Everyone goes into the scouting combine expecting big things from big names. But over 300 candidates want their chance. Not all hall of famers were drafted number one overall. So how does the evaluation process take place?
Coaches sit at the scouting combine with their coffee and stopwatches waiting to see something special. Some sit on the edge of their seat. Some fall asleep in their chair. And sometimes, an unknown wakes them all up. Watch out for these Scouting Combine sleepers.
Jason Verrett looks the ball in at the Combine.
- Jason Verrett
Standing 5’10 and 176 lbs, Verrett is undersized but plays bigger than he looks. He clocked a 4.38 second 40 which was second fastest by all defensive backs and fifth best throughout the entire Combine. Verrett also ranked in the top five among all cornerbacks with a 4.00 short shuttle and 6.69 cone drill. The eye in the sky doesn’t lie. His drills in Indy showed you can’t teach speed.
Verrett stood out from other defensive backs with his fluid hips, a smooth backpedal, and ability to square his frame to easily change direction. His flexible footwork on short and deep routes will allow him to cover zone and man. Despite not being as tall as a prototypical corner, Verrett can sky for the ball at its highest point. His 39 inch vertical says so. And he has great ball skills catching with his hands not letting it come into his body. Verrett’s greatest strength is his physicality. Most cornerbacks are afraid to tackle. Verrett is one of those rare corners looking forward to making a hit, reminding me of future Hall of Famer Ronde Barber. Like Ronde, Verrett’s specialty in the NFL might be the slot position.
Verrett stood out at the combine drills not only with impressive scores, but with a certain look in his eye. Immediately after the 40 yard dash, arguably the greatest cornerback ever, NFL Network’s Deion Sanders, interviewed Verrett. Deion asked about his performance and feelings on the next position drill. Verrett replied with a stone cold face, “That’s where you make your money”. Enamored, “Primetime” gave Verrett a high five as if automatically approving of his skills.
The short Q and A is a testament to Verrett’s focus. Most rookies would be star-struck being interviewed by Deion Sanders. That kind of confidence equals mental toughness. At 23 years old, he possesses the maturity and hunger to be one of the best in the game. Verrett has talent and drive making him a “Fort Knox” steal this upcoming draft. Remember the name, Jason Verrett.
Check out another Scouting Combine sleeper on the offensive side, Greg Robinson.