First-round clock could go four corners

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on February 28, 2012 – 4:02 pm

As the smoke cleared from the NFL Scouting Combine’s final workout Tuesday, the Bengals may have two more cornerbacks added to their list of players for consideration at No. 17 or 21.

Central Florida’s Josh Robinson, projected early in the process as a third-rounder by some, lit up his 40-yard dash time in Indianapolis with 4.33 seconds and South Carolina’s Stephon Gilmore ran 4.40 in a bid to break out of his late-first, early-second box. But Nebraska’s Alfonzo Dennard didn’t help himself with a 4.55.

LSU’s Morris Claiborne (4.50) and Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick (4.51) solidified themselves as the draft’s two top corners that probably won’t be there when the Bengals pick. But one AFC scout says the times offered by Robinson and Gilmore now give the league four possible first-round corners.

The knocks on the 5-10, 195-pound Robinson are that he’s got a small frame and didn’t go against a lot of big-time competition at Central Florida. But the pluses are he played well against Bengals Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green as a sophomore and he can also return punts.

“I think he gets another look now,” the scout said. “Now you have to go back and look at his game tape and look at him at his pro day. And Gilmore helped himself in a big way. It’s the same thing. This will get them more scrutiny. Gilmore has got really good size.”

Good enough at 6-0, 190 pounds that Gilmore is being talked about eventually moving to safety, but the fast 40 time figures to keep his first-round corner hopes alive. North Alabama’s Janoris Jenkins looks to be in his own class. Tuesday’s 4.46 reaffirmed his physical gifts, but his off-field problems could take him out of first-round consideration.

“Jenkins is the classic gamble,” the scout said. “High risk, high reward.”

Alabama’s Mark Barron didn’t run Tuesday, but he’s the lock No. 1 safety. Notre Dame’s Harrison Smith tore off a 4.57 and the scout says, “That will put him in the discussion in the first round.” But in all probability he won’t grade high enough for the Bengals to take a safety that’s not Barron in the first round.

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