Stephen Denmark was an unheralded name when the Chicago Bears drafted him in the 7th round back in April. He went to tiny Valdosta State in Division II and had only played his position of cornerback for a year. Yet that didn’t stop him from producing three interceptions and helping his team win a national championship.
It wasn’t until his pro day though that he really jumped onto the radar of NFL teams. Keep in mind he’s 6’3 and 220 lbs. That is big. Normally cornerbacks of that size suffer from some athletic limitations. Particularly speed. Not Denmark. He delivered a crisp 4.46 in the 40-yard dash and then followed that with an absurd 43.5-inch vertical jump.
For all his drawbacks in experience, he had the body of an NFL starter. However, there was one person who wasn’t entirely happy with his pro day performance. That was his mother, Timbre Denmark. Her reason? Something that is hard to fathom according to Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic.
“I still believe he could have run a 4.3. I ran track, and that’s what I asked him about,” Timbre said with a laugh. “The only thing I asked him about, I wanted to know what happened on the 40, because he has the potential.”
Stephen Denmark would enter ultra-rare company if that’s true
Understand this. According to NFL scouting combine history, the fastest 40 time for a corner standing at least 6’3 since the data became available in 2000 was a 4.43. That was accomplished by former Packers 2nd round pick Kevin King. Only 12 wide receivers have done it in that time. A list that includes Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, and Javon Walker.
This should illustrate how rare of an athlete Denmark is. Guys of that size who can move that fast just don’t come around often. If he can be taught the proper disciplines of the cornerback position and he embraces the hard work necessary? There is no telling how good he can become in the NFL. It will take time, but the Bears seem open to giving it to him.