What did we learn on Day 4 of the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine?


The defensive backs showed their skills on the final day of the event.

We’ve finally arrived at Day 4 of the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.

The first three days were fantastic. We got to see Kenny Pickett, Malik Willis and other quarterback prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft on the field Thursday before seeing potential No. 1 overall pick Ikem Ekwonu and the rest of the linemen. participating offenses on Friday.

On Saturday, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Aidan Hutchinson and other highly talented rushers (as well as defensive linemen and linebackers) looked to impress scouts.

But to close out the event, the defensive backs headed to the gridiron at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday. Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton, Cincinnati corner Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner and various other prospects completed on-court drills to wrap up the combine.

What happened on the last day of this annual event?

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Alright, I’ll just start by saying that I’m becoming a huge fan of Tariq Woolen.

The UTSA cornerback (it’s the University of Texas at San Antonio, if you weren’t aware) sports a massive height at 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds. Not to mention that the guy can move. Woolen ran the second-fastest 40-yard sprint of the cornerback group at the combine, clocking 4.26 seconds.

Woolen could be a third rounder, but expect his stock to rise. There are a number of needy teams in this league, and depth of the defensive field is extremely crucial.

Baylor’s Kalon Barnes also had a fantastic day at the combine, clocking 4.23 seconds for the 40-yard dash (the fastest of any participating cornerback).

One of the biggest names in the cornerback class is Cincinnati’s Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. The Bearcat could be what Jaycee Horn was in last year’s draft, and he’s someone who’s quickly rising up the draft boards.

People expected Horn to be a late first-rounder last year before he was eventually the No. 8 overall pick and the first cornerback taken. Gardner, right now, might be off the board midway through the first round, but believe me: Sauce will be a top-12 pick, pushing for the top-10.

That said, Gardner ran a 4.41 dash for 40 yards. He also showed tremendous footwork, hip movement and kept a low center of gravity on the coaster line exercise. He deflected the pass at its highest point during the drill, a valuable skill for NFL defensive backs.

Another interesting name is Arizona State’s Jack Jones – the cornerback showcased his ball skills on the glove drill, showing off his wide catching radius.


The top safety in this draft class, Kyle Hamilton of Notre Dame, participated in field practices Sunday and ran a 4.59 sprint for 40 yards.

Hamilton also described his formidable ball skills during practice on the pitch. He has recorded eight interceptions and 16 pass breakups in 31 career games for the Fighting Irish.

Kyle could definitely be a top-five pick in the next draft, perhaps to the New York Jets who need safety at No. 4 overall.

The safeties’ fastest 40-yard rush time was 4.36 seconds, courtesy of Baylor’s JT Woods.

I was impressed with Illinois safety Kerby Joseph, who showed quick hip movement on his turns during the line drill. Joseph could be a Day 2 pick in the next draft

Verone McKinley of Oregon showed off her good ball skills on the line drill, jumping to catch the ball at its highest point. Perhaps McKinley’s stock will rise in the coming weeks? It is currently planned to be a third round, but the actions are obviously fluid.

And finally, can we admire how well Percy Butler of UL Lafayette performed this exercise in the video below?

Until catching the ball at its highest point…

Butler was a physical safety for the Ragin’ Cajuns, totaling 60 combined tackles (6.0 tackles for loss) in 13 games during the 2021 season.

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The Jets should therefore be fully on Kyle Hamilton.

Marcus Maye’s future is uncertain given his expiring contract and his Achilles tear in 2021 (which caused him to miss the final nine games of the season).

The Jets employed one of the worst secondaries in the league last year and should improve the area throughout the draft – Hamilton would be a perfect choice at No. 4 and I think he will be available due to the need for offensive tackles and rushers. among the first three choices.

However, Gang Green could also go for a corner in the first round (they own the No. 4 and 10 picks overall, but don’t feel like they’ll be using both on defensive backs). Maybe Sauce Gardner at No. 10 after taking an edge rusher at No. 4? Maybe selecting LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. (who didn’t work at the combine) is the way to go with the fourth overall pick?

Either way, the Jets need some serious help in the deep end of the field. They allowed 259.4 passing yards per game last season (30th in the NFL).

The Giants are apparently safe with Logan Ryan and Xavier McKinney, one of the best young safeties in the NFL. However, the cornerback spot could be a position to tackle in the second or third round.

James Bradberry could be a trade piece this offseason. I’m not saying whoever the Giants could draft could replace Bradberry (I’d expect Aaron Robinson and Adoree’ Jackson to carry the load from there), but depth here is obviously important.

Maybe the Giants could target Florida’s Kaiir Elam in the second round? Or someone like Tariq Woolen in third (if he doesn’t climb to second)?

This is a deep cornerback class – Big Blue will have options.

Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY

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