Dane Cruikshank’s draft stock is on the rise after an impressive showing at the NFL scouting combine, which concluded Monday.
The former Arizona Wildcat tied for first among defensive backs by bench-pressing 225 pounds 25 times. He then ran a pair of blazing 40-yard dashes, officially clocking in at 4.41 seconds.
That figure ranked 11th among the defensive backs. But no one in the top 10 is as big as Cruikshank, who weighed in at 209 pounds. Only three of the top 10 weighed in at 200 or more: Penn State’s Troy Apke (4.35, 200 pounds), Wisconsin’s Natrell Jamerson (4.40, 201) and Stanford’s Justin Reid (4.40, 207).
Results of the other combine workouts had not been posted as of this writing.
NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said during the combine broadcast that Cruikshank made a positive impression on the coaches at the East-West Shrine Game in January. “They fell in love with him,” Jeremiah said.
Cruikshank entered the weekend projected as a sixth-or seventh-round pick, according to NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein. Cruikshank’s combine performance could bump him up a round or two.
Cruikshank played two seasons at Arizona and had his best year in 2017 when he moved from cornerback to “Spur” safety, where he typically lined up in the slot close to the tackle box. It remains to be seen where Cruikshank projects in the NFL. At the very least, with his measurables, senior-year production and willingness to hit, he should be able to stick on a roster as a special-teams player.
UPDATE: NFL.com has posted the complete workout results, and there's more good news for Cruikshank. He ranked 10th among defensive backs in the vertical jump (38.5 inches) and tied for 15th in the three-cone drill (6.89 seconds). Cruikshank ranked 17th in the 20-yard shuttle (4.24 seconds) and tied for 26th in the broad jump (121 inches).
Cruikshank’s combine performance got the attention of the Twitterverse on Monday. Here’s a sampling of comments:
And finally, best on-field workouts for Strong Safeties/Dime Defenders at #NFLCombine:1. Derwin James/FSU2. Stephen Roberts/Auburn3. Godwin Igwebuike/NW4. Tre Flowers/Okla St5. Dane Cruikshank/Arizona#IMO— Phil Savage (@SeniorBowlPhil) March 5, 2018
Post-#NFLCombine Most Intriguing Players list of guys not as high on people’s #NFLDraft boards, yet:RB Royce FreemanWR DJ CharkWR Trey QuinnOL Colby GossettDL Nathan ShepherdEdge Lorenzo CarterLB Azeem Victor (circa 2016)CB Danny JohnsonDB Dane CruikshankTime to Grind— Nathan Cooper (@coopaloop08) March 5, 2018
My 'winners' from S group (no order):• Justin Reid, @StanfordFball• Derwin James, @FSUFootball• Troy Apke, @PennStateFball• Minkah Fitzpatrick, @AlabamaFTBLHMs: Dane Cruikshank, @ArizonaFBall / Natrell Jamerson, @BadgerFootball = Workout Warriors.#NFLCombine— Dion Caputi (@nfldraftupdate) March 5, 2018
PAC-12 Players who helped themselves the most at the NFL Combine:Josh Rosen - UCLAKolton Miller - UCLAScott Quessenberry - UCLAKalen Ballage - ASURoyce Freeman - OREKylie Fitts - UtahVita Vea - UWRasheem Green - USCJustin Reid - StanfordDane Cruikshank- Arizona— WestCoastCFB (@WestcoastCfb) March 5, 2018