Browns can find cornerback speed in Round 3

NFL Combine
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The All-Slow Team Special

Okay, okay. You've heard all about how important speed is. But there is always a counter-argument, and the NFL draft is much more complex than just drafting according to 40-yard dash time. So who do we have in our crosshairs who is not blazing fast but is nevertheless a top NFL prospect?

For your consideration, what about Jaylon Jones from Texas A&M University? He put up an atrocious 4.57 sec 40 yard dash time at the combine. Normally, statheads would disqualify a guy like him. But wait, Jones is a relatively big guy at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds.

The AFC North is full of big physical receivers, rather than these little bitty speedster types. Second, something is wrong with his 40-yard time. At his Pro Day, they said he ran a 4.4. Now, what does that mean? Does not Texas A&M have the capability to measure three significant figures like the rest of modern American society?

Do you guys use sundials down there instead of electronic stopwatches, or what exactly is your technical issue? Wal-Mart sells stopwatches for 10 bucks that give three significant digits. That is very disappointing. At any rate, we assume that he knocked off at least 0.58 seconds from his time if we can trust this result with such primitive reporting.

Anyway, here's what is really wrong with Jones' 40-yard dash time: he has almost no stats. That is what cornerbacks want. If corners have huge stats for tackles made, it means other teams are throwing against him all day long.

Jones played 601 snaps and they only targeted him 19 times. Pro Football Focus says that other teams took him on deep routes only nine times all year long. That's crazy for a guy who is 4.57 fast playing in the SEC.

Look, if other teams in the SEC, with all those star receivers, were afraid to throw against him, it has to mean that he can play in the NFL. He is a starter. This is a rare case when the stopwatch lies. Or, more precisely, the stopwatch can be used to diagnose a tweaked hamstring during the event.

Upon further review, Jones clocked 1.48 seconds (93rd percentile) at the 10-yard split, but somehow slowed to 4.57 seconds (22nd percentile) at the 40. The numbers suggest that he had a hamstring issue or something between yards 10 and 40 and slowed down. Thus 4.57 seconds is very unlikely to be a true indicator of his ability. Once you wrap your brain around that, the logical conclusion is that this guy is a shutdown corner. Draft him.

Purdue cornerback Cory Trice Jr. is projected on many boards to be a sixth or seventh-round pick. However, he is 6-foot-3 and 206 pounds and scored well in agility drills at the combine. We like the big guys who can run fast and maintain traction in the snow in December and January in the snow. He may get bumped up to the fourth round or so after his Combine performance.

Another kid to watch is Darrell Luter from South Alabama. They say he is a seventh round pick with 4.47 speed. He comes from a small school, which means he never played against top receivers, and he will be 23 years old this month, so happy birthday, but he is an old man in terms of the draft.

However, he has a 41-inch vertical and he has 10 and three-eighths-inch, hands. Good grief. Those are traits that cannot be taught. Let's not even give him a position this season. Work him out a little at special teams, extra DB and wide receiver, and see what the coaches think is his real position. Next year is soon enough to let him contend for a full-time job.

There are starting players available in Round 3 and Round 4 at this position this year. The Browns should draft at least one, and perhaps two or three.

Next. Browns draft target: RB Roschon Johnson. dark