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February 25, 2014

Jean-Baptiste posts strong showing at NFL combine

Stanley Jean-Baptiste didn't have a perfect day at the NFL scouting combine Tuesday, but he stood out in several drills and likely improved his draft stock.

The cornerback didn't burn in the 40 yard-dash, tying for 23rd among the 39 defensive backs by running a 4.61. But Jean-Baptiste made up for that by posting a 41.5-inch vertical (best among DBs) and an 128-inch broad jump (third-best among DBs). He also ran the 20-yard shuttle in 4.33 seconds and benched 225 pounds 13 times (tied for 17th among DBs)

Only one other defensive back stood as tall as Jean-Baptiste at 6-foot-3, and his 8 5/8-inch wingspan was tied for the seventh-longest.

A second-team All-Big Ten pick last year, Jean-Baptiste saw his stock jump significantly by playing well in practices for the Senior Bowl last month. That caused some draft analysts to predict Jean-Baptiste could potentially sneak into the first round of the draft in May. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. told HuskerOnline that he thinks Jean-Baptiste will be a second-round selection.

Former Cleveland Browns general manager and current Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage had high praise for the former Husker after watching him in January.

"The bigger corner can do 90 percent of the play wrong and at the last second sway that ball away, and that's what Jean-Baptiste and these other bigger corners bring to the table," Savage told NFL.com last month. "For these teams that are interested, they start him at corner and have the ability to slide him back into safety, so he is kind of a safe pick because if he doesn't do well at corner you have a fallback option."

Jean-Baptiste had four interceptions and 12 pass break-ups as a senior last season.


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