So, who was the fastest guy on the field as the Vikings and Jaguars held joint practices at TCO Performance Center Wednesday and Thursday?
“Me,” said former Gophers standout and current Jaguars backup cornerback Jalen Myrick. “No one else here ran a 4.2. Except [Jaguars running back] Corey Grant. He ran 4.2 at his Pro Day at Auburn. But I can beat Corey.”
So, where’s Myrick’s evidence? His last 40-yard dash back in February of 2017 at the NFL scouting combine.
According to combine records, Myrick ran one of the 10 fastest 40 times at any position in combine history.
There’s John Ross and Donte’ Stallworth at 4.22. Then Chris Johnson at 4.24, followed by Dri Archer (4.26), Marquise Goodwin and Stanford Routt (4.27), and J.J. Nelson, Jacoby Ford, DeMarcus Van Dyke and Myrick (4.28).
“Spent three months working on that 40,” Myrick said. “Just cleaning up the start. After that, your natural speed takes over. I knew I ran a special one the second it was done.”
Myrick had four interceptions in 20 starts in his final two seasons as a Gopher. As a sophomore, he had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Northwestern.
As a pro, however, he’s still in the process of trying to transfer that elite speed into more playing time. A seventh-round pick a year ago, Myrick played in only five games with no starts as a rookie.
The only opening on Jacksonville’s No. 2-ranked defense from a year ago is at nickel back, where Aaron Colvin left via free agency to start for Houston.
Myrick, 23, is competing for that opening, but is behind four-year veteran Tyler Patmon and six-year veteran D.J. Hayden, who spent 2013 to 2016 as a first-round pick of the Raiders, and last year as a backup in Detroit.
“This is a business,” Myrick said. “I’m just trying to do my best to stay on this team.”
The Jaguars traveled to Minnesota without All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who was suspended by the team for berating reporters who filmed a training camp fight last weekend.
Thursday, Patmon took Ramsey’s spot at left corner, opposite A.J. Bouye, while Hayden ran with the starters at nickel back. Myrick worked with the second team at left corner.
Thursday’s practice ended with a situational 11-on-11 drill. The situation: Offense down 31-28 with 1:15 left and the ball at its own 20-yard line.
Jacksonville’s first- and second-team defenses controlled the Vikings. Kirk Cousins was intercepted by Hayden during first-team action, while the Vikings turned the ball over on downs when Myrick was on the field.
“Got my hand in on a ball to break it up [against receiver Tavarres King] that one time,” Myrick said of a first-down pass defense. “I know when I need to kick the speed on. If I’m lagging behind a receiver, I can kick it. I got that kick. Gotta have that kick.”