Bills’ NFL Combine Measurables: Trends at defensive back


If you watched the NFL Scouting Combine and were wondering if that burgeoning crush you’re developing is a player who fits the Buffalo Bills’ archetypes, then this series is written especially for you. This series will examine the Bills’ combine measurables by position during the Brandon Beane/Sean McDermott era. Previously, we laid out the format and the statistical composition, and you can find that here as an introduction to the IOL chart. For the rest of the series, there will be less of the math class talk, and a little more description of the types of players who exemplify those traits.


The chart below details the average scores for that year’s group of rostered players. “Rostered” is important because these are not just drafted players, but the accumulation of all the players who spend time on the roster, regardless of acquisition method. The combine columns are items you are already familiar with if you clicked on this article, and the last column you likely already know too, Relative Athletic Score (RAS). RAS was created by Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb on Twitter), and it combines a player’s combine results and uses position-specific formulas to convert them into a score that can be compared between athletes. RAS uses a scale of 1-10, and a score of 10 is considered perfect.

The Range lines are the far extremes, plus or minus, that the Bills have rostered. For DBs, the historical averages for their height and weight are 71.9″ (5’11″) and 193.7 pounds respectively. The fastest 40 any McBeane Era DB has run was Ryan Lewis’ 4.37 (Kaiir Elam was very close with 4.39). The biggest vertical jump was 41.5″ by Kevin Johnson, who was a crazy athlete. The lowest vertical was Jordan Poyer’s 30.5, if you needed more evidence that these numbers don’t mean a guy can’t play.

The “SD” lines might be strange if you’re unfamiliar with standard deviation and/or didn’t read the first article, but the link above will get you there.

The DB Chart

Compare the Bills’ average composite DB with Mockdraftable’s average for the position within the league as a whole:

  • Weight: 198.6
  • Height: 71.89″
  • Arm Length: 31.51″
  • Hand Size: 9.24″
  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.52
  • 10-Yard Split: 1.56
  • Vertical: 35.87″
  • Broad: 121.6″
  • 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.19
  • Bench: 15.5

To offer an idea of what some of the outliers look like, here are the far ends of some key DB measurables beyond the 40:

  • 10 Yd Split: Fastest, Damar Hamlin, 1.46; Slowest, Levi Wallace, 1.67
  • 3 Cone: Fastest, Phillip Gaines, 6.62; Slowest, Trae Elston, 7.34
  • Shuttle: Kevin Johnson, 3.89; Slowest, Maurice Alexander, 4.51

One of the players who most typifies the Bills’ archetypes is Taron Johnson.

  • LBS: 192
  • Height: 71″
  • Arm Length: 30.875
  • Hand Size:9.125
  • 40: 4.5
  • 10 Yd Split: 1.54
  • Vertical: 33
  • Broad: 118
  • 3 Cone: 7.03
  • 20 Yd Shuttle: 4.28
  • Bench Press: 17
  • RAS: 4.5

RAS for the Composite

The caveat remains throughout this series that prospects who are outside of the Bills’ athletic profile are not automatically expunged from the draft board. In fact, it might even be more telling when a player who doesn’t fit the profile is drafted because it means they like other aspects of the player’s game enough to move forward with acquiring him despite the fact that he didn’t fit what they usually look for.


You can find Chris on Twitter (@lowbuffa), getting dirty in #MafiaGardens, or watching football. Go Bills!