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Pauline: Defensive Backs Stand Out

Posted Feb 27, 2013

The book is closed on the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine as the defensive backs completed the final workout of the week on Tuesday. Many of the big-name stars lived up to their billing while several sleeper prospects stated their case to be early-round draft picks. Here are the standout performers from Tuesday's defensive back workout.

DeMarcus Milliner/Alabama: The draft's top cornerback opened his workout with a forty time of 4.37 seconds then carried that athleticism into the position drills. Coaches applauded Milliner throughout his workout and he leaves the Combine having secured a top-10 selection.

Desmond Trufant/Washington: Trufant entered the combine as a potential first-round pick after his outstanding Senior Bowl performance. Tuesday, he cemented his position in the top 32 with a terrific all-around workout. His forty time of 4.38 seconds ranked as a top-five mark. Then, during drills, Trufant displayed NFL-caliber footwork, hip movement and ball skills.

Daruis Slay/Mississippi State: Slay has been building a buzz in the scouting community the past three months and Tuesday he showed why the league is excited about his potential. Slay posted a swift 4.36 seconds in the forty then later completed all his drills with balance, speed and efficiency.

Jamar Taylor/Boise State: Add Taylor's name to the list of defensive backs being openly praised by NFL decision makers. Flawless would be the best way to describe his performance during position drills. Taylor will quickly come off the board when day two of the draft begins in April.

Matt Elam/Florida: Elam, a safety by trade, showed next level cornerback skills during his workout. He looked swift and fluid in all the position drills, showing footwork and hip movement that paralleled many of the better cornerbacks. Elam's workout was reassurance for any team considering him in round one.

Earl Wolff/North Carolina State: Wolff stated his case for being listed along with the better safeties in the draft after his sensational combine workout. His 40-yard dash time of 4.44 seconds, vertical jump of 39 inches and broad jump of 11 feet, 2 inches all graded as top-five marks at the position. He's a complete safety who can defend the run or cover the pass and is likely worth a third-round pick.

Dwayne Gratz/Connecticut: Gratz played second fiddle to teammate Blidi Wreh-Wilson for much of his UConn career but he stepped into the spotlight Tuesday. He displayed terrific ball skills during drills and his forty time of 4.47 seconds also impressed scouts.

Brandon McGee/Miami-Fl: McGee exceeded expectations in every way on Tuesday. His 40-yard dash time of 4.40 was faster than scouts thought possible and he looked the part during drills.

Jordan Poyer/Oregon State: Poyer's defensive skills were highly rated by scouts yet his speed entering the combine was a big concern. Poyer timed 4.54 seconds in the forty; not blazing yet, at the same time, a result which will not raise red flags.

Micah Hyde/Iowa: Hyde quietly turned in a solid combine workout. His backpedal was smooth and Hyde effortlessly transitioned from moving in reverse to running straight ahead.

You can follow Tony on Twitter @TonyPauline.

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