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Combine Preview: Defensive Backs

NFL Network's Mike Mayock is partial towards the defensive back drills at the Scouting Combine. The Philly native was a 10th-round pick of the Steelers in the 1981 draft to play safety. He spent two years in the league playing for the Giants from 1982-83.

Mayock's favorite drill to test the defensive backs at the Combine is the speed turn drill.

"I love to watch this drill because I think it exposes defensive backs that can't locate the football and then can't catch the football," Mayock said. "One of my pet peeves about defensive backs in the National Football League is that our ball skills are getting worse and worse. And it's getting tougher and tougher because quarterbacks and wide receivers are doing all the back shoulder and under throws and it makes it hard to locate the football, let alone catch it."

The defensive back lines up at the numbers while a coach, who plays the role of quarterback, stands in the opposite direction in the middle of the field. The coach will signal for the defensive back to start in a back pedal for about 5 to 10 yards. The coach will then motion for the defensive back to come back towards the ball, as if a slant or short route is being thrown. Then, the coach will point the ball in a direction for the defensive back to turn and chase as if the receiver is running a double move. With the defensive back running away from the coach, the ball is thrown and the defensive back must turn, locate and pick off the pass.

"Are you like a wide receiver or are you playing defense because you can't possibly catch a football?" Mayock asked.

The defensive back drills will take place on Tuesday to conclude the workouts from Lucas Oil Stadium. Bo Wulf will provide a preview of which DBs to watch later today and Tony Pauline will check in later this evening with a recap of today's defensive line and linebacker drills.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 12:12 p.m., March 1

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