Monday, April 15, 2024
spot_img

2024 NFL Combine takeaways, grades for top DB prospects, plus other winners and losers

Day 2 of on-field drills at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis first saw defensive backs demonstrating their athletic chops inside Lucas Oil Stadium. A handful of prospects elevated their stock with strong performances, while others had disappointing efforts that could move them down boards across the league. 

Here are some of the winners and losers from Friday’s on-field drills in Indianapolis, starting with a look at the measurements of the prospects in CBS Sports’ top 32 consensus rankings.

40-yard dash Bench press Vertical jump Broad jump

Quinyon Mitchell (Toledo)

4.33 seconds

38 inches

10-foot

Terrion Arnold (Alabama)

4.51

37

10-foot-9

Nate Wiggins (Clemson)

4.28

36

10-foot-7

Kool-Aid McKinstry (Alabama)

N/A

N/A

N/A

Ennis Rakestraw (Missouri)

4.51

10-foot

Grading the top-rated DBs

Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell: A-

The only gripe for Mitchell was the 10-foot broad jump. Slightly below average. The rest of his day was spectacular. Running 4.33 seconds at just north of 6-foot and 195 pounds is sensational. The 38-inch vertical double checks the explosiveness box. For one of the most obvious ballhawks in the class, Mitchell demonstrated he’s one of the most athletic, too. 

Alabama CB Terrion Arnold: B+

Arnold’s 4.51-second 40-yard dash was a tad surprising — he looks faster on film — and it’s why his grade is a tick lower. The rest of his workout felt first-round caliber at just under 6-foot and 190 pounds. 

Clemson CB Nate Wiggins: A-

Wiggins has one of the most unique — but increasingly trendy — frames we’ve seen among top cornerback prospects in years at 6-1 and 173 pounds (!), but he did what one should do at that size by igniting the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.28 seconds. He suffered a hip injury in the process, but that is unequivocally first-round speed from the former Clemson star. 

Alabama CB Kool-Aid McKinstry: N/A

Double bummer for McKinstry, who was unable to showcase what looked like high-caliber athletic skills at the combine, but his week started learning he had a pesky Jones’ fracture in his foot. Hopefully his recovery is smooth and he’s ready to perform by training camp. 

Missouri CB Ennis Rakestraw: C+

Rakestraw was supposed to be the much larger Missouri cornerback — the other being Kris Abrams-Draine — and that was supposed to be the separator. He measured in at the same height as his teammate and was just four pounds heavier. He ran a good, but far from amazing 4.51-second 40-yard dash, and the 10-foot broad jump will be around the 35th percentile at the position since 1999. 

Other winners

Rutgers CB Max Melton

Max’s brother, Bo, had a huge workout two years ago and was drafted by the Seahawks in the the seventh round in 2022. Max has combine bragging rights now with what he did this year. At a totally respectable 5-foot-11 and 187 pounds, Max ran 4.39-second 40 with a 40.5-inch vert and a 11-foot-4 broad. 

Penn State CB Daequan Hardy 

Hardy, a slot corner by trade, flew in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.38 seconds at near 5-foot-9 and 179 pounds. He nearly scraped the roof of Lucas Oil Stadium with a 42.5-inch vertical and finished things off with a 10-foot-6 broad. Stock up!

Texas Tech S Tyler Owens

Despite pulling up lame in the 40-yard — which is a darn shame based on what he did in the jumps — the Red Raiders safety nearly set the combine record in the broad jump with a 12-foot-2 and had a 41-inch vertical at nearly 6-foot-3 and 216 pounds. HELLO. 

Texas Tech S Dadrian Taylor-Demerson 

Man, these Texas Tech explode like they’re coming out of the Red Raiders rifle. Taylor-Demerson ran the fastest 40-yard dash (4.41 seconds) of the safety group and had a 38-inch vertical. Big-time testing for the Texas Tech safety pair. 

Other losers

Miami S Kamren Kinchens

To me, the top safety in the class, ran 4.65 seconds and had a 9-foot-2 in the broad jump. Disappointing time and measurement there. His 35-inch vertical saved his workout. Can’t forget, though: Kinchens has a stockier frame that doesn’t lend itself to big-time workouts. He was 5-foot-11 and 203 pounds. While, of course, he can still be a quality safety in the NFL, this workout all but officially rules out him being selected in the first round. 

Penn State CB Kalen King

The 37-inch vertical and 10-foot-2 in the broad are fine numbers for King to stand on during the rest of the pre-draft process. He won’t have to do those at the Nittany Lions Pro Day. However, the 4.61-second 40 was a flop, especially with King weighing 191 pounds. He also had shorter arms than expected that weren’t even 31 inches. 

The 2024 NFL Draft will take place from April 25-27 in Detroit. More draft coverage can be found at CBSSports.com, including the weekly updated draft ordermock drafts and a regularly available look at the eligible prospects

For live reaction from the festivities, check out Friday’s live blog

Related articles

Share article

Latest articles

Newsletter

Subscribe to stay updated.