Day 4 of the 2014 NFL Combine is the last day of arrivals for position groups, and the first big day of on-the-field workouts and drills for the early arrivals. We've already seen the arrival of the special teams players, offensive linemen, running backs, receivers and tight ends, quarterbacks, defensive linemen and linebackers. That leaves just one group for Saturday's arrivals: the defensive backs.
Safeties and cornerbacks will descend on Indianapolis Saturday, and will be the last to actually get on the field for workouts and drills, on Tuesday. They'll have their registrations, some examinations and orientation on Saturday, measurements, media and interviews on Sunday, psychological testing and bench press on Monday and then the aforementioned drills Tuesday.
Speed is always a big deal for defensive backs, especially corners. The one key drill to watch out for is the speed turn, though. The defensive backs back to backpedal for 5-10 yards before taking a couple steps forward, pivoting and running in whichever direction the coach signals. He has to then look for the football. It's one of the more interesting drills to watch.
There will obviously be some big names arriving Saturday. Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby and Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard are two of the biggest. Dennard is hoping to be the first cornerback off the board and that might hinge on his performance in the 40-yard dash. Both players are among Matthew Fairburn's top three in his pre-draft cornerback rankings, as well.
When it comes to safeties, there's two that stand above the rest. Last year was a strong year for safeties, and this year will be headlined by Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix of Alabama and Calvin Pryor of Louisville. Pryor is aggressive and physical at the point of attack, while Clinton-Dix is excellent at playing the ball in the air. A strong performance at the combine could push one of these players above the other.
Beyond these players, there's cornerback Justin Gilbert of Oklahoma, cornerback Pierre Desir of Lindenwood, safety Jimmie Ward of Northern Illinois and cornerback Keith McGill of Utah. There will be plenty more worth watching, but there's a few names to get you started.
Saturday will feature on-the-field workouts for offensive linemen, special teams players and tight ends, bench press for quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs, and some media availability for defensive linemen and linebackers.