Tag Archives: Brandon Joseph

2023 NFL Combine, Day 2: Defensive backs flipping the script

The NFL Combine’s defensive backs featured a group of sprinters that should please NFL secondary coaches. Several defenders in the group stood out in the field portion of the workout.

Cornerbacks/Nickel backs

Moss (No. 33 pictured) finished his Hawkeyes career with 11 interceptions (3 TDs).

Riley Moss 6’0 193 CB-Iowa

As we talked about earlier this year, Moss was one of the centerpieces of the nation’s second-ranked defense. The former state champion hurdler was expected to test well (4.4 40-yd, 39″ VJ, 10’7″ BJ), but the explosion out of his zone turns during field work impressed the most. Coming off a fine Senior Bowl week and solid game day performance, Moss simply added to a thorough career. If there was a surprise from Moss’ workout, it was that he simply didn’t catch every ball that hit his hands. Using his arms more when backpedaling could lengthen his stride when in reverse.

Emmanuel Forbes 6’1 166 CB-Mississippi State

It did not all go well for Forbes, as he started the weekend off by weighing 166 pounds. This after getting bigger and stronger during pre-draft workouts. His ball skills lived up to the billing, and he seemed like he took just 15 steps to finish the 40-yard dash in a blazing time of 4.35 seconds (third-fastest time for corners). Most of his workout was smooth until he stood up transitioning out of a zone turn late in the workout. He should spend the rest of the time leading up to the draft putting on as much “positive” weight as possible. At his weight, could Forbes simply be a ‘one-of-one’ player at his position?

Brian Branch 6’0 190 Nickel-Alabama

Branch’s 40-yard dash time (4.58) drew attention, but he has a chance for a re-do on his Pro Day after skipping the short-area change of direction drills (3-cone, 20-yard SS). There was some discomfort flipping his hips during transition drills, particularly when breaking at 45-degree angles after opening into his zone turns. He was much better breaking forward in the W-drill or at 90 degrees out of the backpedal. Of the defensive backs in attendance, Branch may have been the cleanest attacking the ball in the gauntlet drill. His hands stood out during the workout. At 190 pounds, can his style of play (blitzing and playing close to the box) be used on first and second down?

Clark Phillips III 5’9 184 CB/Nickel-Utah

Focusing on the 40-yard dash time would be a disservice to Phillips III. His transition was sparkling in the field drills in terms of fast-twitch fibers on plant-and-drives. The rigidity in his movement gets covered up by typing 60 words a minute with his feet on the keyboard. The ball skills that he showed during the regular season were on display in Indianapolis. Some players want to show off in the drill work, and Phillips III clearly had that focus in Indianapolis.

Jaylon Jones 6’2 200 CB-Texas A&M

One of the bigger corners in attendance, Jones’ ball skills looked fine for most of the afternoon. The former Aggie did slip a couple of times transitioning at sharp angles in position drills, but showed fine feet in the W-drill. He was measured flipping his hips in line drills. His 40-yard dash time (4.57) was acceptable if not noteworthy. He flashed short speed (1.48 10-yard split) but did not hold it for the duration of the 40 yards. On top of that, he blazed an outstanding 6.88-second time in the three-cone drill. It was one of the better times of the entire NFL Combine. Plenty of NFL teams were interested as to how he would test prior to attending the event. Could Jones become a coverage matchup option versus elite tight ends?

Christian Gonzalez 6’1 197 CB/Nickel-Oregon, Colorado

While Gonzalez’s 40-yard dash time (4.38) and vertical jump (41 1/2″) deserve mention, it was the footwork during drills that shined brightest. Much like at Oregon, he changed directions well in short-area drills that required him to backpedal, break at 90 degrees and stop to re-direct back down the line. The clean footwork is a big reason why Oregon often used him inside at nickel. Gonzalez gives NFL teams options if opposing teams put their top receivers in the slot. If he’s not a Day 1 starter in base packages, there is no doubt the All-Pac-12 corner will get every opportunity to play as a rookie in nickel defenses.

Safeties

Jordan Battle 6’1 209 S-Alabama

Battle displayed some upper body stiffness in the line drill, but that was to be somewhat expected after weighing in at 210 pounds. His backpedal was fine on the pedal, transition and speed turn drill, but he lost balance slightly for a step on the speed turn. The All-SEC defender was comfortable finding the ball late in the drill. Teams still need to see how Battle performs in the three-cone drill, 20-yard short shuttle and jumps (vertical, broad) on Alabama’s Pro Day.

Chamarri Conner 6’0 202 S-Virginia Tech

Conner looked strong and even bigger than his listed weight of 202 pounds. During the field portion of the workout, his backpedal stride length was adequate and performed many of his turn-and-runs without a hitch. After failing to record an interception in 2022, Conner flashed wide receiver-like ball skills flying through the defensive backs gauntlet drill with confidence.

Sydney Brown 5’10 211 S-Illinois

Brown’s impressive week at the Senior Bowl didn’t need a jumper cable, but he provided it a boost with a stellar NFL Combine (4.47 40-yd, 40 1/2″ VJ, 10’10” BJ). He ventured slightly off course on the final portion of the line drill and finished with a drop. Later, during a drill that asked him to change directions suddenly after a 90-degree break, he sank his frame explosively in the opposite direction. Defensive backs have check off boxes during the postseason and Brown has certainly done that.

Anthony Johnson 6’0 207 S-Iowa State

Johnson flashed explosion in the vertical (37 1/2″) and broad (10’2″) jumps at . His arms were not active in his pedal during the line drill and he attempted to anticipate when flipping to turn. This remained true when he measured his backpedal in a drill that required the former corner to transition out of his zone turn at 45 degrees. The biggest NFL Combine number for one of this class’ best tacklers involved three numbers though…4.54 (40-yard dash).

Tyreque Jones 6’2 195 S/Nickel-Boise State

Tyreque Jones S-Nickel/Boise State
Former Boise State defensive back Tyreque Jones impressed at the 2023 NFL Combine with his movement skills and 81-inch wingspan.

Jones, a nickel back for the Broncos, looked like a tall corner flipping his hips in the line drill. The honorable mention All-Mountain West conference safety often played an important Robin role to teammate JL Skinner’s Batman routines. Jones, however, often drew the toughest assignments. Jones’ explosion numbers (32″ VJ, 9’11” BJ) look average until you factor in his tackle-like width (81 1/8″ wingspan).

Brandon Joseph 6’0 202 S-Notre Dame, Northwestern

Joseph had an up-and-down combine and may decide to re-do some of his field work again on Notre Dame’s Pro Day. He generated minimal depth in his backpedal and lost his balance on the first repetition of the line drill. This was not, however, the case working on the backpedal and transition drill, when he tracked the ball effortlessly from the inside-out and high-pointed the football cleanly. It was not a surprise. Joseph finished his career with 10 interceptions (one TD) and averaged 13.3 yards per punt return. His times in the three-cone drill (7.08) and 20-yard short shuttle (4.23) were among the best of the defensive backs in attendance.

Jason Taylor II 6’0 204 S-Oklahoma State

Taylor II’s testing numbers were phenomenal (43″ VJ, 10’9″ BJ). The body control during the field work can be described as adequate. His backpedal was smooth but he did not accelerate into his turn-and-run on the backpedal and transition drill. As expected, he tracked and high-pointed the ball due to his steady hand-eye coordination. Taylor II was calm in the upper body and relied more on his feet than hips to change directions in the workout.

2023 NFL Combine Day 2 (DBs, Specialists)
Defensive backs
Ht/Wt/WingHandsArmsBP40-yd10 ydVJ BJ3-Cone20-yd SS60-yd LS
Alex Austin | CB | Oregon State6'1 1958 1/2" 31 7/8”4.551.5433”10’2"4.33
Deonte Banks | CB | Maryland6’0 1979 3/8" 31 3/8”4.351.4942”11’4”
Jordan Battle | S | Alabama6'1 2098 1/2" 32”174.551.56
Jakorian Bennett | CB | Maryland5'11 1889 1/8" 31 7/8”134.31.4840 1/2”11’1”
Mekhi Blackmon | CB | USC5’11 1789 1/4" 31”114.471.5436”10’5"
Lance Boykin | CB | Coastal Carolina6'2 2009 3/4" 32 3/8”1310’4”
Brian Branch | S | Alabama6’0 190 9 1/2”30 3/4” 144.581.5634 1/2”10’5"
Julius Brents | S | Kansas State6'3 198 9 5/8" 34”4.531.5741 1/2”11’6”6.634.05
Myles Brooks | CB | Louisiana Tech6'1 2019 1/2" 30 3/4”
Cameron Brown | CB | Ohio State6’0 199 9”31”
Ji'Ayir Brown | S | Penn State5’11 20310 1/8" 31 1/4”184.651.5632 1/2”9’11”
Sydney Brown | S | Illinois5'10 21110 1/4”31 1/2”234.471.5140 1/2”10’10"
Arquon Bush | CB | Cincinnati6’0 1879 1/4" 29 7/8”4.541.5533 1/2”9’7"
Kei'Trel Clark | CB | Louisville5'10 1818 1/4” 29 5/8”4.421.4934 1/2”10’2"4.21
Chamarri Conner | S | Virginia Tech6'0 2029" 31 3/8”204.511.5640 1/2”10’5"
Trey Dean | S | Florida6'2 2009 1/4" 31 3/4”254.751.636 1/2”10’4"
Emmanuel Forbes | CB | Mississippi State6’1 166 8 1/2" 32 1/4”4.351.4837 1/2”10’4"
Mekhi Garner | CB | LSU6'2 21210 1/8”32 1/4”4.551.5438”10’8"
Christian Gonzalez | CB | Oregon6’1 1979 1/2”32”144.381.5441 1/2”11’1”
DeMarcco Hellams | S | Alabama6'1 2039”31”4.571.5731”10’1"
Ronnie Hickman Jr. | S | Ohio State6'0 1/2" 2039 3/8" 33”
Brandon Hill | S | Pittsburgh5’10 1939 1/2" 30 3/4”154.431.535 1/2”10’3”
Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson | CB | TCU5’8 1788 5/8”29”124.411.539”11’0
Jordan Howden | S | Minnesota6’0 2039 1/2”32 1/4”144.491.5533 1/2”9’11”
Anthony Johnson | S | Iowa State6’0 2078 3/4" 31 1/4”4.541.5537 1/2”10’5"
Anthony Johnson Jr. | CB | Virginia6'2 2058 5/8" 32 5/8”154.631.5930 1/2”9’8”
Antonio Johnson | S | Texas A&M6'2 1989 3/4" 32 1/8”84.521.5731”9’10”
Jaylon Jones | CB | Texas A&M6'2 2009”30 3/4”144.571.4838”10’2"6.884.3
Nic Jones | CB | Ball State6’0 189 10" 32 3/8”4.511.5734 1/2”10’2"4.34
Tyreque Jones | S | Boise State6'2 1959 5/8" 33 3/4”4.521.6132”9’11”4.48
Brandon Joseph | S | Notre Dame6’0 202 9" 30 7/8”174.621.5630 1/2”9’10”7.084.23
Kyu Blu Kelly | CB | Stanford6’0 191 9 3/4" 32”4.521.4936”10’11”
Darrell Luter Jr. | CB | South Alabama6’0 189 10 3/8" 32 3/8”4.461.5740 1/2”10’3"6.94.43
Jartavius Martin | S | Illinois5’11 1949 5/8" 31 1/8”154.431.4744”11’1”
Kaevon Merriweather | S | Iowa6’0 2059 1/4”31 7/8”4.621.5835 1/2”9’10”
Cameron Mitchell | CB | Northwestern5’11 1919 3/4" 31 3/8”154.471.4835”
Riley Moss | CB | Iowa6'1 1939 1/2" 30”4.451.4839”10’7"
Gervarrius Owens | S | Houston6'0 1959 1/2”32”1537 1/2”10’5"
Clark Phillips III | CB | Utah5’9 184 9 1/8" 29 1/8”184.511.5133”4.32
Joey Porter Jr. | CB | Penn State6'2 1/2” 19310” 34”174.461.535”10’9”
Eli Ricks | CB | Alabama6'2 1888 7/8”32 3/8”
Kelee Ringo | CB | Georgia6'2 2078 1/2” 31 1/4”4.361.5433 1/2”10’2"
Jammie Robinson | S | Florida State5'11 1918 3/4” 29 5/8”234.591.5833 1/2”9’8”
Darius Rush | CB | South Carolina6'2 1989 1/2" 33 3/8”4.361.5135”10’1”
Daniel Scott | S | California6'1 20810” 30 1/4”224.451.5539 1/2”10’8”6.754.17
JL Skinner III | S | Boise State6'4 2098 1/4" 32”
Cam Smith | CB | South Carolina6'1 1809 1/8”31 5/8”4.431.4938”11’2”
Christopher Smith II | S | Georgia5’11 1929 5/8" 31 1/8”154.621.5633”9’8”
Terell Smith | CB | Minnesota6’0 1/2" 2049" 32 7/8”144.411.5634”10’07.024.3
Tyrique Stevenson | CB | Miami6’0 1989 5/8”32 3/8”4.451.5138 1/2”10’5"7.094.41
Jason Taylor II | S | Oklahoma State6’0 20410”32”144.51.5243”10’9"
Rashad Torrence II | S | Florida6'0 19310”32”204.721.5933 1/2”9’11”
Cory Trice Jr. | CB | Purdue6'3 2069 3/4" 32 3/8”174.471.5635 1/2”11’0
DJ Turner II | CB | Michigan5’11 1789 5/8" 30 3/4”4.261.4738 1/2”10’11”
Carrington Valentine | CB | Kentucky6'0 1939 1/4" 32 1/4”939”10’8"
Jay Ward | S | LSU6’1 1888 1/4”32 1/2”164.551.5334 1/2”11’0
Garrett Williams | CB | Syracuse5'10 1929 1/4" 31”
Devon Witherspoon | CB | Illinois5’11 1/2” 1818 7/8” 31 1/4”
Rejzohn Wright | CB | Oregon State6’2 1939 5/8" 32 1/2"
Specialists
Ht/Wt/WingHandsArmsBP40-yd (B-off)10 ydVJ BJZQW220-yd SS60-yd LS
Anders Carlson | K | Auburn6'5 2189 1/2”31 5/8”
Christopher Dunn | K | NC State5'8 1758 1/2”29 5/8”
Jake Moody | K | Michigan6'1 2099 1/2”30 7/8”
Jack Podlesny | K | Georgia6'0 1949 1/8”29 5/8”
B.T. Potter | K | Clemson5'10 1858 7/8" 30 3/8”
Chad Ryland | K | Maryland6'0 1909 3/8”30 1/8”
Alex Ward | LS | UCF6'4 2409 5/8" 30 3/8”125.061.830”9’6"4.46
Bryce Baringer | P | Michigan State6'2 2169”30 1/2”
Paxton Brooks | P | Tennessee6'5 2019 3/4”31 1/2”
Adam Korsak | P | Rutgers6'1 1878 3/4" 29 3/8”
Brad Robbins | P | Michigan6'0 1/2" 1999” 30 3/8”
Michael Turk | P | Oklahoma6'0 22710 1/8”30 1/2”4.831.6534”9’1”