Mays, Berry fast at NFL combine

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Defensive back prospects are on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium today as the NFL Scouting Combine wraps up.

USC safety Taylor Mays, a first-round prospect who was expected to run fast, did not disappoint. His 40 was clocked as low as 4.24 by some news outlets, but most scouts' stop watches showed Mays more in the low-4.3 range. With his fast 40, coupled with his 24-rep performance on the bench Monday, Mays continues to impress scouts with his speed and strength. But scouts still question his ability to move sideline-to-sideline and in reverse, vital skills for a safety.

Top five prospect Eric Berry, a safety from Tennessee, was exceptionally fast in the 40-yard dash. With stop watch times between 4.39 and 4.42 seconds, Berry ran what scouts expected and should not slip in the draft.

Conversely, Florida's Joe Haden, one of the top cornerback prospects, did not have a good 40. Scouts clocked him between 4.56 and 4.58, and the master report distributed to all 32 NFL teams later this week is unlikely to list Haden's 40 time under 4.6 seconds.

Haden was, by most counts, a top 6 or 7 prospect going into the combine. His slow 40 time will result in a likely slip into the middle part of round one. Haden's case is similar to ex-Ohio State cornerback Malcolm Jenkins, whose poor 40 time last season caused him to slip out of the top 10 to No. 14 on draft day.

Another prospect who barely broke 4.6 was Oklahoma State corner Perrish Cox. Thought to be a fringe first-round prospect, Cox will now slip into the second round.