NFL Combine 2023: Christian Gonzalez, Deonte Banks among winners and losers in defensive back group

The second day of field exercises at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, defenders—first corners, then safes—saw the stage in Indianapolis. A handful of prospects increased their stock with strong performances, while others sent scouts back on the line and questioned their initial assessment.

Here are some of the winners and losers from Friday’s field practice in Indianapolis, beginning with a look at some measurements from notable prospects:

Christian Gonzalez (Oregon)

4.38 seconds

41.5 inches


1.54 seconds

Kelee Ringo (Georgia)





Joey Porter Jr (Penn State)





Deonte Banks (Maryland)





Jartavius ​​Martin (Illinois) 4.46 44 11-foot-1 1.47

Jakorian Bennett (Maryland)





DJ Turner (Michigan) 4.26 38.5 10-foot-11 1.47
Sydney Brown (Illinois) 4.47 40.5 10-foot-10 1.51
Cam Smith (South Carolina) 4.43 38 11-foot-2 1.49
Emmanuel Forbes (Mississippi State) 4.35 37.5 10-foot-11 1.48


Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon I’ll just say it – Gonzalez solidified his performance in Indianapolis as CB1 in this class. What I mean by that is that most people and teams will have him as CB1, and he will most likely be the first cornerback off the board. At 6-foot-1 and 197 pounds, the former Colorado-to-Oregon star ran 4.38 with a 41.5-inch vertical and 11-foot-1 long jump. He drew Patrick Surtain II comparisons from some analysts and tested a little better.

Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland: If you do 4.35 with a 42-inch vertical and 11-foot-4 wide jump, you’ll get corner drafted on the first lap in most situations. Banks is also a good height at 6 feet and 197 pounds with arms just under the 32 inch threshold many teams have today. We all expected Banks to test like a gazelle this weekend and he did.

Jartavius ​​Martin, S., Illinois: Martin’s 44-inch vertical is the tallest yet on this year’s combine, and its 11-foot-1 width was the pinnacle among safeties. The guy has bunnies, as they used to say when I was in high school. Oh, he also ran 4.46 and had a lightning fast 1.47 10-yard split, also top of his position. He will instantly be one of the most explosive safety in the NFL this fall.

Jakorian Bennett, CB, Maryland: Banks was supposed to be the Maryland headliner. Channeling his inner Lee Corso, Bennett said, “Not so fast, my friend.” Bennett ran the second-fastest 40-yard dash time (4.30 seconds) with a 40.5-inch vertical — just 1.5 inches lower than Banks—and an 11-foot-1 width. These terrapins are playing with rockets on their shells.

Julius Brents, CB, State of Kansas: Brents was 6-foot-3 and 198 pounds with ridiculous offensive tackles like 34-inch arms at the weigh-in. He then approached rare Bryon Jones territory at an 11-foot-6 width that at first reads like a typo, but actually isn’t. He had a 41.5-inch vertical and also ran a solid 4.53 in the 40. Most turns as big as Brent’s aren’t as explosive as he is.

Sydney Brown, S Illinois: Brown rocked at the Senior Bowl and continued the pre-draft process with his combine training. At a burly 5-foot-10 and 210 pounds, Brown cruised to a cornerback-like 4.47 in the 40 and had a stunning 40.5-inch vertical with a 10-foot-10 long jump. It’s a three-level, multi-level safety that can do it all.

DJ Turner, CB, Michigan: The award for the fastest 40 under the curves — who could end up being the fastest among all combine harvester participants — goes to Turner, who flew to 4.26. He will make many return to film because he didn’t look quite as fast on film. But the number is the number.


Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State: From a metrological standpoint, Porter and his gargantuan 34-inch arms were the obvious winners. Training, not so much for the Penn State stud with NFL bloodlines, especially compared to his cornerback contemporaries in that class. The 10-foot-9 wide is nothing to be ashamed of, but it placed 12th in this atomic group of athletic curves. His long jump? Tie for 18. Look, this isn’t an attempt to drop the stock; it just didn’t compete with the other perceived top corners in the class.

Christopher Smith III, S, Georgia: Smith spent a long time patrolling the deep center of some epic loaded Kirby Smart defenses in Georgia. Captain. He probably screwed up his team interviews. Running 4.66 with a 33-inch vertical and a 9-foot-8 long jump doesn’t call out for a tall athlete, which will hurt his otherwise squeaky-clean train stock.

Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia: Ringo ran 4.36 so it wasn’t all bad for the Georgia star. However, due to the immensely high expectations, the 4.36 was a bit of a disappointment and its jumps – 33.5 inches in the vertical and 10ft 2 in width – surprisingly weren’t good. Ringo does not reflect well. His game is based almost entirely on his burst and long speed. I wish we had seen a better overall performance from him. I assume he feels the same way.

The 2023 NFL Draft will take place April 27-29 in Kansas City, Missouri.

For live reactions from yesterday’s celebrations, head here Live blog from Friday. The quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends take the field on Saturday.

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