View photos from workouts at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday in Indianapolis that included defensive backs.
Cornerbacks and safeties closed out the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday by participating in timing and testing drills at Lucas Oil Field.
Many trained mightily, trying to become as fast as possible for the 40-yard dash or showcase explosive athleticism in the vertical jump and broad jump. Others, including several who are rehabbing an injury or were on a team that played deep into January, set their sights on the pro days that their various colleges will host between now and the draft.
Regardless of that status, you'll see there was no shortage of confidence when players participated in media sessions.
Entering the combine, NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah ranked Ohio State's Jeff Okudah as the fourth overall prospect.
Okudah opted to work out and explained his rationale, saying during a media session, "Coming to the combine has always been a dream. Just being here is a dream come true. You go back and watch some of these combine videos, I watch Jalen Ramsey's combine video, I watched Patrick Peterson's combine video. I want somebody down the road to say, 'Let's turn on Jeff Okudah's combine video.' "
Okudah elaborated that he has a white board in his apartment with the numbers that Ramsey and Peterson posted when they were respectively at the 2016 and 2011 combines.
"I think it's just about putting my numbers up with theirs," Okudah said. "On top of that, going to the fieldwork. Showing really good footwork, really loose hips. And putting that on film for you guys to watch."
Okudah ran a slower 40-yard dash, but he leapt beyond Peterson in the vertical and broad jump. He equaled Ramsey in the broad jump and was close to matching an impressive vertical.
Peterson in 2011: 4.34 seconds in the 40-yard dash; 38.0 inches in the vertical; broad jump of 10 feet, 6 inches
Ramsey in 2016: 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash; 41.5 inches in the vertical; broad jump of 11 feet, 3 inches
Okudah in 2020: 4.48 seconds in the 40-yard dash; 41.0 inches in the vertical; broad jump of 11 feet, 3 inches
Okudah withdrew from position drills after hitting the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium hard, but he posted that he's OK:
Prior to participating in the drills, Okudah explained that "there's risk-reward for everything."
"For me, it's no different than going out against [former Clemson receiver] Tee Higgins all game. It's always going to be risk-reward. You chose if you're going to get the reward or if you're going to get the risk."
Cal safety Ashtyn Davis and his family also took a bit of a risk. Rather than accepting a full track scholarship, Davis instead pursued football.
"It was my parents that, you know, I talked to them, I didn't obviously make that decision by myself," Davis said during his combine media session. "I gave them a call and they were willing to take out loans and kind of work around it, in order to have the opportunity to play.
"Nothing was guaranteed, but I'm super thankful that they did and they believed in me and I bet on myself because I knew that I could do some of the things that some of the guys were doing," Davis said. "I'm happy it all worked out."
Davis said his former position coach with the Bears encouraged him to study Micah Hyde "because of his range and things like that." He added that he also likes to study Harrison Smith and Earl Thomas because they are "guys who do different things well."
Davis did not run because of an injury. He's targeting Cal's pro date of March 20.
Below are highlights from additional media sessions and on-field workouts of defensive linemen and linebackers participating in the combine this week.
AT THE MIC
Note: players that are included in this section have been listed among the top players in their position group by NFL Media analysts Daniel Jeremiah and/or Bucky Brooks, have a Vikings/local connection or have been linked to the Vikings in a mock draft by an expert or mentioned as a possibility in an interview. They are grouped by position. The quotes are from sessions with multiple media members in Indianapolis.
CB Jeff Okudah | Ohio State
Jeremiah has Okudah as the No. 4 overall prospect, and Brooks has him slotted as the top cornerback.
40 games; 85 tackles (65 solo), 1.0 tackle for loss, three interceptions, 18 passes defended, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries
On if he considers Ohio State "DBU (Defensive Backs University): "We'll let Florida and LSU have the DBU debate. We just claim BIA now. That's Best In America. Our defensive backs have constantly have been the best DBs in the country. We have staff with the numbers. So we don't really concern ourselves with the DBU debate any more. We'll let LSU and Florida go after it."
CB C.J. Henderson | Florida
Jeremiah ranked Henderson as the 25th overall prospect heading into the combine, but Brooks had him as his fourth overall cornerback behind Trevon Diggs (brother of Stefon who was featured on Vikings.com last week) and Kristian Fulton.
34 games; 92 tackles (65 solo), 7.0 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, six interceptions, 22 passes defended
On if he's the best corner in the draft: "I'd definitely rank myself No. 1. I expect everyone else to rank themselves the same. I highly respect the rest of the corners. What separates me is that I'm a competitor and I'm very smart."
CB Jaylon Johnson | Utah
Jeremiah ranked Johnson as the 28th overall prospect, but Brooks didn't have him in his top five cornerbacks.
38 games; 102 tackles (88 solo), 3.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, seven interceptions, 28 passes defended
On if his ball production stats separate him from other players: "For me, it was just big to have ball production, whether it's PBUs, whether it's interceptions. To me, I feel like you can be in good position, you can have good coverage and you still get a ball caught on you. So just being able to finish plays was very important to me coming into college and really focusing on stopping receivers from catching the ball as much as possible. I'm not too sure of other guys' ball production. I just knew that was something I emphasized."
S Xavier McKinney | Alabama
Jeremiah rated McKinney as the 14th overall prospect. Brooks has him as the top safety.
41 games; 176 tackles (108 solo), 13 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, five interceptions, 20 passes defended, five forced fumbles, one fumble recovery
On what separates him from other safeties: "I think one or two things that will distinguish me from all the other safeties is, like you guys said, I'm very versatile. You can see that in the tape. I can do anything that you want me to do. And I do it well. I think that's the biggest thing, just to know that no matter how the game is turning out to be, whether we're winning or losing, I'm going to go hard. I'm going to put 110 percent into every game. And you see that in my tape. I think that's something that separates me from these other safeties here."
S Grant Delpit | LSU
Jeremiah ranked Delpit 31st overall heading into the combine, and Brooks agreed that he's the second-best option at safety.
40 games; 199 tackles (120 solo), 17.5 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks, eight interceptions, 32 passes defended, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries
On his position versatility: "See, that's what I pride myself on. I think I'm a very versatile player. I think that's probably my biggest strength on the defensive side. I'll play anywhere in the secondary. This year I played more free safety because that's what the team needed, so I played a [high] percent of my snaps in the middle of the field. We went 15-0, so I could never complain. But watch my sophomore tape, freshman tape, I played all over the box. So I think I can do it all."
S Kyle Dugger | Lenoir-Rhyne
Jeremiah placed the Division-II product at 43rd overall, and Brooks rated him as the fourth-best safety.
42 games; 237 tackles (152 solo), 6.5 tackles for loss, 10 interceptions, 36 passes defended, six forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries
On how majoring in pre-engineering/physics helps on the field: Just the problem-solving factor. It's a lot of solving problems. You see it and have to do something about it. So fix it. I think that goes a long way at my position, safety. You've got to be the quarterback of the defense, and you ain't always going to have the answer for everything you see. But you've got to fix the defense.
ON THE FIELD
Tracking Winfield, Jr., and Reed: Vikings.com's Eric Smith caught up with Antoine Winfield, Jr., and J.R. Reed for a feature last week that covered the influence of their fathers who played for the Vikings.
Winfield, Jr., who starred for the Gophers, tied for the third-fastest 40-yard dash (4.45 seconds) among safeties this year. Reed, who played at Georgia, had the 10th-fastest time among the group at 4.54 seconds.
Click here to see this year's top performers in timing and testing drills.