49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

February 24, 2009
Combine: Is Jenkins a cornerback or safety?

The combine closes today with the top defensive backs showing off their speed at Lucas Oil Stadium. The top name in that group is Ohio State's Malcolm Jenkins, but nobody is sure whether he's an NFL cornerback or free safety. His first 40 time of the morning suggests it might be the latter. Jenkins ran a 4.55 and 4.53 unofficially. Vernon Davis' little brother, Vontae Davis, lifted 225 pounds 25 times yesterday and ran the 40 twice at 4.43 -- not as fast as big brother but pretty darn good.

Another notable player, Oregon safety Patrick Chung, ran 4.51 and 4.47. Those are good times for 212-pound Chung, a projected strong safety who was one of the better players at last month's Senior Bowl. Louis Delmas seems to be the best free safety in the draft. He ran 4.50 on his first run.

One of the nation's most decorated safeties, Oklahoma's Nic Harris, ran like a linebacker, which is likely what some team will draft him as. Harris, who weighs 235 pounds, ran 4.78 and 4.85. The fastest DB in the first group was Oregon State's Brandon Hughes, who ran a 4.36 and a 4.41 unofficially.

William Moore, a safety out of Missouri, had a bad Senior Bowl and his stock has been dropping over the last month. He ran a respectable 4.53 at 221 pounds in his first and second sprints. Mississippi State's Derek Pegues, another CB-S 'tweener, ran a 4.62 on his first attempt and a 4.69 on his second.

Here are some official times, which again are a little slower than in previous years. (Is it the new stadium?)

Cornerback
Webb, Lardarius 4.46
Davis, Vontae 4.49
Hughes, Brandon 4.50
Owens, Christopher 4.51
Barnes, Kevin 4.52

Safety
Clemons, Chris 4.41
Bruton, David 4.46
Spillman, C.J. 4.50
Vaughn, Chip 4.51
Martin, Sherrod 4.52

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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