While strong safety Jimmie Ward isn’t able to take part in the combine with his fellow defensive backs on Tuesday, the other top safety prospects are on the field in Indianapolis.
Alabama free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is on that list and didn’t do anything to hurt himself in the 40-yard dash as he posted unofficial times of 4.50 and 4.52 seconds in his two attempts at the distance. It’s not going to be the fastest of the day, but it is right where a safety praised for his overall athleticism and ability to close on the ball in coverage.
Clinton-Dix’s top competition at free safety is Calvin Pryor of Louisville, who is known as a heavier hitter than Clinton-Dix and calls himself a big fan of Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor. The Alabama product called himself a fan of Pryor’s, but touted his own versatility as a reason why he should be the first safety off the board in May.
“Chance is a big play, a big-time safety. But you also need safeties that can cover slot receivers and also play the deep middle of the field and in the box,” Clinton-Dix said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “So I think you need more versatile safeties in this league now.”
We’ll find out soon enough whether NFL teams agree with the man with the most memorable name in this year’s draft.