NFL COMBINE

Combine buzz: Pryor and Clinton-Dix still tops among safeties

Updated: 2014-02-28T17:42:06Z

By TEREZ A. PAYLOR

The Kansas City Star

— Louisville’s Calvin Pryor and Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix were considered to be the consensus top safeties in this year's draft entering the NFL Combine.

According to draft analyst Eric Galko of OptimumScouting.com and The Sporting News, neither player did anything to change than opinion after they completed their defensive back testing and drills on Tuesday.

“I have a new mock draft coming on (Wednesday) that has both of them in the top 15,” Galko said. “I think teams need safeties, and a safety class like this, the last two years now, has been somewhat lackluster. If you want a top safety, you have to reach for a top safety, and those two guys are the two best.”

Both Pryor and Clinton-Dix ran the 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds, which is considered solid for safeties.


Black Mamba

It remains to be seen where dangerous Oregon running back/receiver De'Anthony Thomas goes in this year's draft — NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock considers Thomas a mid-round pick — but he might have the coolest nickname in the draft.

During the combine, Thomas proceeded to explain how rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg came to dub him “The Black Mamba.”

“Like I said before, I grew up in the Snoop Youth Football League growing up in Los Angeles,” Thomas said. “My first game against his team, we blew them out 52-0. That’s when he established the name the Black Mamba.”

Thomas, of course, shares the nickname with established NBA star Kobe Bryant, but he isn't willing to cede it.

“Yeah, I feel like everyone knows I was way (Black Mamba) before Kobe Bryant,” Thomas said. “He was just in the spotlight more than me. It was my childhood days. It was great to look up to him, and one day we could do a commercial about it or something.”'

Thomas, who checked in at 5 feet 9 and 174 pounds, scored 41 rushing and receiving touchdowns during his three-year career with the Ducks.

Chiefs fan

Missouri receiver Marcus Lucas grew up in Kansas City and attended Liberty High School. On Saturday, he said he had not spoken to the Chiefs yet, but he said the opportunity to play for his hometown team would be awesome.

“That's a dream come true, honestly,” Lucas said. “Coming from Kansas City, that was my team, always.”

But Lucas, who checked in at 6 feet 4 and 218 pounds and caught 58 passes for 692 yards and three touchdowns this season, said he wouldn't be the only one in his family to be happy if he lands with the Chiefs. His mother, Monique, a former women's basketball player at Missouri, would be too.

“Exactly,” Lucas said with a laugh. “She wouldn't have to move.”

| Terez A. Paylor, tpaylor@kcstar.com

Deal Saver Subscribe today!

Comments

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Kansas City Star uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here