Several defensive backs share their thoughts at the NFL Combine, including one comparing himself to Steelers' safety
Justin Gilbert - Cornerback - Oklahoma State
On what makes him the best CB in draft: "Dedication to the game and the work that I put in day in and day out off the field, watching film, making guys around me better, the younger guys when I was Okla. St. always talking to them and bringing them in and watching film."
On playing in pass-happy conference: "I think that Big 12 defensive backs are some of the best DBs in the country and college football. Sometimes we're overlooked because we give up plays, but at the same time we have way more plays coming at us instead of say, for instance, the SEC, they have a lot of run attacks where the corners are not being pressured a lot. So we have a lot to live up to."
Kyle Fuller - Cornerback - Virginia Tech
On growing up in a football family (brother is Lions WR Corey Fuller): “It means a lot. It definitely makes you want to get to that level. It definitely keeps you humble to continue to work hard to get there. I believe it just shows all the hard work all of my brothers have had to get to this point and we’re just thankful and blessed for that.”
On if there was a lot of sibling rivalry: “I’m very competitive, especially with my brothers. That’s helped me to where I am now. We always want to be better than the next guy, each other, no matter how fast we are, the plays we make. We’ve had a couple races. I won one, Corey won one. Whenever we’re home, we’ll get it.”
On what it would mean to be a first-round pick: “I would love that. That’s one of my goals. All I can do is show what I can do and I can believe that I’m a first round pick or whatever, but I’m not focused on that. I just have to do what I have to do and whatever team takes me I’ll be happy to be with them.”
Dion Bailey - Safety - Southern California
On if playing linebacker helped you play safety: "Definitely helped me read the offensive linemen, read run and pass. I learned how to read the triangle play at linebacker so now in the back end, I have the ability to read high hat, low hat on the offensive linemen. I wasn't one to get fooled on play-action as much as others do because of my experience in the box. I gained a lot more experience to avoid getting blocked by big guys. I feel like that really helped my game playing screens and things like that."
On if he remembers Steelers DB Carnell Lake: "Definitely. Coach Lake, he recruited me when he was the DB coach at UCLA when I was coming out. Me and him have a very strong relationship. Then he was at pro day last year. He led the DB drills, so I talked to him for about an hour and he was giving me advice about what to expect making the transition (to safety) and what I needed to do. It's going to be fun to catch up with him."
On what safety do you pattern your game after: "I feel like my game resembles Troy Polamalu's game very well. He went through the same transition in college as me, playing linebacker his first couple years and then playing safety. He transitioned to the NFL really well. I'm hoping I have the same career."