Fast times for DBs Dee Milliner, Matt Elam and Tyrann Mathieu

It was a cluster of fast times this morning at the NFL scouting combine with the defensive backs hiting the field.

Some of the times at Lucas Oil Stadium were even faster than anticipated, especially Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner.


Millliner clocked a 4.31 and a 4.37 in the 40-yard dash, an impressive performance for a 6-foot, 200-pounder.

This may cement his top-10 draft status as the consensus top cornerback in the draft, even though Milliner dropped passes during his drills where he showed good footwork.

Milliner has upcoming shoulder surgery, but is still expected to go as high as the Detroit Lions' fifth overall pick of the first round.

Meanwhile, Florida safety Matt Elam, who met with the Super Bowl champion Ravens, ran a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash. For such a hard-hitting prospect to run well, that should provide a boost to his already healthy draft stock.

Elam also has looked sharp in the position-specific and agility drills.

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock compared Elam to San Francisco 49ers Pro Bowl safety Donte Whitner. Elam bench pressed 225 pounds a respectable 17 times.

Trouble-prone former LSU cornerback Tyrann "Honey Badger" Mathieu ran a 4.43 in the 40-yard dash and also displayed good hands and change-of-direction skills in workouts.

Mathieu consistently drew praise from Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders, who was on the field for the drills.

"I think I did good," Mathieu told NFL Network. "I came into today extremely confident. I knew all along I was a natural athlete. Everything came easy today."

As for his lack of size, Mathieu expressed confidence, saying: "I feel like if I was to check somebody like Calvin Johnson he would make his plays, but I would make mine, too. He would catch his five passes, but I would get my two turnovers."

Mathieu has to prove to NFL teams that he can be trusted given his off-field problems. He was kicked out of LSU for repeatedly flunking drug tests. He was arrested Oct 26 for possession of marijuana.

Following his podium interview session, Mathieu told The Baltimore Sun that his case remains pending in Louisiana, and he's optimistic that it will eventually be thrown out.

Mathieu's worst moment at the combine was when he bench pressed 225 pounds just four times, suggesting that he hasn't been hitting the weight room enough.

One disappointing time: Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks ran a 4.59, extremely slow for a cornerback.


Banks didn't get off to a quick start and then appeared to run stiffly throughout his sprint.

LSU safety Eric Reid did 18 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press, but that was topped by Syracuse's Shamarko Thomas. He bench pressed 225 pounds 28 times.


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