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2015 Cornerback Rankings

April 26, 2015
Could a new #21 be coming to town?

Could a new #21 be coming to town?

Cornerback

Prototype in the NFL: Darrelle Revis

Best In Class

Best Frame: Byron Jones                                  Best Quickness: Kevin Johnson

Best Run Stopper: Jalen Collins                       Best Long Speed: Trae Waynes

Best Ball Skills: Marcus Peters                        Best Instincts: Marcus Peters

Best Hips: Ifo Ekpre-Olumu                             Best Technician: Trae Waynes

  1. Marcus Peters Washington 5’11 5/8 197 Jr.

Comparison: Janoris Jenkins as a prospect, Antonio Cromartie on the field

Stats: Pac-12

Year Tackles Sack TFL FF PBU INT TD
2015
2014 30 0 4 0 7 3 0
2013 55 1 3.5 1 9 5 0
2012 44 0 2 0 8 3 1

Combine: Peters had a solid Combine with a 4.53 40 which at 6’0 200 is good enough. He also looked fluid and agile for a bigger CB with his shuttle and vertical both being on the higher end. He didn’t wow in any one area but he looked the part of a 1st round big CB.

HGT WGT Arms Hands 40 Reps Vert Broad Shuttle 3 Cone
5115 197 31.5 8.38 4.53 17 37.5 1001 4.08 7.08

Strengths: Good game vs. Jaelen Strong in 2014 really looking the part of a lock down corner in that game. He is a father as his girlfriend had a baby last fall so he possibly is becoming more mature. Redshirted in 2011, 2nd team Pac-12 in 2013, started 8 games as a freshman in 2012. He’s a big, strong cornerback that is extremely agile and was born to play press coverage. His ball skills are elite, especially for a big corner, and I see a real ability in him being both a shutdown corner and a playmaker. His one handed INT in the end zone is one of the most impressive plays I’ve seen this season. He is a confident, cocky cornerback who will have the confidence needed to be on an island against elite NFL athletes. On the field he is undoubtedly the best cornerback in the 2015 NFL Draft. His 11 INTs are higher than most other top notch CB prospects and his PBU to INT ratio is very good, again showing his elite ball skills. He is an intelligent player who seems to have some route recognition ability. He is very versatile as he is the best press cover corner in this draft but also is solid in off coverage due to his good instincts and ball skills.
Weaknesses:
He was kicked off the team last fall as he never seemed to get along with the new coaching staff (Chris Petersen from Boise State). It came to a crescendo with the new staff but even with the old staff he wasn’t a choir boy as he was suspended the first half of their bowl game in 2013 for breaking team rules and failed a drug test in 2011. He is being mentored by fellow Oakland alum Marshawn Lynch which I view as a negative. He only had 22 starts in his career despite playing regularly as a freshman. He is a hothead and will likely have occasional issues on the sidelines as a pro as I don’t see last year’s events as a one time thing. On the field he lacks great speed, though he does seem to play faster than his 4.53 40 time. He also is extremely cocky, yes I put it as a strength and a weakness, which sometimes causes him to lose sight of the game and get into too many mano y mano type battles. He is inconsistent in his effort in the run game. He did not interview well at the Combine and some teams doubt whether his apologies are sincere.

Overall: Ignore the hype about Waynes Combine performance, temporarily put aside the off the field issues with Peters and just watch the tape. If you do that you will see that Peters is in another class compared to Waynes and should only be dropped below other cornerbacks due to extracurricular issues. On the field Peters is a tall, long armed cornerback with good speed, great quickness, impressive route recognition and elite ball skills. If Peters ran a 4.45 or better I’d be making the case that he was deserving of a Top 5 grade, character issues ignored. He ran a 4.53 instead so he likely is deserving of a Top 10 grade, character issues ignored. Yet this is the new NFL where guys careers can be ruined by making one public mistake (see Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Adrian Peterson). It is important to determine whether Peters is a bad kid or he just made a bad mistake. Each team will come up with their own analysis on his issues but I personally think he’s just a hothead who sometimes lets his emotions get the best of him. I do not think he has a drug problem, yes he failed a drug test but it was 4 years ago and there have been none since, and I do not think he is a thug. He seems like a cocky kid who put himself ahead of the team last year and probably is also a bit of an asshole. These are things I could work with as a head coach, especially considering he reminds me of Janoris Jenkins and Antonio Cromartie, two recent Pro Bowl invitees. On the field Peters is the best cornerback in the draft and if a team agrees with me on their assessment of his off the field issues then Peters could go much higher on draft day than the consensus thinks. Top 15 as my #1 CB 4/26/15.

2. Kevin Johnson Wake Forest 6’0 1/4 188 Sr.

Stats: ACC

Year Tackles Sack TFL FF PBU INT TD
2014 44 0 3.5 0 6 1 0
2013 58 0 0 1 12 3 0
2012 58 0.5 3.5 2 15 3 0
2011 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2010 29 0 1 0 2 0 0

Combine: His 40 was solid for a CB of his size and it was clearly his worst drill as his vertical, broad, shuttle and 3 cone were all elite. That is one thing I hate about the Combine as Johnson outperformed Waynes in every drill except the 40 and the bench yet everyone acts like Waynes is the far superior athlete due to the media’s infatuation with the 40. It is important but quickness is probably more indicative of a cornerback’s success than speed is and Johnson showed elite quickness and explosion.

HGT WGT Arms Hands 40 Reps Vert Broad Shuttle 3 Cone
6002 188 31 8.38 4.52 41.5 1010 3.89 6.79

Strengths: There are few cornerbacks with Kevin’s combination of height (6’0 ¼) and quickness. A case can be made that he had a better Combine than Trae Waynes’ as there are 6 measurements and he beat Waynes in 4 of them with the shuttle times and 3 cone being HUGE wins. He is versatile as Wake Forest had him play press as well as off coverage. He was avoided most of 2014 due to his high level of play in 2012 and 2013. His height combined with his vertical will make him a perfect defensive tool against the big wideouts in the NFL which are now all in vogue.
Weaknesses:
I hate Kevin’s technique. I’d actually argue that he has no technique and gets away with it due to his rare combination of size and quickness. At the next level he will really need to buckle down and learn to play with technique or he will find himself on the bench. He’s by far the oldest of the top cornerbacks as he redshirted and played four full seasons. He is only average in off coverage and really should go to a team that plays man coverage predominantly. He was tossed vs. Louisville for targeting. He sometimes gets a little too involved in the trash talking, taunting aspect of the game (2014 FSU game he did throat slash gesture, stood over players after incompletions, did a borderline targeting hit, and talked to Winston after numerous plays).

Overall: Kevin is a player that I initially wasn’t too interested in yet the more tape I watched the more I appreciated his rare strengths. His combination of height, quickness, ball skills and agility make him a rare package. I think his Combine was largely ignored due to his average 40 time (4.52) but that would be a mistake as I can’t remember the last time I saw a +6’0 cornerback run a sub 4.00 shuttle. It’s a drill that measures quickness and change of direction, two attributes which are incredibly important for a cornerback. Also with his elite height and vertical jump (41 ½) a smart team would have him work exclusively against the team’s bigger wideout which would largely negate his mediocre deep speed. Most people have Waynes ahead of everyone in this CB class yet I have Peters as my #1 and really researched whether Johnson, not Waynes was my #2. In the end he falls slightly behind Waynes but the two are extremely close in grade. Top 20 as my #3 CB 4/26/15. I went back and switched Waynes and Johnson as I Waynes lack of ball skills and overall awareness really grew on me. Johnson is my #2 CB and still a Top 20 grade 4/29/15.

3. Trae Waynes Michigan State 6’0 1/8 186 Jr.

Comparison: A rich man’s Aaron Ross

Stats: Big Ten

Year Tackles Sack TFL FF PBU INT TD
2015
2014 46 1 2 0 8 3 0
2013 50 0 1.5 0 5 3 0
2012 5 0 0.5 0 0 0 0

Combine: He came into the Combine as the #1 CB on most people’s boards and ended any discussion with a blistering 4.31 40. His reps were impressive (19), especially for his weight, and he measured in at over 6’0. His shuttle was terrible (3rd worst among the 54 DBs) which makes sense as he isn’t that quick on tape but otherwise the Combine was perfect in every way for Waynes.

HGT WGT Arms Hands 40 Reps Vert Broad Shuttle 3 Cone
6001 186 31 8.25 4.31 19 38 1002 4.39 7.06

Strengths: He is universally regarded as the #1 CB in the 2015 NFL Draft. 1st Team Big Ten in 2014. He is a legit 6’0 (6’0 1/8) and has long arms. His 4.31 40 is elite let alone for a 6’0 CB and puts him among the all time great prospects in terms of height/40 time combination. He has played press coverage throughout his career and seems to have the best technique in this year’s draft. He gave up only 2 TDs in his final 2 seasons in college and was often ignored for large stretches of the game due to his size, technique and speed.
Weaknesses:
He struggled against Antwan Godley and KD Cannon in the bowl game vs. Baylor. He doesn’t play at 4.31 type speed. He doesn’t consistently get his head turned around for the ball which is why he has only 6 career INTs. He dropped a likely pick 6 in the Baylor game as well and really struggled in his final collegiate game. He put up 19 reps on the bench but he plays extremely weak and it has always been an issue I’ve had with him. He plays press and bail coverage rarely ever getting an actual jam on receivers. Sometimes I watch his tape and wonder if he’s a bit of a workout warrior as I just don’t see a CB with 4.31 speed and 19 reps on the bench. He has poor quickness so his 4.39 shuttle isn’t surprising. I do not see Pro Bowls in his future and think he will settle in as a good #2 CB. His Combine performance has elevated him into the Top 10 conversation which would be a mistake as in most years he wouldn’t be the #1 CB.

Overall: Waynes has always looked like a mid to late 1st round cornerback who could start from Day 1 due to his experience in a press coverage defensive scheme at Michigan State. I continue to see that role for him and think he will become a quality #2 CB for a team. What has changed isn’t my opinion on Waynes but is the scouting community’s opinion on him and it all goes back to the 4.31 40 time he ran in February. Adding that to the equation, as well as the fact that Waynes is squeaky clean off the field unlike more talented players like Peters and Collins, has vaulted Waynes into the #1 CB for this draft and created talk that he could go in the Top 10. That would be a mistake as Waynes will never be a lock down corner in the pros and doesn’t play as fast as his 40 time. In fact his Combine wasn’t even that great as his broad jump, shuttle and 3 cone were all below average yet have been ignored due to the media’s fascination with the 40 time. On film Waynes isn’t strong, isn’t quick and seems to have mediocre ball skills. I love his height, long arms and good speed but he isn’t a burner on film and I just don’t see him ever being a Pro Bowler. Peters to me is unequivocally the best corner in this draft and I’m leaving him at #1 despite the off the field issues. Waynes will be a solid corner and could probably start from Day 1 but his upside is limited and I consider him to be highly overrated due to his Combine performance. Top 20 as my #2 CB 4/26/15. I went back and switched Waynes and Johnson as Wayne’s lack of ball skills and overall awareness really grew the more I watched him. He drops to a late 1st round grade and from the #2 CB spot to the #3 4/29/15.

  1. Jalen Collins LSU 6’0 1/2 203 Jr.

Comparison: Dee Milliner

Stats: SEC

Year Tackles Sack TFL FF PBU INT TD
2015
2014 38 0 3 0 9 1 0
2013 22 0 0 0 2 0 0
2012 30 0 0 0 6 2 0
2011 3 0 0 0 1 0 0

Combine: His elite physical traits were on display as he measured in at 6’1 ½ 203 and ran a sub 4.5 40 (4.48). On measurables alone he looks like a Top 10 pick.  He also was good in backpedal drill showing impressive agility for his size.

HGT WGT Arms Hands 40 Reps Vert Broad Shuttle 3 Cone
6014 203 32.38 9.38 4.48 36 1004 4.27 6.77

Strengths: Freshman All-SEC in 2012. His size/speed ratio is Top 10 talent level. He’s thick like a safety yet has CB speed and appears to have solid enough hips and quickness too. When motivated he can be an elite run stuffer. He’s one of the most athletic players in this draft and a case could be made that he could become a Pro Bowl corner OR safety.
Weaknesses:
He only started 9 games and has off the field issues. He doesn’t have great ball skills as seen by his 3 career picks. He isn’t young, despite coming out early, as he’s been at LSU for 4 seasons. He failed multiple drug tests at LSU. He had a stress fracture in his foot, found at the Combine, and he had surgery on it in March. He might not be available for OTAs. He isn’t always motivated to stop the run. He is raw in his technique and seems to rely on his athleticism.

Overall: Jalen is an elite talent that already appears capable of starting at CB for an NFL team on Day 1. That’s impressive considering he is extremely raw and has only 9 career starts but his size/speed/quickness is so good that only off the field issues could derail him from having a solid NFL career. If he improves on his technique and his ball skills naturally progress as he gets older he has a chance to be an elite, shutdown cornerback. He is recovering from surgery on a stress fracture in his foot and word has leaked that he failed numerous drug tests in college so there are questions that NFL teams will have to sort out but I don’t see him being too dangerous to bring into a locker room. Without the off the field issues he’d get a Top 20 grade so with the drug tests, the stress fracture has no relevance to his final grade, he drops to the late 1st round 4/26/15.

  1. Byron Jones Connecticut 6’0 5/8 199 Sr.

Comparison: Ras-I Dowling

Stats: Big East

Year Tackles Sack TFL FF PBU INT TD
2014 24 0 0 0 4 2 1
2013 60 0 2 0 8 3 0
2012 87 0 1.5 0 2 1 0
2011 51 0 0 0 4 2 0

Combine: He and Kevin White probably had the two best Combines in 2015. His vertical of 44 ½ is one of the best I’ve ever graded. His broad jump of 12’3 was the highest mark ever at the Combine. To put that mark in perspective, the Olympics retired the standing broad jump in 1912 and at the time the WORLD RECORD was 11’4 ½! He didn’t just beat a world record but shattered it. Add to that the fact that he also had a sub 4.0 shuttle as a +6’0 CB (something I was bragging about in Kevin Johnson’s profile) as well as the fact that he had ’10 hands which is incredibly rare for a CB and you can make the case it was one of the best Combines EVER for a cornerback.

HGT WGT Arms Hands 40 Reps Vert Broad Shuttle 3 Cone
6005 199 32 10 44.5 1203 3.94 6.78

Strengths: He has Top 5 talent in terms of size, speed, quickness and explosion. His measurables are some of the best on record at his position. He isn’t great with the ball in the air but he is more than solid as evidenced by his 8 career INTs. He has the versatility to be a cornerback or a safety. He ran a 4.36 40 at his Pro Day. He is very good in run support and has +200 career tackles, again evidence that he could move to safety.
Weaknesses:
His most natural position appears to be safety. I left him at cornerback because it is the position where he could make the most impact since he doesn’t have great instincts so he’d never be a ballhawking safety. He isn’t balanced and isn’t smooth in his backpedal which concerns me. He had good production but his game film isn’t on par with his historic measurables. He is a tightly built athlete which often doesn’t translate well at the CB position.

Overall: Byron has the highest upside of any DB in this draft class. Unfortunately I’m still unconvinced that his best position is CB, I don’t see all of his historic measurables translating to his on field play and he’s coming off an injury plagued season. There is a lot of homework to be done with Byron as I can see some team making a case that he is the #1 CB in the draft and I can see another team making the case that he’s a workout warrior and not worth consideration until the 3rd round. I like him and have him sneaking into the 1st round in my final analysis but am still a little wary of him. To be honest I think he will be mediocre at CB and eventually move to FS but I agree with the consensus that you have to first let him fail at CB as his upside is so high at that position. A lot of his future success will probably be determined by which team drafts him and what scheme they play him in. Unfortunately I won’t know that before I make my final grade so I will just conclude by saying that Byron has all the talent in the world but is extremely raw and possibly isn’t playing the correct position. I’d love to get him on my team and experiment with him but due to the questions surrounding him I can’t put him any higher than #5 on my CB list as a late 1st rounder 4/26/15.

  1. PJ Williams Florida State 6’0 194 Jr.

Comparison: Brandon Carr

Stats: ACC

Year Tackles Sack TFL FF PBU INT TD
2015
2014 74 1 6.5 1 10 1 0
2013 35 0 1.5 0 7 3 1
2012 14 0 1 0 1 0 0

Combine:

HGT WGT Arms Hands 40 Reps Vert Broad Shuttle 3 Cone
6000 194 31 8.63 4.57 12 40 11 4.28 7.08

Strengths: He’s a tall, long CB who is smooth in coverage and is experienced. He played a lot of man coverage in college and regularly worked in practice against NFL caliber wideouts like Kelvin Benjamin and Rashad Greene. He was the defensive MVP of the BCS Championship game in 2013. He’s a smart CB and seems to understand and pick up what a receiver is trying to do on a play. His 74 tackles in 2014 is an impressive number for a cornerback. Teams seemed to avoid him most of the time in 2014.
Weaknesses:
He ran a 4.57 40 at the Combine and plays like it as he lacks any type of recovery speed. He seems to have limited upside due to his mediocre athleticism and I don’t see him ever being better than an average starter in the NFL. He only played consistently in college for 2 seasons (rarely played as a freshman, skipped his senior season).

Overall: Williams is a solid prospect at a position that is incredibly difficult to fill so he likely will be drafted earlier than he should. At 6’0 194 he has the size teams covet and he plays like a big corner as he is aggressive in run support and has good press technique. He also is smooth in coverage, a rarity for a 6’0 corner, and seems to understand offensive philosophy and how a team is trying to attack him. I notice some route recognition from him which is quite impressive for a true junior. Unfortunately he ran a 4.57 40 at the Combine and the tape shows this flaw in his game as he can be beat deep and doesn’t have good catch up speed. Due to this lack of speed I see Williams as a guy that has limited upside and I have my doubts that he will ever become more than an average starting cornerback. I see a polished prospect who should be able to start from Day 1 for an NFL team and he should be helpful to have when facing bigger wideouts yet I can’t give Williams a 1st round grade due to his low ceiling. I know cornerbacks are hard to find but I can’t be talked into taking someone in the first round that has no chance of ever making a Pro Bowl. Early 2nd round as my # CB 4/26/15.

  1. Steven Nelson Oregon State 5’10 1/8 197 Sr. JUCO kid who started two seasons for Oregon State and was very productive in both with 122 tackles, 16 PBUs and 8 INTs. All of those numbers are elite. Second team Pac-12 in 2014. He ran a 4.49 40 but probably doesn’t play that fast. He is an extremely aggressive and physical player with elite ball skills so there is a lot to like about him but he’s barely above 5’10 and doesn’t play as fast as his 40 time. To me he’s a perfect outside corner in a scheme that gives him safety help over the top. In that scheme I could see him start and be an effective player. Outside of that scheme he likely will be forced inside as a slot cornerback which hurts his value tremendously. Nonetheless the kid is strong, feisty and will battle receivers all day long. He probably doesn’t have starter caliber tools but due to his heart I wouldn’t be surprised if he eventually fought his way into a #2 CB role for some team. Late 2nd round as one of the more underrated players in this draft 4/26/15.
  2. Ronald Darby FSU 5’10 5/8 193 Jr. Good in backpedal drill, very tight in hips so he has quick feet but tight hips. He was a part time player in 2012 and 2013 (22 tackles and 14 tackles respectively) so it’s rather shocking that Darby left school early after only one full season of starting. He ran a great 40 (4.38) and was elite in the explosion drills (41 ½ vert, 10’9 broad) so it helped his cause but I still wonder where he’s going to go in the draft with his limited track record (2 career INTs). He’s an aggressive player that is thickly built and could play safety or cornerback. That versatility, as well as his short stature, has me reminded of Jimmie Ward out of Northern Illinois last year but Ward’s stats for one season were superior to Darby’s 3 seasons. Darby looks like an up and coming player who came out too early but who should still be drafted on the first two days since he projects as a versatile starter that can be an outside CB, inside slot CB or FS depending on the team’s needs. Early 3rd round 4/26/15.
  3. Doran Grant Ohio State 5’10 ¼ 200 He had a great Combine with a 4.44 40, 21 reps on the bench and looked fluid in the drills. He isn’t explosive though as his vertical and broad were some of the worst among this year’s CB class. I like his tape though and think he’s a borderline starter on the outside and, at worst, a quality slot CB. Early 3rd round 4/26/15.
  4. Quentin Rollins Miami-OH 5’11 195 Sr. A former basketball player who hadn’t played football since HS but played this past season at CB (PG on the basketball team) and was the MAC defensive player of the year! He has solid length and great quickness but is very raw and didn’t run well (4.57) so he’s a mixed bag. I love his ball skills and toughness on film though so I consider him a worthwhile project type. 3rd round 4/25/15,
  5. Lorenzo Doss Tulane 5’10 3/8 182 Sr. He is the worst tackling CB in this draft. He has abnormally short arms (29 ¾) for a +5’10 CB. I really am impressed with his film as he has good ball skills and legit NFL speed yet his short arms and complete apathy as a run stuffer worries me. He reminds me a bit of Kayvon Webster who came out a few years ago yet Webster was taller. He had elite production in college with 33 passes defenses and 15 INTs yet was a bit lazy in his technique, didn’t try in the run game and jumped routes too often. He has the talent to start in the NFL if he gets with a good coach and puts in the work but he has quite a few issues that I feel will cause many teams to avoid him. Late 3rd round 4/25/15.
  6. Julian Wilson Oklahoma #2 6’2 205 Sr. In the 2013 Notre Dame game he had nice INT off deflection despite getting hit. In the 2014 Tulsa game he had a huge hit on a short out in front of him. He had a 100 yd INT return for a TD and had a PBU earlier in the game. He is their #2 CB but looks like a legit prospect in his own right. 4x Academic All Big-12 at OU. He ran a 4.58 40 which isn’t surprising as he doesn’t look that fast on film but I still like him as a long armed (’32 3/8), big framed (6’2 205) CB. It surprises me with how little hype he has going into the draft as it makes me wonder if he will even be drafted. I think he’s a potential starter in a press oriented scheme and think he is severely undervalued. Late 3rd round 4/25/15.
  7. Senquez Golson Ole Miss 5’8 5/8 176 Sr. Elite ball skills and really knows how to track a ball. Former CF in baseball. Golson is a slot CB who has no chance to start on the outside. As such he has limited value but he should be very capable in his role due to his great ball skills and impressive quickness. Some teams will have him off their board due to his size while others will be targeting him as a poor man’s Tyrann Mathieu so he could go anywhere from the early 3rd-7th round. Late 3rd round 4/25/15.
  8. Quandre Diggs Texas #6 5’9 1/8 196 Sr. Big 12 Freshman of the Year in 2011. 3rd team Big 12 in 2013. Great in backpedal drill, great in 3 turn drill. He showed elite foot quickness, good hips and good ball skills. Diggs has size issues and his 40 (4.56) wasn’t good for a sub 5’10 CB but I’ve always seen NFL talent in him. He has been maddeningly inconsistent during his time in Austin and never lived up to the hype but he has quick feet, solid ball skills and a noticeable burst on film so I think he could make it as a slot CB. Early 4th round 4/25/15.
  9. Kevin White TCU #25 5’9 183 Sr. In the 2013 LSU game he was picked on but overall he had good coverage and their plan wasn’t successful. I like his tape but a 5’9 CB with 4.63 speed he is basically undraftable measurement wise. He’s a scrappy player though and he really stood out at the Senior Bowl practices so I’ll partially overlook his terrible measurables and give him a mid round grade as a future slot CB. Early 6th round 4/27/15.
  10. Charles Gaines Louisville 5’9 7/8 180 Jr. He redshirted in 2011, was a WR in 2012 and then played CB in 2013 and 2014. He is an elite athlete and has scored on a kick return, punt return and blocked punt. He had a good Combine with a nice 40 as well as was agile in drills. He’s a big time trash talker and is a media darling with his fun soundbites before and after games. He had a good 40 (4.44) and his nose for the football is known (7 INTs the past two seasons) yet his game film is mediocre as he struggled vs. Georgia in 2014 and doesn’t look fast, quick or big on film. To me he settles in as a mediocre slot corner prospect and therefore isn’t in consideration until Day 3 of the draft. He will likely get drafted early on Day 3 though due to his elite measurables and since there is some upside to his game since he’s only been playing CB for 2 seasons. Early 4th round 4/26/15.
  11. Ifo Ekpre-Olumu Oregon 5’9 192 Sr. P: 1st team Pac-12 in 2013. Has an NFL look to him with a perfect CB body, has elite ball skills and almost always comes up with an INT when given an opportunity, is tough for a CB and doesn’t mind getting involved in run support. In the 2014 Michigan St. game he had good coverage throughout, had a few impressive punt returns and then had a spectacular diving INT in the 4th Q to help seal the game (7:58 4th). He reminds me in style of Terrance Newman who is still playing in the NFL +10 years after he was drafted. N: Doesn’t have elite height (5’10) or speed (looks like a 4.4 type) Tore his ACL in practice leading up to the bowl game vs. Florida State. Word is that the injury was more serious than a normal ACL tear and he might never play again. Ifo is a prospect that will be evaluated more by a team’s doctor than a team’s scout as he looked like a mid to late 1st rounder before the injury yet his knee injury was so devastating that some think he’ll never play again. I put him as a mid round roll of the dice type. 4th round 4/25/15.
  12. Kenneth Penny UNLV #17 5’11 175 Sr. In the 2014 Arizona game he had blanket coverage for a PBU on a scramble drill play. P: He has extremely long arms. Considered the best CB on the team. Arizona looked away from him all game. In 2013 he was 2nd in the nation in PBUs (18). I haven’t heard a thing about Penny throughout the draft process and on many CB ranking lists he either isn’t listed or in the free agent level but I saw talent with him and will keep him on my board where I had him. He’s a smaller, undersized CB with great length and ball skills. He has the size to stay outside but ran a 4.57 at his pro day so he might move inside due to that. 5th round 4/25/15.
  13. Damian Swann Georgia #5 6’0 189 Sr. In the 2013 LSU game he was beat by Odell Beckham a number of times, wasn’t physical at all and played trail coverage regularly, he didn’t impress me but still has NFL size/athleticism. P: He has great structure for a CB with a lean build, good natural strength and long arms. He throws his body around as a blitzer and run stopper. He isn’t a soft corner by any means. N: He isn’t fast on film, he ran a 4.50 40 but doesn’t play like it, he never really improved from his Soph year. Swann at one time had a 3rd round grade on my board but he seems to have flatlined as a prospect. I think he’s a tad underrated considering some view him as a late round/free agent type but I doubt he ever starts in the NFL. 5th round 4/25/15.
  14. Tevin Mitchel Arkansas 5’11 5/8 183 Sr. He changed from #8 in 2013 to #23 in 2014. In the 2013 Texas A&M game he was beat by Mike Evans for a 49 yd post on 1st play of game, good PBU on fade in end zone. In the 2014 Texas Tech game he had a nice PBU on a slant on back to back plays! For years I kept waiting for Mitchel to break out and become the elite CB I thought he could be. In hindsight maybe I overrated him but I still think he has NFL talent as he is extremely fluid for a guy with his height and length. I’d target him as a late round type or bring him in as a free agent as there is a distinct chance he isn’t drafting. Nonetheless I believe in his talent and consider him a big time sleeper. Early 6th round 4/25/15.
  15. Ladarius Gunter Miami 6’1 ½ 202 A long armed CB who had a terrible 40 at the Combine. Can he move to FS, can he just be a slower footed press corner ala Bashaud Breeland or is he a tweener who will be a bust? I think it is the later as I saw little on his tape or at the Combine that made me like him except for his height. 6th round 4/25/15.
  16. Craig Mager Texas State 5’11 ½ 201 Sr. He had a great Combine which probably caused a lot of people to go back and check out his tape. I can be included on that list and I was impressed by how physical he was in the run game and with his overall athleticism. He is a little tight and quite thick for a CB so I think safety might actually be a better fit for him but I left him at CB as that was where he played in college. He’s an interesting mid to late round project type. 6th round 4/25/15.
  17. D’Joun Smith Florida Atlantic 5’10 187 Sr. He had a good 40 (4.45) and barely made the cutoff at 5’10 to avoid being relegated to the slot but I don’t see much value in Smith. His tape was very mediocre as he didn’t tried but wasn’t very good against the run and never showed any anticipation or awareness in coverage. 7th round due to his 40 time 4/26/15.

Free Agents:

Merrill Noel 5’8 177 Wake Forest Sr. He was a Freshman All-American in 2011 due to his nation leading 19 passes defenses, along with 2 INTs yet he’s battled injuries and inconsistent play since then. He has good quickness and ball skills but he ran a 4.54 40 at his pro day (should be discounted to more of a 4.6) and is 5’8 so he’ll be a slot CB who will be lucky to make a roster. Free Agent 4/25/15.

Cleshawn Page Boise State 5’9 178 Sr. In the 2014 Ole Miss game he was extremely physical at the POA on screen passes and 0 routes making numerous big hits. Free Agent 4/25/15.

Randall Evans Kansas St. #15 Sr. In the 2012 West Virginia game he had a nice deflection on pass attempt in his zone with it being INT by LB. Camp invite 4/25/15.

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