The NFL Combine is officially over, and the Chicago Bears can now start to look at pro days and individual workouts. Today though, we saw some great defensive backs get after it, trying to prove there worth. Here is what I saw in the guys that I talked about in my preview (Can be seen here).
Minkah Fitzpatrick Alabama
Fitzpatrick overall had a decent day, but I was expecting a bit more. He started off well in the 40, as he got a time of 4.46, which for his size is pretty good. I would say that was his best drill because, in the broad jump and the vertical jump, he was a bit disappointing. He got only a 33 in the vertical and a 121 in the broad jump. For a guy that is going to be a top cornerback drafted, I thought he would show better hops.
While the numbers he got may have been slightly disappointing, you can’t only look at the numbers, you have to look at drills as well. I was not disappointed, in his drills today, but I thought that he could do a little better. I was impressed with his cornerback style drills though, proving my suspicions that he could play cornerback. He does a really good job flipping his hips quickly compared to others.
Chicago could use a swiss army knife like him. I am not sure if he will be available or not at eight, but I would not be surprised if Pace went for it.
Josh Jackson Iowa
Josh Jackson got off to a very hot start today, running a 4.46 40 time at a bit over six foot tall. He had a great vertical jump as well, jumping a 38 inches in the air! His measurables looked very good for the day, and I was impressed.
Things went downhill for Jackson when he went to field drills. He had a few moments where it looked like he was a high schooler. He kept on screwing up on simple drills that almost all the other cornerbacks had down easy. I also did not see a ton of effort out of him. When you are at the combine, you have one shot to give an impression, why not go all out? I saw him not running hard multiple times, which just gets under my skin, and probably the scouts’ skin.
Jackson did not have a great day today, but it doesn’t mean that Chicago won’t draft him. He had a great season at Iowa, and if Chicago decides if the one season he had was the real deal, then they might take him at eight.
Denzel Ward Ohio State
I knew that Denzel Ward was a very athletic player, but I didn’t expect him to step up and dominate everyone there today. Ward started off very strong, running a 4.32, tying cornerbacks Parry Nickerson of Tulane and Donte Jackson of LSU. That time was impressive, but then I see he jumped a 136 broad jump, the best broad jump this whole 2018 NFL Combine! I didn’t expect this athletic freak to show himself today.
Ward apparently had a tweaked ankle that kept him out of drills today, but we should see enough at his pro day and from film to get enough to feel comfortable about him. I feel that right now he and Jackson are very close in terms of who is the top true cornerback in this draft. It will be very interesting to see how all of this plays out, but I think Ryan Pace leaves Indianapolis very happy with how Ward looked.
Levi Wallace Alabama
One of my favorite underrated players to watch this week, Levi Wallace had a good day for a later round guy. He started off running a 4.63, which was a little slower than I was even expecting him to do, but not that big of a deal, he is not supposed to be a very athletic corner. The only other measurable that he did was the vertical jump, which got him the same 33 as his teammate Fitzpatrick.
I thought that he did a good job in the field drills. While not as athletic as other competitors, he did a great job beating his competition by using his sound technique that he worked hard to learn at Alabama.
While Wallace is not very athletic for a cornerback, he makes up for it with his very high football IQ. He did a good enough job to guarantee that he will be drafted in April, but when is the real question. I would love it if Pace could find him in the later rounds, as I think Fangio would love to have a rookie with his level of IQ on his roster.
Donte Jackson LSU
Another guy that is really good in the measurable testing, but not so good the rest of the day. As previously mentioned, he ran a 4.32 40 that tied him for the best of the day. However, the 40 does not always tell the whole story. He looked really bad in all the drills today. He just did not look very fluid all day, I really expected to see better out of him
I’m not sure where Donte Jackson’s draft stock is going to land, but I’m not sure if Pace will be interested if he remains at the predicted late first/early second round range. He just seems way too raw for me to consider in Chicago, and I could see him flopping.