Good morning and ROOOAAARRR!!!!!
The NFL combine has officially concluded and the entire NFL world gets a year break from descending on Indianapolis -- unless their team plays the Colts in 2014. So as the focus for teams transitions from scouting rookies to evaluating and planning for the March 11 start of free agency, here's a quick look at how the last group of players did during their combine workouts.
For the Detroit Lions, this is of massive importance since they will be looking for both cornerbacks and safeties during free agency and the draft as they try to upgrade the back end of their defense. This has been a consistent issue for them throughout most of the last decade, something that has not been solved no matter who has been drafted or signed.
Here are some key numbers from this year's rookie class (all from NFL.com).
40-yard dash: Top performer: Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State) 4.37 seconds. Others of note: Bradley Roby (Ohio State) 4.39; Jaylen Watkins (Florida) 4.41; Kyle Fuller (Virginia Tech) 4.49; Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State) 4.51; Keith McGill (Utah) 4.51; Lamarcus Joyner (Florida State) 4.55; Loucheiz Purifoy (Florida) 4.61; Marcus Roberson (Florida) 4.61
Vertical jump: Top performer: Stanley Jean-Baptiste (Nebraska) 41.5 inches. Others of note: McGill 39.0; Roby 38.5; Fuller 38.5; Joyner 37.5; Roberson 37.5; Purifoy 35.5; Gilbert 35.5.
Broad jump: Top performer: Pierre Desir (Lindenwood) 11-feet, 1-inch. Others of note: McGill 10-9; Fuller 10-8; Gilbert 10-6; Joyner 10-4; Roby 10-4.
3-cone drill: Top performer: Daniel Sorensen (BYU) 6.47 seconds. Others of note: Roberson 6.84; Fuller 6.90; Gilbert 6.92.
20-yard shuttle: Top performer: Sorensen 3.95. Others of note: Roby 4.04; Roberson 4.08; Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Alabama) 4.16; McGill 4.18; Fuller 4.19.
60-yard shuttle: Top performer: Sorensen 10.80. Others of note: Clinton-Dix 11.63.
And now, a look around the Interwebs in search of Lions news:
Yesterday's Meet the Free Agent was linebacker Rocky McIntosh.
The Lions could bring a fullback back into the offense, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. My two sentences: Lions head coach Jim Caldwell has always had a fullback of sorts, be it in Baltimore or Indianapolis. Montell Owens could be the in-house player in that role.
MLive has a list of some players who the Lions interviewed at the combine. Another name I can add to that list is Notre Dame tight end Troy Niklas. UCLA wide receiver Shaq Evans said he met with Detroit at an all-star game.