Elite speed won't hurt these prospects

February, 21, 2012
2/21/12
4:30
PM ET
As Steve Muench points out in his piece about the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, Insider teams should look at Browns cornerback Joe Haden on how much weight to give it.

Haden ran in the 4.6-second range at the 2010 combine, which might have caused him to drop on some draft boards. But the Browns selected him seventh overall and they aren't regretting it. Haden is among the best young cornerbacks in the NFL.

Muench looks at five prospects who won't run top 40-yard dash times at this week's combine and why that won't hurt their stock on draft day. Here are two prospects who could be on the Bengals' radar:

Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama: His above-average man-to-man skills could land him in the middle of the first round, where the Bengals have two picks and are looking for an eventual replacement to Nate Clements. The interviews at the combine could carry more weight than his 40 time. Jenkins was arrested twice for marijuana possession last year. The Bengals, who have had their share of players in legal trouble, would have to look past Jenkins' issues. Jenkins is challenging Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick as the second-best corner in this draft.

Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple: Pierce's power and determination would make him a strong candidate to replace Cedric Benson, who is an unrestricted free agent. Pierce, who is 6 feet, 218 pounds, is forgoing his senior year after scoring 27 touchdowns last season. "I've been working really hard these past several weeks to improve myself and really show the scouts just what I can do," Pierce told the Philadelphia Daily News. "I believe that my stock can only change for the better."

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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