After all the tape study, the combine measurements/workouts, and re-watching of tape, there has been slight movement in the post combine cornerback rankings.
Jayson Braddock and Dory LeBlanc used extensive criteria that included (but was not limited to) read & react skills, man coverage, zone coverage, recovery, closing, run support, speed, tackling, tracking, physical makeup, physicality, and productivity into determining how those attributes translate to the NFL.
The ten-best prospects at the CB position are:
1. Janoris Jenkins – Northern Alabama, Sr., 5’10’ 193 Lbs. – This list is based solely on talent alone. Jenkins is the most talented cornerback in this class. With that said, teams may drop him down their board or off their list altogether, if they fear his character issues. EVEN
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2. Morris Claiborne – LSU, Jr., 5’11” 188 Lbs. – Morris is a very talented cornerback that is easily worth a top 10 pick. His stock will be boosted, thanks in large to the off field issues on Janoris. Teams won’t feel cheated as they know they are still getting a tier 1 cornerback. EVEN
3. Dre Kirkpatrick – Alabama, Jr., 6’2” 186 Lbs. – Some teams may want to boost Kirkpatrick above Jenkins as well. We believe that this would be a risk not worth taking. While Kirkpatrick is talented and will make for a quality, zone corner or safety, he isn’t on the same level as Jenkins or Claiborne. Drafting prospects is always a risk, we rather take the risk on what we consider, slight character concerns over a drop off in talent. EVEN
4. Jayron Hosley – Virginia Tech, Jr., 5’10” 178 Lbs. – Hosley is a play maker and locates the ball well. He uses great technique and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a team that needs a man corner, select Hosley over Kirkpatrick. EVEN
5. Casey Hayward – Vanderbilt, Sr., 5’11” 185 Lbs. – Hayward gets penalized for not being the fastest or the flashiest. Casey had similar, if not better results against the same SEC competition that Claiborne, Kirkpatrick, Gilmore, and Jenkins faced. There is no bust factor with Hayward, he’s disciplined and scheme diverse. EVEN
6. Stephen Gilmore – South Carolina, Jr., 6’0” 190 Lbs. – Gilmore is the opposite of Hayward. He is fast and he’s flashy. Unfortunately, he’s not scheme diverse. He’s similar to Kirkpatrick. He can play in zone but may be better suited as a safety. His zone ability though, places him above the remaining cornerbacks as a whole. When we originally graded him, we dinged him for not being a man corner but now solely grade him as a zone guy. +3
7. Josh Robinson – UCF, Jr., 5’10” 199 Lbs. – Robinson is a guy that we liked from the beginning. Everything we saw on tape he met and exceeded at the combine. We went back and watched several more games against his toughest competition and he definitely held his own. +3
8. Josh Norman – Coastal Carolina, Sr., 6’0” 197 Lbs. – When talking about confidence and ball skills, Norman may be first in this class at both. It’s odd to see a Coastal Carolina guy be so confident but he never backed down, despite the competition or the talent he faced. We watched the West Virginia vs CC game and it seemed as if they already knew about him. Geno Hayes almost refused to look at his side of the field. They only threw at him 3 times and it resulted into 3 incompletions. +3
9. Chase Minnifield – Virginia, rSr., 5’10” 183 Lbs. – Minnifield scares us a little bit. He has the ability to cover but he doesn’t trust himself. In far too many games we saw him constantly grab a receiver’s jersey, even though he was already in their hip pocket. If he didn’t have the confidence in college, we fear what may happen to him in the NFL. -1
10. Dwight Bentley – LA-Lafayette, Sr., 5’10” 182 Lbs. – Bentley will run up and smack a ball carrier, he’s also able to flip and stay tight in coverage. Our biggest complaint with Dwight, Bill, or whatever he’s going by today, is the 2010 Oklahoma State game. This was his opportunity to step up versus Justin Blackmon. Instead, he rarely defended him in the game, despite Blackmon torching his teammate for almost 200 yards and 2 touchdowns. Blackmon would of had a third but the defender pulled on the facemask as Justin was hauling in the catch. Why didn’t Bentley shadow him or switch after the abuse? +2