Pauline: Temple's Rock Ya-Sin flashes on final day of Combine

INDIANAPOLIS – The 2019 NFL Scouting Combine is in the books as the final day of testing is now complete. The defensive backs took the field at Lucas Oil Stadium and though the cornerback class was a bit of a disappointment, several safeties improved their draft stock with terrific performances. Here are the winners from the final day of workouts.

S Juan Thornhill, Virginia: If there was a “wow” workout from the safety group, it belonged to Thornhill. He completed 21 reps on the bench, the second-highest from the group of defensive backs. His 44-inch vertical jump and broad jump of 141 inches were tops on the day. Thornhill then timed 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash, much faster than anyone could have imagined. Analysts knew before the Combine that Thornhill was a good player with excellent instincts, but questioned his athleticism and speed. He squashed those concerns on Monday.

S Darnell Savage, Maryland: If Thornhill’s workout was a wow performance, Savage's was not far behind. He timed 4.36 seconds in the 40, at least 0.2 seconds faster than league scouts estimated. His vertical jump of 39.5 inches and broad jump of 126 inches were also impressive. Savage looked terrific in position drills. He leaves the Combine with a draft grade that’s almost a full round better than the one he arrived with upon landing in Indianapolis.

CB David Long, Michigan: Long checked all the boxes, testing well then looking good in position drills. He timed 4.45 seconds in the 40, touched 39.5 inches in the vertical jump, and 120 inches in the broad jump. His 3-cone time of 6.45 seconds was the fastest of the day as was his short shuttle mark of 3.97 seconds. He was quick-footed and smooth in drills. In my opinion, he presently grades as a third-round pick.

CB Byron Murphy, Washington: While his 40-yard dash time of 4.55 seconds was slightly disappointing, Murphy really stood out in drills and showed why he is the most polished corner in the draft. He lost little momentum transitioning from his backpedal to sprinting forwards. His ability to track the pass in the air and practice with balance was also impressive. It must be noted Murphy weighed in at 190 pounds, 14 pounds heavier than his playing weight last season.

CB Rock Ya-Sin, Temple: Ya-Sin was another prospect who impressed in position drills. His 40 time was solid at 4.51 seconds, while his vertical jump of 39.5 inches and broad jump of 120 inches were impressive. Ya-Sin shined when the ball was in the air, showing impressive footwork, a fluid style, and great hands. His performance Monday, coupled with some of the disappointing results from the other cornerbacks, will benefit Ya-Sin’s draft grade.

CB Isaiah Johnson, Houston: Johnson had one of the better days from the cornerback group, exceeding the expectations placed on him. He tested incredibly well, timing in the low 4.4s in the 40, a full tenth of a second faster than most thought possible. Johnson also touched 36.5 inches in the vertical jump and 133 inches in the broad jump. His 3-cone time of 6.81 seconds and short shuttle mark 4.06 seconds were also impressive. He really stood out in drills, looking fluid with his backpedal and easily changing direction. This gives scouts hope as Johnson was a college cornerback who always struggled to make plays when his back was to the ball.

S Marvell Tell, USC: Tell disappointed teams when his did not run the 40-yard dash, yet his other numbers were off the charts. His vertical jump of 42 inches and broad jump of 136 inches ranked just below Thornhill’s marks. His short shuttle time of 4.01 seconds was also second best among safeties while Tell’s 3-cone mark of 6.63 seconds was the fastest at the position.

Tony Pauline has covered the NFL Draft for over 20 years and is one of the preeminent draft insiders. His work can be found on DraftAnalyst.com and @TonyPauline on Twitter.

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