INDIANAPOLIS -- As the on-field workouts continued Monday at the NFL's scouting combine, some players who will be of interest to the Denver Broncos were on display.
Monday the defensive backs closed things out on the combine’s final day.
The Broncos will be in the market for a safety, especially if Rahim Moore exits in free agency, but they face some potentially difficult decisions on this draft board. Overall, safety is considered by some in the league as potentially the thinnest position group in the draft, especially in terms of players who are expected to walk in and contribute immediately. Alabama’s Landon Collins re-affirmed his position as the top safety in the draft for many teams with his workout Monday. Collins’ size (6-foot, 228 pounds) and speed (an official clocking of 4.53 in the 40-yard dash) mean he will be long gone by the time the Broncos pick at No. 28 overall. That means the Broncos will likely move down the board, into the second and third days of the draft, where they will try to find value at a thin position.
Certainly a player like Virginia Tech's Kyshoen Jarrett makes sense. The Broncos have done plenty of due diligence on Jarrett, and he also fits kind of the hybrid mold the team has tried to find as they search for players who are willing tacklers in the run game, but possess cover skills closer to that of a cornerback. Jarrett, who measured in at 5-9 7/8 and a solid 200 pounds at the combine, was officially clocked at 4.57 in the 40 on Monday. The Broncos have used players built more like cornerbacks at safety in recent seasons, including Omar Bolden, who was drafted by the team as a cornerback and now plays safety.
Another player who fits that profile who the Broncos will have to wait until March 31 to see work out fully, is Connecticut’s Byron Jones. He did not do all of the drills at the combine Monday because he had shoulder surgery this past season to repair a torn labrum, but what he did do certainly got everyone’s attention. Jones' 12-3 broad jump is believed to be a combine record, and his vertical leap of 44 ½ inches was also an attention-grabber. Jones was actually a safety for the Huskies before he was moved to cornerback in 2013, and at 6-1, 199 pounds, he too, fits the job description for a coverage safety/cornerback the Broncos will seek in their new defensive scheme. Jones had two interceptions in seven games this past season, to go with 24 tackles, including a seven-tackle game against Tulane. Jones started 12 games at safety in 2012 before starting the 19 games of his career at cornerback in the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
With Chris Harris Jr., Aqib Talib, Bradley Roby, and Kayvon Webster all under contract for the coming season, cornerback is not necessarily a need position for the Broncos. But there are some bigger cornerbacks who could be worth a second-day look in the draft, like Miami's Quinten Rollins, who was officially timed at 4.57 in the 40 at 195 pounds, and Roby’s former teammate at Ohio State Doran Grant. At 200 pounds, Grant showed plenty of speed Monday, with an official 4.44 showing in the 40. Grant’s size-speed combination to go with good reports of his practice habits will push him up the board by the time the draft rolls around.