The 2013 NFL Draft saw the first corner (Dee Milliner) come off the board at No. 9 and four corners taken in round one. With fifteen corners off the board in the top 100 picks, 2013’s class proved to be a deep one – rich in talent.
The 2014 corner class will feature a headliner in Ohio State’s Bradley Roby. Despite being a junior, Roby has already stated he will be entering the draft. Roby’s combination of speed and movement skills should intrigue teams in the top ten. The senior class features a fairly deep talent base with a top-end playmaker in TCU’s Jason Verrett.
After the break check out our 2014 NFL Draft cornerback rankings.
1. Jason Verrett, TCU
I was very skeptical about a guy checking in at 5-foot-10 and 176 pounds but Verrett was a monster on tape. I’m four games in on Verrett and in every game he’s at the center of the action. He plays more physical than his size suggests and is equally adept in man and zone coverage. Verrett will have to overcome his mid-round size with his first round ability.
2. Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma
Right corner that played really well in 2012 – his first as a full-time starter at corner. Colvin started at safety in 2011 and it shows with his ability to secure tackles at the line of scrimmage. Nice size (6-0, 184) and speed blend that should be helped by another season at the position.
3. Ross Cockrell, Duke
I may be alone on this one but this kid can play. His combination of athleticism and instincts are second to none in this class. He isn’t a great tackler but his ability to mirror in off-coverage will draw the intrigue of scouts in the early portions of the draft. He’s a kid that could and should rise in the media this season and don’t be surprised if he’s not an early day two selection when it’s all said and done.
4. Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State
I’m not sure where Joyner is going to play at the next level but someone will find a spot for him to be disruptive at. Joyner has played corner and safety at FSU – he’s expected to see more time at corner in 2013 for the Seminoles. Joyner is an intimidator with excellent range and finds ways to disrupt the offense. It would be a huge mistake for someone to pass on Joyner for being too small to play at the next level.
5. Deion Belue, Alabama
With Dee Milliner moving on, Belue will get the corner spotlight for ‘Bama. Belue excelled in year one at ‘Bama as a starter. Belue could stand to add some weight to his frame but has solid speed and overall athleticism. This is a bit of a projection but Belue should rise up draft boards with another solid season in year two in Nick Saban’s defense.
6. Bene Bewikere, San Jose State
Bewikere has a nose for the football. Bewikere may be best suited as a zone corner at the next level but his ability to make plays on the ball will play well for teams employing a lot of zone coverage. Bewikere doesn’t possess great hips or speed but his instincts in zone should keep him in latter portions of day two.
7. Marcus Williams, North Dakota State
8. Antone Exum, Virginia Tech
9. Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
10. Bennett Jackson, Notre Dame
11. Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
12. Ricardo Allen, Purdue
13. Carrington Byndom, Texas
14. Joe Williams, Baylor
15. Pierre Desir, Lindenwood
16. Andre Hal, Vanderbilt
17. Shaquille Richardson, Arizona
18. E.J. Gaines, Missouri
19. Bookie Sneed, Sam Houston State
20. Jaylen Watkins, Florida
21. Ciante Evans, Nebraska
22. Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
23. Kenneth Acker, SMU
24. Keith McGill, Utah