The defensive backs are scheduled to close down the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine’s on-field drills Monday, but first they made the media rounds Sunday.
There was a near consensus between NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks and The Athletic’s Dane Brugler about who the top five cornerbacks are before the combine.
Brooks and Brugler had the same players in their top five and were in unison on their top three: Greedy Williams of LSU, Byron Murphy of Washington and Deandre Baker of Georgia.
Baker of Georgia mentioned that he likes the games of Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes and Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson.
Greedy Williams of LSU said he plans to train this summer with Peterson, who starred at LSU before becoming the fifth overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Here’s a roundup from podium sessions:
Greedy Williams, LSU
Pre-combine position rankings: NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks (1), The Athletic’s Dane Brugler (1)
On his matchup against Mississippi and defending receiver D.K. Metcalf: “[Their receivers] were great — elite — so I knew I had to bring my elite game, wear my big-boy pants and try to shut one of them down. … I guarded D.K. the whole time, so you can’t let him out-physical you, so definitely you’ve got to stay in his face and win with your feet at the line of scrimmage.”
On his tackling: “That’s something I can improve, definitely going to improve on it. [I’m] ready to get back on the field and get working on it.”
Byron Murphy, Washington
Pre-combine position rankings: Brooks (2), Brugler (2)
On where he got his ball skills: “I played basketball as well, so I feel like basketball helped me out a lot with my ball skills. I think it’s just natural, something I was born with.”
On recent Washington defensive backs making it to the NFL: “I think there’s just a standard set at the University of Washington in our group. That unit is just special. [Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach Jimmy] Lake brings a lot of stuff to that group, in the film room. I think how it starts is in the locker room. It’s all a brotherhood, and we all feel comfortable with one another. … Having Coach Lake, he’s a competitor, too, so he’s going to get you better.”
Deandre Baker, Georgia
Pre-combine position rankings: Brooks (3), Brugler (3)
On why he thinks he’s the best corner in the draft: “My production speaks for itself. It’s just what I did on the field and on the film.”
On which game he’d most like evaluators to see: “You can watch the LSU game. That was one of my best games this year. We were down pretty much the whole game, but throughout the game I kept fighting and showed my will to keep working, never give up and my ball skills.”
Trayvon Mullen, Clemson
Pre-combine position rankings: Brooks (4), Brugler (5)
On how he would describe his game: “I’m an aggressive corner. I like to play physical. I like to use my feet and hands to my [best] ability to stop receivers, slow them down. Try to mess up the timing between a receiver and a quarterback.”
On previously playing wide receiver: “I believe it helped, just knowing receivers and their releases – quick receivers, big receivers and alignments and what to expect. I think it helped me [play cornerback].”
On growing up with his cousin Lamar Jackson: “It was awesome, a good level of competition, playing against each other. He’s always been a great athlete – the same thing he’s been doing now, he’s been doing since he was 5 or 6 years old. … We always played against each other. We never played on the same team. The only time we played together when we were young was all-star games.”
Rock Ya-Sin, Temple
Pre-combine position rankings: Brooks (5), Brugler (4)
On the best and worst part of playing cornerback: “I feel like there is no worst part about it. The best part about it is being able to come out and compete with a guy, knowing that you have that guy and no help. It’s you versus him, mano a mano. I love that.”
On picking up football for the first time: “I continued to wrestle, but the spring of my sophomore year, my wrestling coach had me go work out with the football team and lift weights with them. The football coach eventually asked me to come out for football. The rest is history.”