The second day of workouts for the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine took place on Friday.
With cornerbacks and safeties going on Day 2 in Indianapolis, the depth of this year’s secondary group truly got to shine. The cornerbacks in particular looked very good, making it difficult to narrow it down to what will already be a length group of “winners” at the position.
Here are some of the top performers at defensive back from the 2023 Combine.
Note: All Relative Athletic Score (RAS) measurements come from Kent Lee Platte. He has been doing incredible work during the Combine these last few years.
- Christian Gonzalez, Oregon
Not only did Gonzalez come away from Friday with a 9.95 RAS — not too shabby — he also looked the best in positional drills. His footwork was quick, his hips were incredibly fluid and smooth, and his speed showed up in spades. His size, speed and explosiveness all graded out as having elite measurements.
- DJ Turner, Michigan
As the first player to run in the 4.2s in this class at 4.26, Turner has the best 40-yard dash time in the 2023 draft through the first two days of workouts. He exploded off the ball with a position-best 1.47 10-yard split, as well. He’s a bit light in the pants but brings tremendous athleticism to the cornerback position.
- Deonte Banks, Maryland
In addition to Maryland teammate Jakorian Bennett, Banks also performed quite well in Indianpolis on Friday. He ran with a 4.35 30-yard dash and led all cornerbacks with a 42-inch vertical jump, and his footwork and mobility in positional drills were both very impressive. Speed was a big calling-card of his in college, so it’s encouraging to see his testing live up to his tape.
- Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State
Though it was concerning when Forbes weighed in at 166 pounds, but the rest of his Friday was fantastic. He looked very fluid moving around in drills, he tied for third at the cornerback position with a 4.35 40-yard dash, and he ran a 1.48 10-yard split that tied for the second-best among his peers.
- Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU
Hodges-Tomlinson was one of the best on-field performers in positional workouts, and he tested quite well with a 4.41 40-yard dash, a 39-inch vertical and an 11-foot broad jump. His size will hold him back at the next level, but he’ll be a quality slot corner because of his mobility, ball skills and football IQ.
- Clark Phillips III, Utah
Phillips didn’t dominate from a testing perspective, as his speed testing was just decent, and his measurements were predictably below-average. That said, he looked incredibly smooth and fluid in positional drills, matching the level of mobility he displayed at the collegiate level.
- Darius Rush, South Carolina
Rush was solid in his workouts and great in his athletic testing. Prior to the addition of agility drills, the RAS score has him in the 96th percentile from a testing perspective at the cornerback position. Many expected him to be a top tester in the 40-yard dash after being the fastest-timed player at the Senior Bowl, and at 4.37, he did exactly that.
- Julius Brents, Kansas State
Brents didn’t necessarily stand out in terms of his workouts or his 40-yard dash, but the 6-foot-3, 198-pounder finished first among cornerbacks in the broad jump at 11-foot-6 and was second with a 41.5-inch vertical. His combination of size, length and explosiveness will prove enticing to NFL teams.
- Kelee Ringo, Georgia
Ringo had some intriguing flashes of fluidity and body control in positional drills, and he ran a 4.36 40-yard dash as a bigger cornerback at 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds. Even if he didn’t have a great vertical jump, he confirmed the combination of size, length and athleticism that could see him sneak into Round 1, even with inconsistent tape.
- Daniel Scott, California
Scott ran a 4.45 40-yard dash, placing second among all safeties. Every drill he took part in resulted in a well above-average number, and he starred in positional drills, where his trademark range and long speed showed up in spades.
- Jason Taylor II, Oklahoma State
I really like Taylor’s tape at Oklahoma State, and his large hands and long arms give him some additional value to his fluidity he displayed in coverage. That reflected to on-field workouts, where his hips looked lose and his feet quick. He also ran a solid 4.50 40-yard dash with a 43-inch vertical and a 10-foot-9 broad jump; the run finished fifth among safeties, and his jumps second and third, respectively.
- Sydney Brown, Illinois
A five-year starter at the collegiate level, Brown came into Indianapolis as one of the top safeties in the 2023 draft, and he solidified that with his play on Friday. His 40-yard dash time of 4.48 placed fourth among safeties, and he was top-three at his position in all of the 10-yard split and both the vertical and broad jumps.
- Jartavius Martin, Illinois
Martin has safety-cornerback versatility and plenty of athletic ability, and he moved more like a cornerback in his workouts. He also led all safeties with both a 44-inch vertical and an 11-foot-1 broad jump. Through the first two days of testing, he has the highest vertical of any players at the Combine.
- Brandon Hill, Pittsburgh
Size is an issue with the 5-foot-10 Hill, but his athleticism helped make him one of the best performers at the Combine. He led all safeties with a 4.44 40-yard dash, and he placed second at his position with a 1.50 10-yard split. Fluidity in large spaces and sharpness in condensed spaces are strengths of his game, and they helped make him a top performer at the Combine.