The 40-yard dash for the defensive backs at the 2013 NFL Combine was a huge positive for cornerback Dee Milliner who finished with blazing unofficial times of 4.31 and 4.37 seconds, and was a negative for cornerback Johnthan Banks, who struggled with unofficial times of 4.59 and 4.64 seconds. The pair of performances solidified Xavier Rhodes's spot as the second-ranked cornerback in the draft class before the Florida State defensive back even had the opportunity to run.
Rhodes help us on his end, though, wow-ing many with a 40.5-inch vertical jump. 5.5 inches off the record set by Gerald Sensabaugh at the 2005 NFL Combine, Rhodes's jump was one of the best at the entire 2013 NFL Combine, let alone the group of defensive backs. He continued his strong day with an unofficial time of 4.41 in the 40-yard dash, which is more impressive considering his 6-2, 210-pound frame.
On Monday, Sports Illustrated's Peter King tweeted that teams looking to draft Milliner would need to trade ahead of the Detroit Lions before they selected him with the fifth pick. That was before the Alabama cornerback ran the 40-yard dash on Tuesday and silenced any questions about his speed.
With Milliner in the top five, though, the race for the second-best cornerback could certainly heat up, especially considering the teams picking just outside the top 10 are desperate for help at the position. Particularly, the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, owners of the 11th, 12th and 13th picks in the first round.
In the latest mock draft from SB Nation's Matthew Fairburn, Rhodes manages to slip past the three and go to the New Orleans Saints with the 15th pick, but that could be in for some change after the combine. With Milliner seemingly locked in the top 10, perhaps the top five, Rhodes could become the new top priority for teams that don't want to wait for the second-tier.