The defensive backs finally had their go at demonstrating their skills for pro scouts during the final day of NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday, and former Trojan cornerback Nickell Robey sought the opportunity to prove that though he is small, he has much to offer a pro team.
Robey started his NFL combing experience by putting up 10 reps in the bench press. Not bad, but surely doing more would have gone a long way for scouts that doubt his overall strength. In the 40-yard dash, he posted an official time of 4.53. Like in his bench performance, this time was good but not great, but it likely won’t have a dramatic impact on his draft stock. His broad and vertical jump results were near the top of this group–127 inches and 37.5 inches, respectively–suggesting that he is quite explosive out of his breaks.
When it came to the field drills, Robey did what Robey does best. He showed that he is an incredibly fluid athlete with quick feet and agile hips, and that he has excellent ball skills. He looked at home doing the skill elements of the combine; more than once he leapt off the field to catch a ball at its highest point before bringing it down and dashing back the opposite direction.
Much of those ball skills were not seen in 2012, as opposing teams figured out very early on that Robey was USC’s only capable cornerback, and they made sure to take him out of the game altogether by throwing away from him as much as possible.
Robey is really undersized for the NFL, but over his college career he was one of the top cornerbacks in not only the Pac-12 but the entire NCAA, and that fact is not lost on NFL scouts. His performance was enough to possibly boost him a couple spots, but still expect him to be a middle-round pick come April.