Terrence Brooks, Florida St (5’11, 198) - Ran the best 40-time among safeties and locked up a 2nd round grade. A little smaller than ideal, but has great range in coverage, is a big hitter in the run game, and is a great special teams player as well. The Bears met with Brooks at the Senior Bowl, so there is some interest there as a potential 2nd round pick.
Marqueston Huff, Wyoming (5’11, 196) – Great athlete who ran a 4.49 40 and was in the top 5 in vertical leap, bench reps, and the 20-yard shuttle. Huff didn’t play against top competition at Wyoming, but proved today that he has NFL athleticism which should get him drafted in the middle rounds as a free safety and special teams ace.
Deone Bucannon, Washington St (6’1, 211) - Continues to move up draft boards with an excellent 4.49 40-time, 19 bench reps, and smooth hips in the position drills. After a strong Senior Bowl and combine, I think he’s a lock for the 2nd round. He’s on my short list for the Bears round 2 pick.
Jonathon Dowling, Western Kentucky (6’3, 190) - Big kid who has some off-field red flags, but answered any remaining on-field questions today. A 4.52 40-time at his height is pretty darn good. Dowling finished in the top half in all of the workout drills and showed good enough fluidity and change of direction in the position drills. Depending on how teams feel about his “coachability”, Dowling could go anywhere from the 3rd-6th round. He’s a top 10 free safety on my list.
Ha Ha Clinton Dix (4.58 – ALA), Calvin Pryor (4.58 – LOU), and Ed Reynolds (4.57 – STAN) all ran fast enough and performed well enough in the drills to maintain their rankings as the top three free safeties on most draft boards.
Kenny Ladler, Vanderbilt (6’0, 207) – Ladler was good in the positional drills and on the bench (24 reps), but 4.7 is a pretty slow 40-time for a free safety. He’s a good football player but his 40-time might hurt his draft stock a little.
Ahmad Dixon, Baylor (6’0, 212) – It’s been a bad off-season for Dixon. He struggled in coverage at the Senior Bowl and then failed to show NFL athleticism at the combine. Dixon ran a 4.64, had the lowest vertical, worst broad jump, worst time in the 3-cone drill, and worst time in the 60-yard shuttle. In my mock draft I thought I had him going too low (Cowboys in the 4th round), but I think he might drop even farther than that now.
Nat Berhe, San Diego St (5’10, 193) – On the late round bubble coming into the combine. Berhe ran the slowest 40 of all the safeties and didn’t stand out enough in other workouts or the position drills to make up for it.