The final day of the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine is here, and that means the cornerbacks and safeties will be on the field. These are some of the most athletic players in the draft, so all the drills should be fun to watch.
As it so happens, the Giants could find themselves in need of a safety and a corner in April's draft.
Players To Watch
William Jackson III (CB, Houston) -- Jackson has been an "under the radar" player so far in the draft process, and an injury kept him out of the Senior Bowl. However, he is a very good cover corner. A strong showing today could put him back on the map and raise his stock in the eyes of NFL teams.
Eli Apple (CB, Ohio State) -- Apple is another corner who isn't quite getting the recognition he probably should. On tape, he looks to be an athletic, aggressive, press corner, so proving in field drills that he can locate the football and play it in the air will help to boost his stock.
Darian Thompson (FS, Boise State) -- Thompson stood out at the Senior Bowl and has pretty well entrenched himself as the No. 2 safety behind Jalen Ramsey (assuming you see Ramsey as a safety). If he can show off his athleticism, it could boost his stock solidly into the first round.
Jalen Mills (DB, LSU) - Mills has played both corner and safety for LSU. The positional drills at the combine should help teams decide which is the best position for him at the next level. Perhaps ideally, he could be a free safety who is able to come down into coverage as a nickel corner.
Vonn Bell (S, Ohio State) -- Bell looks more like a strong safety on tape, but how he moves at the combine could play a role in how teams view him at the next level. If he shows the range and fluidity to drop in into coverage, it should boost his stock.
All of the on-field and positional drills are important for the defensive backs (well, except perhaps for the bench press). Of the positional drills, pay attention to the drills that force the prospects to backpedal, open their hips, and either break or transition to a run. These drills show which prospects have the fluid hips and quick feet to excel in coverage at the next level.
Also, pay attention to the "W Drill." This drill exposes a prospects hips and feet. The best coverage players will be able to "click step", or transition from a backpedal to a forward run without planting one foot perpendicular to their direction of travel. The "click step" requires very quick and controlled feet to execute correctly. The "T-Step" is functional, but the feet needed to "click step" are part of what sets elite DB's apart.