Future Packers have made their mark at the NFL Scouting Combine

CB Jaire Alexander
CB Jaire Alexander
CB Jaire Alexander

GREEN BAY – Two years ago, Jaire Alexander put his skills on display at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and the performance legitimized his claim as a worthy first-round pick.

The future Packers cornerback registered the third-longest broad jump (10-7), the fifth-fastest time in the three-cone drill (6.71 seconds) and sixth-quickest 40 (4.38) among his position group.

Two months later, General Manager Brian Gutekunst thought highly enough of Alexander's upside that he traded to 18th spot to draft the confident ball hawk, who has since started 29 of the first 31 games he's played for the Packers (including playoffs).

The combine isn't the be-all, end-all as it relates to identifying potential playmakers, but it is an essential part of the formula for the Packers and the other 31 NFL clubs, who will perform medical checks and conduct interviews throughout next week.

Like Alexander did in 2018, the combine also represents a golden opportunity for up-and-coming players to attach tangible times and numbers to their game film.

"The tape doesn't change, that stays the same, but this part of it is important," said Gutekunst of the process in February 2018. "The way we've always looked at it is like if it's something different than we saw on tape, then we need to go back to the tape, you know what I mean? If it matches up with what we saw on tape, then we must have seen it the right way."

Alexander's remarkable week in Indianapolis substantiated his successful run at Louisville in which the 5-foot-11, 192-pound cornerback recorded 58 tackles and six interceptions in two seasons as a starter for the Cardinals.

Packers CB Jaire Alexander celebrates his birthday on Feb. 9. Take a look at photos of him from the 2019 season.

There have been many noteworthy performances by eventual Packers draft picks since the NFL Network began broadcasting the combine in 2004, but Alexander's showing two years ago put him in rarified air.

In looking back at performances in the six major combine tests, Alexander is the only individual who ranks in the top 10 among his fellow Packers draft picks in four different categories over the past 15 years (40-yard dash, broad jump, three-cone drill and short shuttle).

At the same time, cornerback Kevin King (three-cone drill) and center Corey Linsley (bench press) each made their own individual statements with combine performances that lead all of their Packers peers during that same stretch.

In 2017, King's 6.56-second time in the three-cone drill was one of two events the eventual second-round pick led all combine prospects. He also set the pace with a 3.89 in the short shuttle.

King's three-cone time edged Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey for the fastest recorded time in the event that year, while his short shuttle was the fastest by a Packers player since Joey Thomas ran it one-hundredth of a second quicker in 2004.

Both of King's times still rank inside the top 10 among NFL cornerbacks over the last 10 years, with the short shuttle trailing only Bobby McClain (3.82, 2015), B.W. Webb (3.84, 2013) and Desmond Trufant (3.85, 2013).

Prior to becoming a fifth-round pick in 2014, Linsley made his mark in Indianapolis when he tied Tennessee offensive lineman Antonio Richardson and Boston College defensive tackle Kaleb Ramsey with a combine-best 36 bench reps of 225 pounds that year.

Since 2004, cornerback Casey Hayward is the only other Packers draft choice to lead the combine in an event with his 3.90-second time in the short shuttle in 2012.

On the eve of next week's NFL Scouting Combine, here's a look at the top 10 performances in six major combine categories by Packers draft picks over the last 15 years (courtesy of Pro Football Reference and NFL.com):

40-yard dash (seconds)

4.34: CB Ahmad Carroll, Arkansas (2004, first round)

4.36: S Darnell Savage, Maryland (2019, first round), S Nick Collins, Bethune-Cookman (2005, second round), WR David Clowney, Virginia Tech (2007, fifth round)

4.37: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, South Florida (2018, fifth round)

4.38: CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville (2018, first round)

4.39: WR Terrance Murphy, Texas A&M (2005, second round)

4.41: S Josh Jones, North Carolina State (2017, second round)

4.42: WR Greg Jennings, Western Michigan (2006, second round), WR Trevor Davis, California (2016, fifth round), WR Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley State (2014, seventh round)

Vertical jump (inches)

41: CB Will Blackmon, Boston College (2006, fourth round), CB Ahmad Carroll, Arkansas (2004, first round)

40.5: WR Ty Montgomery, Stanford (2015, third round)

40: S Nick Collins, Bethune-Cookman (2005, second round), LB A.J. Hawk, Ohio State (2006, first round)

39.5: S Darnell Savage, Maryland (2019, first round), CB Kevin King, Washington (2017, second round), WR Davante Adams, Fresno State (2014, second round), LB Oren Burks, Vanderbilt (2018, third round), WR Malachi Dupre, LSU (2017, seventh round)

Bench press (225 pounds)

36: C Corey Linsley, Ohio State (2014, fifth round)

35: DE Nick Perry, USC (2012, first round)

34: DL Donnell Washington, Clemson (2004, third round)

33: DT B.J. Raji, Boston College (2009, first round), LB Desmond Bishop, California (2007, sixth round)

32: DL Josh Boyd, Mississippi State (2013, fifth round), DE C.J. Wilson, East Carolina (2012, seventh round)

31: C Scott Wells, Tennessee (2004, seventh round), DT Mike Neal, Purdue (2010, second round), T Jason Spriggs, Indiana (2016, second round), T Jamon Meredith, South Carolina (2009, fifth round)

Broad jump (inches)

135: WR Malachi Dupre, LSU (2017, seventh round)

133: CB Will Blackmon, Boston College (2006, fourth round)

132: S Josh Jones, North Carolina State (2017, second round)

131: LB Oren Burks, Vanderbilt (2018, third round)

130: RB Dexter Williams, Notre Dame (2019, sixth round)

128: CB Ahmad Carroll, Arkansas (2004, first round)

127: RB Aaron Jones, UTEP (2017, fifth round), CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville (2018, first round)

126: S Darnell Savage, Maryland (2019, first round)

125: S Brandon Underwood, Cincinnati (2009, sixth round)

Three-cone (seconds)

6.56: CB Kevin King, Washington (2017, second round)

6.60: WR Trevor Davis, California (2016, fifth round)

6.64: WR Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley State (2014, seventh round)

6.65: CB Davon House, New Mexico State (2011, fourth round)

6.67: CB Will Blackmon, Boston College (2006, fourth round)

6.68: WR Greg Jennings, Western Michigan (2006, second round)

6.69: S Jerron McMillian, Maine (2012, fourth round)

6.71: CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville (2018, first round)

6.76: CB Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt (2012, second round)

6.78: CB Micah Hyde, Iowa (2013, fifth round)

Short shuttle (seconds)

3.88: CB Joey Thomas, Montana State (2004, third round)

3.89: CB Kevin King, Washington (2017, second round)

3.90: CB Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt (2012, second round)

3.96: LB A.J. Hawk, Ohio State (2006, first round)

3.98: CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville (2018, first round), QB Brett Hundley, UCLA (2016, fifth round), WR Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley State (2014, seventh round)

4.03: CB Josh Jackson (2018, second round)

4.07: S Damarious Randall, Arizona State (2015, first round)

4.08: WR Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin (2014, fifth round)

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