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NFL Combine open thread: On-field workouts for defensive backs and STs

The on-field portions of the NFL Combine conclude today

After a hiatus last year due to COVID-19, today makes the final portion of the 2022 NFL Combine! Continuing today, the workouts will finish with the defensive side of the ball, with cornerbacks and safeties taking center stage to perform athletic tests and on-field skill drills. New this year is a schedule change, pushing the events to start closer to prime time. We’ll get you ready with the leading headlines for the prospects working out today.

Athletic safety risers

While the clear athletic specimens at the safety position are Kyle Hamilton (Notre Dame) and Daxton Hill (Michigan), every year there’s one or two safeties—think Jeremy Chinn and Kyle Dugger in 2020—that catapult themselves up-market to Day 2 thanks to a strong combine. The examples this year may be Jaquan Brisker (Penn State) and JT Woods (Baylor). Woods has track and field experience, while Brisker is smaller but has a chance at blowing the doors off of any drills that measure explosion.

Corners competing in the 40

This year’s combine has already been a historic one for measuring wide receiver speed, with eight players recording times under 4.40 seconds. Now it’ll be up to the cornerbacks to see if they match up. The clear winners at most of the agility and explosion drills—40-yarder, 3-cone, broad jump, etc.—should be Kyler Gordon (Washington), Tariq Woolen (UTSA) and Kalon Barnes (Baylor). Woolen especially is an athletic freak considering his size of 6’3” and 205 lbs.

Watching the box

One of the newer on-field drills at the combine has been the introduction of the ‘box drill’ for the defensive backs—which asked them flip their hips, move backwards, then forwards and then finally leap for an interception at the end. Clearly, it’s designed to measure prospects’ change of direction and ball skills. It’s the latter that will be interesting to see from the cornerbacks.

This year the schedule is a bit different, as the NFL has sought to ensure the workouts begin around prime time. The on field drills begin at 4:00 pm EST, and are televised on the NFL Network. They can also be viewed through the NFL and NFL Network apps and through, but you may need to sign into your TV provider’s account to watch.

For anyone tuned into the workouts, consider this your open thread to discuss the events.