The 2022 NFL Scouting Combine came to an end Sunday with the defensive backs and special teams on the field. Attention turns to NFL visits and pro days as the 2022 NFL Draft quickly approaches.
Here are some of our takeaways from Sunday’s action:
Cornerback 40-yard dashes turn into a track meet
Baylor’s Kalon Barnes (4.23 seconds) and Texas-San Antonio’s Tariq Woolen (4.26 seconds) ran the two fastest times ever by a defensive back at the combine. Barnes ‘time was the second fastest of any position behind John Ross’ 4.21 seconds 40-yard dash. Woolen also had a 42 inch vertical jump, which led all defensive backs.
For a closer look at Barnes’ day as well as the fastest 40 time at every combine, click here.
Stingley’s absence may have opened the door
With LSU’s Derek Stingley Jr. opting not to perform, it offered an opportunity for others to assert their claim as the top cornerback eligible for the 2022 NFL Draft. Washington’s Trent McDuffie looked fluid during on-field drills. Cincinnati’s Ahmad Gardner had his 40-yard dash time adjusted to 4.41 seconds officially, which is fantastic for a prospect who measured in at 6-foot-3.
Gardner and McDuffie are often the two prospects mentioned as being in the same stratosphere as Stingley. Stingley’s absence may have opened the door for some change in the pecking order.
Cine, other safeties respond to criticism in a big way
Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton has been regarded as the top safety in the class, but there were concerns about the talent that would be available at that position beyond him. A few prospects responded to that criticism in a big way. Georgia safety Lewis Cine tested off the charts with a 4.38 seconds 40-yard dash, 36.5 inch vertical jump and 11-foot-1-inch broad jump. Michigan’s Daxton Hill ran a 4.43 seconds 40-yard dash as well. A former 5-star recruit, Hill adds depth to the top end of this safety class.
Penn State’s Jaquan Brisker performed admirably as well. Odds are good that one of those three players will be the second safety off the board.
Special teams hold their own in athletic testing
San Diego State punter / kicker Matt Araiza is regarded as a versatile and dynamic prospect. He certainly showed how strong his leg is at the combine.
Three players – Georgia punter Jake Camarda, Penn State punter Jordan Stout and Araiza – ran under a 4.70 seconds 40-yard dash. Camarda led the pack at 4.56 seconds.