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NFL Combine: Day 2 Standouts

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By: Lucas Loffredo

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Defensive backs showed up and showed out.

As the second day of the NFL Combine came to an end, many players upped their draft stock with tremendous performances in front of NFL scouts. What may not have seemed like a very important day for the New Orleans Saints earlier this offseason, now seems like possibly the most important.

On the second day of the NFL Combine, the very best tight ends and defensive backs in college football all received the opportunity to display their best first impressions prior to entering into the NFL. This became a big day for the Saints as we still do not know what the team will do with CB Marshon Lattimore and the intended release of S Marcus Maye. This almost guarantees that the team will be very interested in these position groups.

Looking through some of the strong performances, here are some players that increased their stock even more.

Quinyon Mitchell, CB Toledo

NFL Combine
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Mitchell has been a name that has been buzzing since his phenomenal performance during Senior Bowl week. The 6-foot corner out of Toledo, since then has almost solidified himself as a top-20 draft pick with an outstanding combine performance. Mitchell came out the gate on Day 2 running a blazing 4.33 40-yard dash to go along with a 38-inch vertical jump. This type of explosiveness now being on record helps his stock tremendously especially with the obvious questions coming from a smaller school. His on-field drills were also very clean as he moved fluidly throughout. Mitchell has now checked all the boxes in terms of the pre-draft process. It will be interesting to see where he ends up this April.

Dadrion Taylor-Demerson, S Texas Tech

NFL Combine
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Taylor-Demerson who was already regarded as one of the top safeties in the draft, really did himself a solid by testing through the roof on Day 2. Taylor-Demerson burst onto the scene with a 4.41 40 time which was 1st among all safeties. He would follow this up with a 38-inch vertical jump as well where he ranked 6th. Taylor-Demerson is an extremely well-rounded player doing a lot of work as a down safety and playing in the slot. He flashes a lot of closing quickness and physicality as a player, some of the traits you would ideally want in a safety. Displaying these numbers to go along with his play and production in college should easily make him an early to mid Day 2 selection.

Max Melton, CB Rutgers

NFL Combine
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

One of the players I absolutely love in this draft. I could be a little biased due to the fact that we went to the same school but since the Senior Bowl Max Melton has put on a show for NFL scouts. The projected nickel corner from Rutgers was one of the biggest standouts of his group, running 4.39 40 and jumping out of this world with a 40.5 foot vertical and an 11.4 broad (1st among CBs). Melton is a fundamentally sound player with great footwork who plays much bigger than his size (5’11, 187 lbs.). He’s incredibly instinctive and plays with a ton of aggression in run support, naturally making him a fit in the slot to start his career. Melton is definitely one to watch in the mid-rounds

These players specifically are ones that the Saints could look to have some interest in now that some of the defensive back spots are in limbo. If the Saints end up trading Marshon Lattimore this offseason, the team could very well be willing to pull the trigger on a guy like Quinyon Mitchell in the first round. Now if the Saints decide to trade Lattimore and pass on an early round corner, it will be more likely that they will look at a guy like Max Melton as an option to start in the slot as CB Alontae Taylor would likely bump outside in this case. Some intriguing options to think about.

As for safety, the Saints will now be looking everywhere to replace Marcus Maye. Jordan Howden looks like someone with a lot of potential but with Tyrann Mathieu now entering his 12th season, the team needs to get younger at that position quickly. Taylor-Demerson seems like a guy that would fit in the Marcus Maye mold with even more athleticism. Grabbing a guy like him potentially fills that void immediately. Don’t be surprised if the Saints second round pick is made at the safety position if they feel like the grade on the player is right at that spot.

Originally posted on Canal Street Chronicles – All Posts