7 cornerbacks who were winners at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine
The NFL combine is exciting for many reasons. One of the best days for the combine is when defensive backs take the field. How many defensive backs break 4.3 in the 40-yard dash?
For many fans, watching the DBs is exciting as you can project which cornerback will be the next Richard Sherman, Jalen Ramsey, or Tariq Woolen.
The defensive backs took the field Friday, and to no one’s surprise, we saw some eye-popping numbers. In some cases, the testing confirms what you’ve seen on Saturdays, whereas in other cases, it forces you to go back and watch more of the player. Does the athleticism at the combine match what was on the field?
The Washington Commanders need a cornerback in the early rounds of the 2023 NFL draft. They will have options. So we examine seven cornerbacks who either solidified themselves or helped themselves with their performances on Friday in Indianapolis.
This is only for cornerbacks, as Washington has good young depth at safety for once.
Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez
No surprise, Christian Gonzalez ended up with the highest #RAS among corners.https://t.co/zgAnb7Rcb2 #RAS pic.twitter.com/s5o9evucn8
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 4, 2023
Christian Gonzalez didn’t really need to help himself, but he did anyway. His tape is good. He has size, speed and length. On Friday, his testing numbers were outstanding, solidifying himself as a top-15 pick.
Maryland CB Deonte Banks
Official numbers for Maryland CB Deonte Banks
40-yard: 4.35 (92nd percentile)
Vert: 42” (97th percentile)
Broad: 11’4” (98th percentile)
That athleticism absolutely shows up on tape as one of the best coverage players in that class. First round playerpic.twitter.com/ebfvn25dak
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) March 3, 2023
It’s not a surprise that Deonte Banks tested well. However, even he surpassed expectations with his athletic performance. He is a physical player coming off his best collegiate seasons. The arrow is pointing up for Banks.
Maryland CB Jakorian Bennett
JAKORIAN BENNETT 4.31!!! pic.twitter.com/7Uunrtzoaj
— Maryland Football (@TerpsFootball) March 3, 2023
Not to be outdone by his teammate Banks, Jakorian Bennett was flat-out flying on Friday. There is a lot to like about Bennett’s game, as he can play multiple positions in the secondary. The Terrapins will have two cornerbacks drafted no later than day two.
South Carolina CB Cam Smith
Extremely clean feet/hips from Cam Smith. pic.twitter.com/N4tPSjaDM7
— Ryan Fowler (@_RyanFowler_) March 3, 2023
Cam Smith had a terrific day. Already a first-round prospect, Smith, who measured in at 6-foot-1, ran the 40 in 4.41 seconds, had a broad jump of 11′ 2″ and looked elite in cornerback drills.
Kansas State CB Julius Brents
One of the reasons #RAS exists is so we can look at performances like the one Julius Brents put up and recognize it for the elite athletic performance it was, without dwelling on a pedestrian 40 time.https://t.co/DYGZxA7Xa6 #RAS pic.twitter.com/fePhpDUTBB
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 4, 2023
Brents is almost 6-foot-3 and crushed every athletic drill besides the 40. That’s ok. Considering his size, he ran a solid 40. Brents had a good 2022 season and followed up with a strong Senior Bowl week. Brents is an exciting prospect.
Mississippi State CB Emmanuel Forbes
4.35 for Emmanuel Forbes👀
— PFF College (@PFF_College) March 3, 2023
Emmanuel Forbes backed up his outstanding play on the field with a strong performance at the combine. He’s fast. Really fast. He nailed every drill and stands almost 6-foot-1. The only knock against Forbes? He’s only 166 pounds. That is a concern, but Forbes is really good player.
Michigan CB DJ Turner
Cornerback DJ Turner II put up an elite combine performance, earning the highest athleticism score (97) among Michigan prospects since 2003.
Turner ran the 2nd-fastest 40-yard dash (4.26) of any cornerback at the combine since 2003.@UMichFootball | #NFLCombine pic.twitter.com/DuW4AVFJSE
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) March 4, 2023
DJ Turner opened some eyes Friday. Some said they needed to check the tape on Turner, which is a valid point. However, he’s another good player. It’s sometimes difficult to judge if a player’s timed speed matches their playing speed, but Turner continued to improve in each of his final two seasons at Michigan. You always trust this type of speed.