Alabama cornerback DeMarcus Milliner is the top defensive back prospect for the 2013 NFL Draft. He measured up with good size at 6-foot, 201 pounds. That's an inch shorter and 20 pounds heavier than his listed numbers from Alabama. Still, Milliner has just about ideal size to be an NFL man corner. He will participate in all the drills at the Combine except the bench press. Milliner is due for shoulder surgery in a few weeks for an injury that occurred last season. It shouldn't impact his draft stock. Morris Claiborne had wrist surgery around the same time a year ago.
Texas' Kenny Vaccaro is the top safety in the draft. The 6-foot, 214-pounder was an inch shorter than his listing, but his weight was the same. Physically, Vaccaro passes the eyeball test, and he should perform well at the Combine.
The medical exam for Mississippi State cornerback Johnthan Banks was very important since he was slowed down late in the season with a knee injury that also cost him the Senior Bowl. Banks checked in at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds; his exact measurements from the Bulldogs. He also had the second longest arms of any defensive back at 33.78 inches. If Banks has a good Combine, he could secure himself as the second-rated cornerback.
Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes (6-2, 210) will appeal to teams that are looking to copy the Seahawks' approach of big, physical cornerbacks. Rhodes is five pounds lighter than his listed weight, but the exact height. Another good attribute for him is his length. He has the third-longest arms (33.68) of any defensive back at the Combine. If Rhodes runs well in the 40 and looks smooth in the field drills, he could get consideration late in the first round.
USC cornerback Nickell Robey made a questionable decision to enter the draft early, but considering how small he is, it may not matter if had stayed for his senior season. Robey measured in at only 5-foot-7 and 169 pounds. There are few corners in the NFL who stick at 5-foot-8 - much less any shorter. Robey's lack of height and weight will get him pushed around by pro receivers. He is so small that he may not be draftable.
The big questions for LSU's Tyrann Mathieu are off the field with legal problems, drug issues and the fact that he was kicked off his collegiate team. He was a great player in college, but his primary on-the-field flaw was that he was very undersized. Mathieu (5-9, 185) helped himself by weighing 10 pounds more than what LSU had listed him. The interviews with teams will be Mathieu's most important aspect of the Combine.
Florida's Matt Elam is the second-rated safety available in the 2013 NFL Draft. He came in as billed by the Gators. Elam (5-10, 208) was the exact height and three pounds heavier. He was a fast and physical player in college, so it will be interesting to see if he shows power and speed in the Combine events.
A cornerback who needs a good Combine is N.C. State's David Amerson. He had a phenomenal sophomore season in 2011, but disappointed as a junior. Amerson (6-1, 205) was two inches shorter and 10 pounds heavier than his listed numbers. That isn't a real problem and might be a good thing. Amerson needs to show that he has the speed and flexibility to turn and run with receivers in the NFL. Larger corners typically struggle with that. Amerson has a lot on the line in Indianapolis.
Rutgers cornerback Logan Ryan (5-11, 191) was an inch shorter than Rutgers' data, but his weight exactly matched his listing. He has experience as a man corner with some ball skills. It is common for some second-day cornerbacks to enjoy a late rise in the draft process. Stephon Gilmore was the corner who benefitted from that last year. Ryan could be a candidate for that benefit if he has a big Combine performance.
@Steeler Fan 3:16 OLB is a need, but it shouldn't be... Dupree looks like he's on his way to join Jarvis Jones in Bustville. I would like them to get a good edge rusher, but i'm not trusting their scouting Department or GM Colbert at this time. Steelers drafting OLB's these days are like the Browns drafting QB's...
@Big Al Sadly, before the Steelers draft an OLB, they need to overhaul the scouting department, because they haven't had anyone good that doesn't wear #92 over the last several years, and that was due to very bad drafting. Might be worth taking an under-hyped mid-rounder there.. as for their #1 pick, i'd like to see what they do with that former Temple guy before using a #1 on another ILB. as for QB, the last vet they brought in was QBDK. There's just not that much out there, so drafting one would make sense, unless we want another year of Landry Jones! ARGH!!!!!!!!