By the time Justin Gilbert’s day at the NFL Combine was over, the praise was practically pouring out of NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock’s mouth.
“Phenomenal,” Mayock said on the network broadcast, as he deemed Gilbert’s workout his “Moment of the Day.”
The biggest number? Gilbert’s official time of 4.37 in the 40-yard dash, the fourth-best mark of all combine participants and the best amongst the cornerbacks.
That time, plus his on-field work where Mayock said Gilbert looked “comfortable, confident and smooth,” could solidify the former Cowboy as the top cornerback available in the draft.
“(Look at) his combination of his production on the field, his physical skill set and his special teams ability,” said Mayock, noting that Detriot’s No. 10 overall pick could be a possible landing spot for Gilbert. “He’s awesome.”
Gilbert even caught the attention of Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden, who was on the NFL Network set during the broadcast. Haden said Gilbert “looks nice” during a drill where he had to constantly flip his hips, then noted he had recently watched Gilbert’s film and had been impressed.
Gilbert, who has always been known as a speedster and athletic specimen, was a Thorpe Award finalist in 2013 after recording seven interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns. He’s also a dangerous special teams weapon, setting a Big 12 record with six career kickoff returns for touchdowns.