Day two of the 2033 NFL Scouting Combine has come and gone with only the offensive players left to perform over the weekend.
Just like the front seven players on Thursday, several defensive backs put on big-time performances in front of the litany of scouts, coaches, and executives.
Below are three players I felt earned some money in Indianapolis along with three others I believe fell short of expectations.
CB Julius Brents, Kansas State
Brents fell behind in a talent-rich Iowa defense which forced him to transfer away to Kansas State in search of more opportunity to see the field. He made the most of the move by becoming an immediate starter for the Wildcats en route to ending his career with a trip to the Big 12 title game and an invite to the Reese’s Senior Bowl.
With elite physical attributes such as his near-6’4 height and 200-pound frame, Brents also possesses lengthy 34-inch arms to go with a respectable 4.53 in the 40. At his height, his jumps of
CB Deonte Banks, Maryland
Banks jumped out of the stadium with a position-leading 42” in the vertical before jumping 11’4” in the broad which was second best to the player above him on this list. Once he got on the field for the 40, he blazed to a 4.35 which is a great time to match with his 6’0 and 197-pound build.
Banks looked excellent in his transitions and showed good timing at the catch point during on-field drills. Despite being just an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection in 2022, Banks looks like he may have just punched his way to a potential selection on day one.
Deonte Banks backpedal and transition pic.twitter.com/UXaOsOtZyn— Billy M (@BillyM_91) March 3, 2023
S Jartavius Martin, Illinois
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein nots Martin’s potential as a backup who could become an above-average backup at the next level. Those aren’t promising notes for any prospect, but after the type of workout Martin just had in Indianapolis, I wouldn’t be surprised to see his ceiling raised a bit depending on who you ask.
For starters, Martin ran a very solid 4.46 in the 40 at 5’11 and 194 pounds. But where he truly shined was in his explosive numbers. Martin topped every prospect from the first two days with an incredible 44” vertical to go along with a 11’1” in the broad jump which was tops among safeties and tied for fourth among all defensive positions.
That type of athleticism may not shoot him up draft boards alone, but it sure will get some scouts going back to the tape.
CB Kelee Ringo, Georgia
Ringo was among the players I was most excited about watching at the combine this year and that excitement quickly came tumbling down a bit from the start after he posted duds in both the vertical and broad jumps. His 33.5” in the vertical was the fourth-worst among his position and his 10’2” was tied for fifth-worst, as well. Now he did win back some points with a very good time in the 40 with a 4.36, but his biggest shortcomings showed up during on-field drills where he struggled in transitions and tracking the deep ball.
S Trey Dean II, Florida
At 6’2 and 200 pounds, Dean entered the day with middling draft grades behind a versatile resume that included experience at both cornerback and safety. His toughness in both coverage and in run support is what stands out the most in his film but inconsistencies in areas such as job and situational awareness have kept him squarely in the conversation as a late-round pick.
I don’t expect to see him hop up many draft boards after he posted the slowest time among all defensive backs with a 4.75. This number was quite surprising as both his vertical (36.45”) and broad jumps (10’4”) each ranked among the top 10 for safeties but somehow that explosive power didn’t end up translating well to the headliner that is the 40.
S Ji’Ayir Brown, Penn State
Brown had high marks coming into the combine as a high energy guy who loves to play the game. The 5’10, 203-pounder is built well and showed some fluidity in on-field. On the other side, Brown underwhelmed in his testing which was headlined by a 4.65 (third worst) in the forty. His explosive numbers also didn’t amount to much with a 32.5” in the vertical (fifth worst) and a 9’11” in the broad (sixth worst).
I don’t think this performance will hurt his stock all that much, but dangerously slow forties can come back to bite prospects when it comes various thresholds for specific positions.
These 3 plays sold me on Penn St. safety Ji'Ayir Brown.— KP (@KP_Show) February 27, 2023
- 1st play he takes on the OT for a TFL
- 2nd play quick trigger coming out of the roof to make an open field tackle
- 3rd play is one of the best plays you'll see a safety make.
Brown has 1st round eyes/recognition. pic.twitter.com/ftZuWhCRGD