There is a cliche in sports that says "if you can play, they will find you." While that may be true, and players from small schools find occasional success, the easiest way for "them" to find you is to perform on the biggest stage, in front of everyone. Deone Bucannon will get that opportunity today, going through drills at the NFL combine.
The first-team All-American will take the field with the rest of the defensive backs. Bucannon measured in at 6-foot-1 and 211 pounds. That's the same height and four pounds less than his listed weight at WSU, just in case you were wondering. Bucannon got the combine off to a solid start on Monday, bench pressing 225 pounds 19 times. That was the third-most reps of any defensive back, trailing Minnesota's Brock Vereen (25) and Vanderbilt's Kenny Ladler (24). Today will be an busy day for Bucannon with the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone drill, shuttle runs and speed turn drill all on the docket. The speed turn drill will be a big one for Bucannon as some of the scouting reports list him with "stiff hips."
With a solid combine, Bucannon may be able to cement his status as an early draft pick, possibly even impressing his way into the first round. Wherever he lands it won't be a surprise to see him make an impact, especially how he developed during his career at WSU. If you're looking for an interesting comparison, check out these scouting reports from NFL.com:
STRENGTHS Reads run and drops downhill quickly. Has an old-school mentality -- likes contact and is a physical tackler (seeks to punish the ball carrier). Led the conference in tackles. Covers kicks and has an ideal mentality for special teams. Four-year starter and three-time captain.
WEAKNESSES Average speed -- struggles to recover from missteps and will not track anyone down from behind. Some tightness in his hips. Man-coverage limitations (struggles to match with slot receivers). Can be overaggressive and miss tackles. Does not always arrive under control in space. Misjudges angles.
STRENGTHS Has outstanding size for the safety position. Plays with great strength and has the toughness needed to consistently help up in the box in run support. Has been a highly productive player. Durability is not a concern. Exhibits a really impressive motor, refuses to be blocked and plays hard through the whistle.
WEAKNESSES Can play over aggressive at times, take poor angles and is susceptible to play fakes. Taller player who could improve his pad level. Needs to be lower in his back peddle. Is more comfortable in the box and doesn't possess the coverage skills, ball skills and instincts to be consistently relied upon against the pass.
Workouts in Indianapolis get underway early, with the player set to hit the field at 6 a.m. PT. They'll continue for a few hours, with things wrapping up around 11 a.m. If you're watching, Bucannon will be wearing the DB10 jersey.
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