Skip to main content


The cover guys arrive

News, notes and nuggets from NFL Network coverage of Day Four of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis:

WORTH THE WAIT: The cornerbacks had to wait until the final day to take the field at Lucas Oil Stadium, but that doesn't mean they aren't in demand.

"If you go through the team needs you could put offensive tackle and corner down for just about every team," NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. "And you can't have enough of them, especially when you're talking abut corners.

"When you look at these corners, it's not just the premiere, top-end guys. These guys are gonna be your core special teams players, these mid-round picks, your third and fourth corners. There's a lot of value. You're gonna have a great team, you better have depth at corner. It's not just coming out of the first and second day. There's some real talent in that third day."

AND THE BEAT GOES ON: The final day was more of the same in terms of the speed on display.

It included Baylor cornerback Kalon Barnes posting an official 40-yard dash time of 4.23.

The Combine record is 4.22 by Washington wide receiver John Ross in 2017.

Barnes settled for No. 2 in that department since 2003, just ahead of the 4.24 turned in by East Carolina running back Chris Johnson in 2008.

Texas-San Antonio cornerback Tariq Woolen clocked a 4.26.

That tied Kent State running back Dri Archer (2014) and Hampton wide receiver Jerome Mathis (2005) for what is now the fourth-fastest 40 in Combine history.

Woolen measured in at 6-foot-41/8 and 205 pounds.

"You're not gonna find bigger and you're not gonna find faster than that combination he has," Jeremiah assessed of Woolen.

Defensive backs collectively produced 16 sub-4.4 40s, the most in Combine history (since 2003).

EVALUATION ON HOLD: LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. didn't run or drill due to his continued rehabilitation from Lisfranc surgery.

"He's a tricky evaluation," Jeremiah maintained. "You go back to 2019, he looks like a Top 5 pick all day long. And then the last two years just hasn't quite been the same player. And then you throw an injury on top of that. A tough one to kinda slot in when you're ranking players because the ability, you know it's all there."

The NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said Stingley has received medical clearance and should be able to do everything he needs to at LSU's Pro Day on April 6.

Rapoport said Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. didn't work out due to a quad injury sustained in training.

STUDENT OF THE GAME: Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie has impressed evaluators on and off the field.

"I spoke to a defensive coordinator and he said, 'You bring McDuffie into your room, he could actually coach your secondary, too," the NFL Network's Peter Schrager reported.

No wonder McDuffie was in such demand in Indianapolis.

"He only had visits with 23 teams," Jeremiah said with obvious sarcasm. "They're doing their homework.

"I think he's gonna be a Day One nickel. I think he's gonna slot right in the slot."

Added NFL Network analyst DeAngelo Hall: "The dude is so versatile. You talk about all the different schemes that teams play, he can go to any team and find a spot in the secondary."

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN: Jeremiah appreciated the SEC presence at the Combine, which included 14 players from Georgia, 11 from Alabama, nine from LSU, nine from Texas A&M and eight from Mississippi.

"I love evaluating these players in the SEC, these corners and wideouts because every week they're playing against other NFL guys," he noted. "It's apples to apples."

Georgia's 14 players tied for the second-most at a Combine, behind the 16 LSU sent in 2020.

Alabama (2018), Michigan (2017), Ohio State (2016, 2004) and USC (2006) have also sent 14 players to a Combine.

WRONG ANSWER: Colts head coach Frank Reich visited with NFL Network host Rich Eisen and Jeremiah while the safeties were running their 40s.

Maryland's Nick Cross ran an unofficial 4.41 after posting an unofficial 4.40 on his initial attempt.

"When we interviewed him the other day I brought up that I went to Maryland," Reich said. "Of course, he didn't know that so I downgraded him.

"That was a red flag."

FAMILY TRADITION: The NFL Network caught up with Rod Woodson during safety drills and asked for a comparison between Carnell Lake, Woodson's former teammate with the Steelers, and UCLA safety Quentin Lake, Carnell's son.

"Very fluent, like his dad," Woodson said. "Long, he can cover ground as a safety. That Lake gene is in there, and he knows ball.

"It comes full circle. I played with Carnell, and then I come in and I see Quentin, I'm like, are you serious? I feel really old right now. I saw him when he was a little, bitty baby, and now he has a great opportunity here."

FOR THE BRAND: Specialists also worked out on Day Four, and San Diego State punter Matt Araiza got some air time via a replay of him launching a punt from the 23-yard line that landed in the vicinity of the 2 at the other end of the field and bounced backward.

"He is definitely a distance punter," Jeremiah assessed. "Sometimes the hang time, he's not really concerned about that. He can kick off. He can place kick. He can do a little bit of everything."

NECESSARY PERSPECTIVE: Jeremiah cautioned against reading too much into all the dazzling 40 times and other feats of athleticism for which the 2022 Combine will likely be remembered:

"You better trust what you see on the tape and use this as a supplement, not a substitute."

Related Content