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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire