's all in ones OWN viewpoint right? I am not entitled to weigh in with heavy actual facts or gamefootage vs a guy that I don't think would help OUR Fins more then different guys will?

Why is it so personal to you? Your not getting paid to blog or make professional opinions?

Getting awards IN COLLEGE mean exactly that...IN COLLEGE. I didn't say anything bogus like "He has never made a tackle ever" or "He is very low rated compared to all these other guys" nothing stupid like that... why do you get so tore up bud? Saying things like I am done talking to a wall about me... why because I didn't melt under pressure and say "Oh, I see 100% that you are right and I was way off base with McClain". Well I can't as no one has given me anything visual or stats wise to change my mind.

Your last name is not McClain is it? =)

We are all just talking and throwing out viewpoints... if you get so mad saying my posts are "ridiculous" and "UN-f'n believable" than scroll up and see several people have said they like some of my opinions. They also don't try to blow me up for differing from their opinions...mainly just you.

I say, live and let live bro. If I don't care for McClain as a choice I am MORALLY bound to back up what I say with facts and actual video footage. Otherwise I am talking out of my ass.

Have you ever seen a Heisman trophy winner go on to have a bad NFL carreer? (hint 92 Gino Toretta, 99 Ron Dayne, 03 Jason White, 06 Jason Smith) My point is awards and what others say have the LEAST weight to me... Many times they are arbitrary popularity contests...you know that.

You have to have cold hard data, which we both brought up and game footage which I brought up and you say you were at the games or watched on TV. A wash there.

Let our fellow bloggers judge for themselves...

Bobbyd, carlito and many others are with you on McClain and I am fine with that.

Cheers NJ,

Mark , that's aloco. He was in a bad mode then had his meatball sub and felt better.


I think Aloco meant to say that he wanted to take a hike WITH NJ.

Right up brokeback mountain!!!!


I went and counted up the stats and saw that Weatherspoon was a 4 year guy and McClain was a 3 year guy. Great call on making sure I was doing the comparison properly though... thanks!

Weatherspoons stats in his 1st year weren't much to write home about so it may have hampered his numbers more than helped them. All years for both men were included.

Does that add an extra feather to Weatherspoons cap as I have heard you say BP likes more experience vs less?


Odinseye , easy there buddy. maybe that's your thing . I Know he gets called and lonely up where you live. LOL !! :)

Anybody know where that WR Gilyard from Cincy is projected to get drafted?


Odinseye. how are you ?? I was wondering where you've bee, I see that your still up to your old tricks of terrorizing the neighborhood. LOL !! Yeah , we got alot of snow this year. Global warming my but. I want to kick al gore arse. I would take Berry over Mcclain, if berry was still on the board . i doubt it though

Aloco , Alot of women there My friend . i would invite you but your girlfriend my kick your arse !!

I'd like Gilyard in the 4th because his biggest contribution in year 1 will be on special teams. he will also be a decent complimentary receiver and deep threat.

NJ, why do these guys keep making homosexual references about you? Not that there's anything wrong with that.


Getting less value is a tough pill to try and swallow but, in the interest of getting it done that's what it may take in this years draft.

I would say that to the media, draftniks, talking heads, experts and draft guru's that taking Weatherspoon at #12 would be a reach.

I am more of the ilk that if the Trifecta gets that sold on the guy and takes him at #12 anyways his play will be the ultimate justifier of the pick.

I can remember Mel Kiper Jr blasting the Jets in 1989 when they chose Jeff Lagemen an undersized DE in round 1. He said they don't have the draft figured out at all. Lageman ended up playing 10 seasons with 47 sacks and was a pain for the Dolphins on numerous occasions. He was far from the bust that Kiper was saying he would be.

My point is, it won't be a reach if Weatherspoon can play really well. At the end of the day you have to pick a guy and the farther you slide back the less chance your targeted guys will be there.

I am with you... if it comes to #12 and they cannot find an acceptable deal to trade back then pull the trigger on Waetherspoon if they think he's the best... reach or not.


What I learned from "Brokeback Mountain.

1 - Never turn your back on a cowboy

2 - Drinking and horseplay lead to unmarried sex.

3 - Wyoming is beautiful

4 - Jack Twist was murdered

5 - I'll never look at John Wayne and Clint Eastwood the same ever again.

Soiled :)

In Tampa on bidness, at the Intercontinental and it is f u c k i n g cold here.

rob i just think the dude is a beast non stop motor and gets to the quarter back/ running back

disruption is definitely in the back field is what we need never thought it to be a bad thing

we'll see on draft day i hate to say it but i think someone will get to him before we do


correction*- disruption in the back field is definitely what we need

never thought it to be a bad thing


How about another episode to see what becomes of our emabattled hero NJ PHIN.

I will have you know that it is Evil Dr. Rob in OC thank you very much!!!

I didn't go through 15 years of Evil Medical school for nothing. 8)


Mark it's called a inferiority complex . It's make them fell like a man , when deep down down they are Homosexual's themselves and are afraid to come out of the closet, It's obvious .




At the end of the day, we may not see eye to eye on some player's ability coming out of college and translating it to a strong NFL career...

But I feel the blog would be greatly diminished without your 2 cents (up to a nickel sometimes) weighing in on all things draft.

Cheers bud,

Soiled and ALoco should have their own show. This is awesome.

NJ and Mark,

All I said was ALOCO Wanted to go hiking with NJ. Not that NJ would go.

NJ no that's not my kind of thing. Believe it or not My green eyed blonde(female) is still putting up with me. It's probably a record, but I don't keep up with those sorts of things.


Come on this is the part where you usually tell me my people raped and pillaged monastaries.

Oh NJ, thanks for the clarification. NFL - the last safe haven of the homophobic.

Cmon aloco . it's a blog . just tell everybody you a flamer that is afraid to come out of the closet. You can do it. You're amongst friends


Sometimes the way a draft unfolds you just can't get all the specific guys you want.

You just hold out hope that the Trifecta is as hot on them as you are and they will maneuver if they feel that strong about Houston.

In our DEF I would think a space eating guy that drew double teams would be more important than getting penetration from the NT. If Houston can anchor well and not let RB's get past his gap responsibilities then he could be a Fin.



anyone that thinks Berry will be there at 12 is a idiot

Mark , you got that right about what a safe haven the NFL can become for Homophobes .

The Broncos have placed the first-round tender on the four-year veteran, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

As a result, Marshall can sign with any team. The Broncos have a right to match the offer, and if they don't they receive only a first-round pick as compensation.

The move likely will be interpreted as an indication that the Broncos are ready to move on. If they wanted to keep Marshall, they surely would have used the highest possible tender, which would have required both a first-round pick and a third-round pick as compensation, for a contract with a value only $600,000 greater than the $2.521 million payday that applies to the first-round tender.

The Broncos also could be willing to trade Marshall's rights for something less than a first-round pick.

WOW! It's sounds damn close to singing cumbuya in here...let's all make a virtual circle...

Haha.... NOT!

Sign this scum up!

I guess everybody was a idiot thinking marino aaron rodgers , randy moss would drop to the 20's Or patick willis would fall to 11 or ......... should i go on ???? YOU NEVER KNOW.


This is the part where I tell you it's Vikings NOT Vickings. We didn't steal we TOOK what others we incapable of having. We didn't kill women...well...ah...at least not the hotties...

Gee......I missed you too buddy!!!!


Nice Waterboy,

If I had my choice between Dez and Marshall I would take Marshall as he is already doing it in the NFL.

Dez is an unknown as of yet and has some red flags.

I think Marshall has too much baggage for the Fins to entertain getting him. No denying he is a great talent though. Tied most catches ever in a game... unreal.


Dolphins need to make a move on Marshall, the man is a big time play maker

This also shows that IF Marshall can be had with a 1st pick only, Boldin is a 4 max....

Dear Mr. Salguero

Plumbers of Bergan County

Episode 5

Finally out of the hole NJ seeks recovery.

After spending several weeks in the hole for bribes and blog violations, NJ is now forced into counseling from Dr. EvilRob in the OC by Warden Salguero.
Forced to read Dr. EvilRob's Painfully long posts our hero starts to crack.

Our hero in a crazed trance starts to recite all the different ways to prepare meatballs(sorta like Bubba from Forrest Gump).....Special guest voice by Aloco.

After NJ's meatball recital he then goes on to say how Hollywood of today pales to a Hollywood of the 1940's 50's and even the 60's

Then NJ says name me one actress alive today that is better than Greta Garbo was.(Voiced by Nathaniel Dodsworth)

Will NJ snap out of it ?
Will Dr. EvilRob keep our hero sedated ?
Will Warden Salguero release him ?

Soiled :)

DE's Morgan or JPP in the 1ST
ILB Spikes, TE Gronkowski, DE Everson Griffen in 2ND
TE Jimmy Graham or WR Riley cooper in 3RD
TE Anthony Mccoy, NT Linvil Joeseph, OG john Jerry in 4TH
Micah Johnson, Myron lewis, Nick Polk in 5TH

My sleeper in the 6TH--
Will Tukuafu--DE who can be a project standing up
They need to sign Dansby or Aalius thomas in FA--
*****I dont want to see Adalius in Jet green***
Belichick is overated his defenses arent agressive Adalius has something to prove and i still think his abilty to lead, cover TE--and provide a pass rush in a 3-4 is valuable

2. Jamal Williams NT---veteran leadership roational tackle
3. Alge crumpler---Veteran TE can help mold the one we draft----
4. Kassem Osgood---SP teams ACe---maybe get something out of him at wideout----parcells will love his size

I like these targets because if we lose JT, Pettington, Ferg, JT---we lost all of our captains other than will allen---you need some vets to help the pups mature.

Kudos Soiled!! Real genuine laugh out loud stuff.

Good job.


Ozzy's Crazy Train plays when NJ PHIN tries to cipher through my phone book posts... lol

I guess this story by ProFootballTalk.com ends my hopes for Marshall...

Broncos place first-round tender only on Marshall
Posted by Mike Florio on March 3, 2010 2:54 PM ET
brandon-marshall-ap.jpgAfter months of speculation, rumor, and conjecture regarding the future of receiver Brandon Marshall in Denver, the answer finally has arrived.

He has none.

The Broncos have placed the first-round tender on the four-year veteran, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

As a result, Marshall can sign with any team. The Broncos have a right to match the offer, and if they don't they receive only a first-round pick as compensation.

The move likely will be interpreted as an indication that the Broncos are ready to move on. If they wanted to keep Marshall, they surely would have used the highest possible tender, which would have required both a first-round pick and a third-round pick as compensation, for a contract with a value only $600,000 greater than the $2.521 million payday that applies to the first-round tender.

The Broncos also could be willing to trade Marshall's rights for something less than a first-round pick.

Then again, some might think that the Broncos' goal is to get another team to sign Marshall to a long-term deal, and then match it. This raises the issue of the Steve Hutchinson/Nate Burleson poison pill, which no one has used since 2006 -- even though the device remains a viable tool for fostering player movement.

Our guess? Someone with a low first-round pick like the Ravens will sign him to an offer sheet. Whether the offer sheet contains a poison pill remains to be seen.

Permalink 11 Comments Latest stories in: Baltimore Ravens, Contracts, Denver Broncos, Latest News and Rumors, NFL Mobile Exclusives - Rumors, Top Stories

NJ, once again you were right!!! :) lol

Anyone see the new Mock Draft by Pat Kirwan that was posted yesterday afternoon? It has us picking Earl Thomas...



Thank goodness we don't have to hear anything about Brandon Marshall anymore!!!

When is the deadline for putting a "tender" on a player?


pretty comprehensive list... nice post and it looks like you have mapped out your plan. GJ.

I would go with...

OLB/ILB Weatherspoon, OLB Graham, Spiller 1st
WR D. Thomas, NT Cam Thomas, RB Ben Tate 2nd
TE Jimmy Graham (nailed that one) NT Linval Joeseph, or RB D. McCluster 3rd
ILB Micah Johnson, OG John Jerry, DT Lamar Houston 4rth.
CB AJ Jefferson, WR Fred Barnes, DT Al Wood 6th

BPA's from here on out or use some of these picks to trade up and get guys you really like.

I say that getting JT back in the fold would serve the team all the way around. With Dansby picked up it would not be as crucial. JT is such a consumate Pro that bleeds Fins teal and aqua. He is the right guy to show any incoming edge guys the real deal!

I am trying to remain as realistic as possible in that if they get Dansby I think the $$ cupboard will be too barren except for a Osgood level player.



sorry i did not see your earlier post. you get credit for being first.

I am tired of trying to out guess NJ.

NJ you are the man!!! I kneel before your brilliance. You are the King of foresight.

Just a couple of thoughts:

Happy to see that we should be able to put the Marshall talk to rest.

Can't wait for Friday so the fins can put Joey Porter out of our misery.

I figure the Dansby talk will end about 5 minutes after we cut Porter with the announcement that the Giants have signed him for the bargain price of Lower Manhattan but at least we'll still have people saying why the hell didn't the Dolphins counter by offering S Beach. Ross is a Gazzilionaire after all.

I can't wait to see how McClain turns out at the pro level because whichever one of these guys (NJ and Rob, as if I had to spell it out) is right will have some serious bragging rights because it's been toe to toe for a month now with neither giving an inch. Mucho props to both of you guys.

I was reading FA LB from NFL.com.

The ones that have possibilities for upgrade to starters and depth:
1. Dansby ILB
2. Scott Fajita OLB
3. Tully Bannta-Cain OLB
4. Larry Foote- ILB
5. Jason Taylor ( we need to resign or Tender)

May not bee the upgrade we want, but, would provide an upgrade to what we got.

Bryan Robinson, NTT Cards may be good to use in rotation to ferg and soliai

Dolphins extend 1st rd Tender for Ronnie Brown

New Blog up!

there are no other athletes at the combine and senior bowl to exude the necessary ability and mental set and versitility to to step in to a dolphin uniform and become the missing link( IE, THE BONDO) to conform the rest of the defence and perhaps the whole team to a motivational and inspirative mental and emotional set to aspire and believe that victory comes with blood, sweat, and devotion. Sean Weatherspoon, Superman in blue with white leatards. Will be there at #12; would be great to get him later, but would need at trade down( a shallow one), because trust me his stock is on the rise. We'll need another LB or 2 depending on FA. Many I like ( angerer, Mc courtney, etc, can be gotten later). Nt, Te, FS,and OG can fill spotsin later rounds as well as the ever-most popular WR. Everything else we address in UFA; or we pick-up Dansby which changes nothing in the draft.

"Dude , your to guilible. LOL !!

Posted by: NJ PHIN FAN | March 03, 2010 at 10:59 AM
"Dude", YOU'RE slipping. Two grammatical errors in one sentence (your/YOU'RE, and to/instead of TOO) ;>D
But seriously, regarding McClain, we both know that coach Satan has his choice of 10 LB's on that loaded Bama squad, and as Satan chose McClain, I'd assume McClain must have had the requisite ability, or knowing SATAN, McClain's a** would've been outta there faster than you can say "roll Tide."
Sheesh, this is all such a crapshoot. I just pray we get it right. IMO, there are several player's who would be "right."
My dream would be Berry in the first, and a stud linebacker in the 2nd. Too bad Berry will be gone to the STINKIN' JETS, who will trade their first and 3-4 players to Detroit (Rams select Bradford) to get the 2nd pick in the draft, Berry, not Suh.
Imagine, both REVIS AND BERRY in the same D-backfield. The Ravens on steroids. Rex-ball.

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