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.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
“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.
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.
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.”