The last on-the-field testing and drills that took place at NFL Scouting Combine this past week were Monday afternoon with the class of safeties.
Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick and Derwin James of Florida State are considered the head of the class, and potentially Top 10 picks. Watching the entire class of safeties run the 40, it seems the position is adjusting to the NFL’s complex passing schemes and the ability of athletic tight ends and big pass catchers to take over a game.
A record nine safeties ran the 40 in sub-4.5 seconds this year at the Combine. Fitzpatrick ran it in 4.46, James in 4.47, and Penn State’s Troy Apke had the fastest time at 4.34 seconds.
There were a total of 10 safeties that ran a sub-4.5 in the last three combines combined, according to Pro Football Reference. Six of them were in 2017.
NFL Network booth analyst Mike Mayock and on-field reporter Deion Sanders seemed taken aback by all the fast times being recorded by the position. Mayock even suggested that a number of the players were converted cornerbacks.
But if we think about the way the NFL game has turned into such a multifaceted passing game, should we really be all that surprised by the evolution?
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