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2017 CB Rankings

April 21, 2017


  1. Marshon Lattimore Ohio State 6’0 193 Soph Redshirted one season. He had a great game vs. Oklahoma in 2016 as he was thrown to three times with one completed (he fell down) and the other two intercepted by him! He blanketed his receiver all game long in island, man coverage. He ran a 4.36 40, ‘38 ½ vertical and 11’0 broad jump all of which are elite and ranked among the best of the 60 DBs at the Combine. He has had major issues with his hamstrings as he struggled with them in High School, redshirted as a freshman to have surgery on them and then was shut down early in 2015 (5 tackles) due to them. In 2016 he was fully healthy and wowed with 41 tackles, 4 INT and 9 PBUs as a 1st Team Big Ten yet his hamstring issues popped up again at the Combine as he had to cut his workout short due to tweaking it (later was clarified as a hip flexor issue). Other than his one year wonder status and his injury issues he is a complete CB as he’s big, strong, fast in a straight line, has great flexibility and bend, put up an elite workout at the Combine, and has outstanding ball skills, catching the ball like a WR. The question is simply, do you think Lattimore will consistently be available for your team and, if not, how high do you take him knowing he could have an injury plagued career. He ran a 4.36 40 and plays like it as he has ridiculous catch up speed and an elite burst that hypnotizes me at times. His catch up burst is arguably the best I’ve ever graded for a CB and honestly has me thinking Deion Sanders it’s that incredible. He just has a different gear few humans possess. He could easily become a Darrelle Revis in his prime type player and even has a Revis body type, thicker lower body than most CBs have. Lattimore is clearly the best CB in this class and it’s not even close. He has a higher upside than any CB in the past 10 drafts but has red flags that other elite DB prospects like Jalen Ramsey didn’t have last year. Lattimore is such a smooth athlete, a characteristic I highly value in cornerbacks, so I have trouble not falling in love with the kid. He’s a stud and if he can stay healthy he’ll become a perennial Pro Bowler and one of the five best CBs in the NFL. If he can’t stay healthy then the team that takes him will likely regret passing on some of the other elite talent in this draft class but I’d be fine with taking a chance on him. Top 5 as my #1 CB who is my highest rated CB I’ve ever graded (had Jalen Ramsey and Patrick Peterson with Top 5 grades also but at FS-if counting them at CB he’d be the 3rd best grade I’ve ever given to a CB only due to his injury history as I actually like his physical skills more than Ramsey’s or Peterson’s due to his superior quickness and agility).
  2. Kevin King Washington 6’3 200 Sr. He ran a 4.43 40, ‘39 ½ vertical, 3.89 (#1 time among 60 DBs) shuttle and 6.56 3 cone (also #1 time) all of which were elite. His shuttle wasn’t just the #1 time for DBs but was #1 among all prospects at the 2017 Combine, .01 seconds ahead of runner up Christian McCaffrey who has insane start/stop abilities. He had a Top 5 pick type workout. In 2013 he was a part time player (17 tackles), in 2014 he became a full time starter and made a big impact in the run game (65 tackles, 1 INT, 1 FF, 3 PBUs) and in 2015-2016 he became a bigger playmaker (39-44 tackles, 2-3 INT, 5-13 PBUs each year). He’s a very tall, long CB who unfortunately has some of his height negated by ‘32 arms (below average for 6’3). I sniffed a little punk in him as a person but he hasn’t been in any off the field incidents I can find. He’s not a form tackler and kind of dives at the lower body of runners. It’s very aggressive in how he does it so I wouldn’t say he’s an ankle grabber but runners sometimes just dodge him or jump over him and he’s out of the play because he doesn’t wrap up. His DB coach could hate that part of his game. He’s easily one of the best athletes in this draft and it translates to the field as he’s tall, quick and very fast. The Washington DB coaching staff must be very good as King, Sidney Jones and Marcus Peters (who came out 3 years ago) all have great technique. King has some shutdown corner to his game but I suspect he’ll end up as a step below that level and “just” a very good starter. If his arms were longer and he showed more strength in his press it might put me over the top on him but right now I’m seeing his elite traits but not seeing Pro Bowl CB. Top 20 as my #2 CB who I like but likely will be overdrafted due to his elite measurables as his play is very good but not quite up to those measurables 4/12/17.
  3. Chidobe Awuzie Colorado 5’11 ⅞ 202 Sr. He ran a 4.43 40, ‘34 ½ vertical, 11’0 broad, 4.14 shuttle and 6.81 3 cone. He was average to elite across the board with his 40 being above average and his broad being elite. He’s a very active defender with great experience as he has four seasons with +50 tackles, two seasons with 4 sacks and 28 career PBUs. He’s not a ballhawk by any stretch with only 3 INTs in 4 seasons. His stats make me think he’d be a good candidate as a FS if CB doesn’t work out. He’s thickly built with a good frame on him who loves the physical nature of the game. He’d be a great zone corner and is a bad corner to throw bubble screens against. He must be a former gymnast as I’ve never seen another player leap in the air more often than Awuzie does. He sometimes does acrobatic flips to get up off the ground after a play. Its funny because some players aren’t ballhawks because they can’t read plays in advance and some aren’t because of their hands. Awuzie is clearly the latter as he is great at reading plays and making PBUs and big hits but just isn’t good at securing INTs. I love his aggressive nature and his elite tackling skills as he is probably the best tackler in this CB class. He’s an elite blitzer and is adept at stripping the ball when he gets to the QB (6 career FF). Part of me thinks he fits better as a FS but he has the quickness and hips to stay at CB so I’m leaving him there. In either spot he looks like a long time starter who has an Antoine Winfield type game with elite run stopping skills, good pass coverage ability and terrible hands. I value ball skills quite a lot so I have to downgrade him for his hands and I question his technique as he seems raw in that area but he has a lot of elite traits for a prospect so he could definitely have some Pro Bowls in his future. Top 20 as my #3 CB 4/12/17.
  4. Quincy Wilson Florida 6’’1 ½ 211 Jr. He ran a 4.54 40, ‘32 vertical, 9’10 broad, 4.02 shuttle and 6.86 3 cone with everything but the quickness drills being below average to bad. He was a bit player in 2014 (22 tackles, 1 INT, 1 FF, 3 PBUs) and steadily improved from there with 2015 being good (29 tackles, 2 INT, 5 PBUs) and 2016 being very good (33 tackles, 3 INT, 1 sack, 6 PBUs). His 1 career FF and 1 career sack in 3 years, along with his low tackles numbers, shows he’s strictly a cover corner. It takes about five seconds to see why teams like Quincy as he’s a tall, thickly built guy with great strength and good agility. He doesn’t have great long speed and his Combine measurables show his mediocre explosiveness but also shows his above average quickness, all of which perfectly translates to how he plays the game. In the 2016 Alabama game he had good coverage throughout but was terrible in run support, something that really bothers me for a big corner like him. He doesn’t seem to have the heart to battle in the run game and I wonder if that will ever change. In pass coverage he’s really good and that is why he will be drafted. He plays much better in press than in off coverage and with his size it’d be a waste of his best attribute if you didn’t play him predominantly in press. His quickness and agility for a CB his size is impressive as he has quick feet, can bend and runs well with receivers. Unfortunately he looks like a 4.54 40 type speed guy so he will need to be used judiciously against certain WRs. I think his best fit would be defending big wideouts and TEs one on one as he’d be great at this. If a team wants him to play against smaller, speedy wideouts then it will likely need to give him help over the top. If he was a better tackler and was 0.1 second faster he’d be a Top 10 player. Unfortunately he has obvious red flags in run support and with deep speed so he doesn’t project as a lockdown corner unless a team uses him exclusively on certain types of players. I like Wilson and think he’ll be a very good pro. He also appears very technically sound and is a polished player, especially for an underclassmen, so he should see the field early. Late 1st round as my #4 CB 4/13/17.
  5. Marlon Humphrey Alabama 6’0 ¼ 197 Soph Redshirted one season. He ran a 4.41 40, 10’5 broad and 6.75 3 cone with the 40 and 3 cone being elite. I’m surprised he’s coming out 2 years early as he was good in 2015 (45 tackles, 3 INT, 2 FF, 8 PBUs) and 2016 (36 tackles, 2 INT, 1 FF, 5 PBUs) but never elite and rarely do Alabama guys leave early unless they are surefire 1st rounders which I don’t think Humphrey is. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, I don’t like Alabama corners. They always are built too tightly, aren’t experienced man cover guys and have a very high bust rate. From Dre Kirkpatrick to Dee Milliner to Kareem Jackson they all are mediocre starters to huge busts and none are really deserving of their 1st round draft status. Humphrey was a blue chip prospect out of HS who unexpectedly redshirted (I wonder if he’s leaving early to stick it to Saban for that redshirt). He started his two years and was productive. He’s a big corner that really shows power and strength in his film. He’ll fit best in a press scheme and likes to intimidate opponents with big hits and having his hands on them on a regular basis. He is very good against the run and relishes the physical side of the sport. He isn’t Kirkpatrick level tight in the hips but he isn’t the smoothest athlete laterally and shows some of those Alabama CB characteristics that I worry about. He has really good hands and came down with some impressive INTs. That makes his activity level seem higher than it is as 13 PBUs in two years as a full time starter isn’t impressive so on one hand his INT to PBU ratio is high (huge plus) but on the other hand he didn’t make a lot of plays overall (huge negative). In the 2016 Clemson game (national championship) he was a mixed bag as he gave up a huge pass interference call, slipped to give up an easy TD, +25 yard jump ball (all to Mike Williams), a blown coverage as he didn’t switch on a pick route and a less obvious missed switch on a pick route that was the game winner. Yet he also looked fast and physical throughout the game so his physical traits were on display. Humphrey is a roll of the dice prospect because he is tall, fast, physical and has really good hands so there are Pro Bowl traits with him but he’s also not the most instinctive guy, doesn’t track the ball that well on deeper routes, isn’t extremely quick and comes from a program that has a very poor record of producing NFL cornerbacks. I like him as he’s more agile than Kirkpatrick and more physical than Milliner but I worry about him. He’ll be interesting to review in 4 years as he could be a Pro Bowl CB or could be another overrated, mediocre starter from Alabama. Late 1st as my #5 CB 4/13/17.
  6. Ahkello Witherspoon Colorado 6’2 ¾ 198 Sr. Redshirted one season. Five years out of HS so he’s an older prospect. He ran a 4.45 40, ‘40 ½ vertical, 10’7 broad, 4.13 shuttle and 6.93 3 cone. He barely played in 2014 (12 tackles) after coming from the JUCO ranks and then had two straight good seasons in 2015 (36 tackles, 2 INT, 3 PBU) and 2016 (23 tackles, 1 INT, 1 FF, 21 PBUs). His 21 PBUs led the nation in 2016. What’s interesting is he has the fewest interceptions of any player in the Top 15 in passes defensed meaning his hands are atrocious as he had a lot of chances and only could snag one. He’s a tall, strong and long armed CB who was attacked a lot by opposing teams as the “lesser” of the two CBs (Chidobe Awuzie was on the other side). Witherspoon held his own with a lot of PBUs and is an NFL prospect in his own right, showing the talent that secondary had last year. Press teams could really love this kid as he has ‘33 arms, is explosive and shows very quick feet. He has an NFL frame looking like a Jimmy Smith type player with his wingspan. He had a great game vs. Washington in 2016, holding his own in island coverage vs. John Ross on many occasions. He isn’t a strong tackler and really needs to improve his effort and overall strength. There are some atrocious whiffs in space against ball carriers that make me worry about him in this area. It’s not hard to argue that he’s one of the worst tackling CBs that will be drafted. In coverage though he’s outstanding with long arms, quick feet, good technique and an understanding of when to break on the ball. He will never have a lot of INTs as he consistently goes for the bat down and I doubt he’ll easily be able to change those ingrained habits. That being said I really like Witherspoon as a prospect and think he’s a big time sleeper. He wasn’t invited to the Senior Bowl and I haven’t heard about him as an early round candidate but I see a tall, long kid with quick feet and explosiveness as an athlete. His production speaks for itself as teams targeted him and he rose up to the challenge. He has some red flags (older prospect, very poor tackler, likely will never be a high INT guy) but he should be a good starting CB for a team and could be one of the steals of this draft if he is drafted in the middle rounds like I expect. Early 2nd round as my #6 CB 4/12/17.
  7. Damontae Kazee San Diego State 5’10 ¼ 184 Sr. Redshirted one season. Five years out of HS so he’s an older prospect. He ran a 4.54 40, ‘34 vertical and 10’4 broad. He was a four year starter and productive throughout with a great opening season as a true freshman in 2013 (41 tackles, 1 INT, 1 sack, 4 FF, 2 PBUs) which improved in 2014 (58 tackles, 1 INT, 12 PBUs), 2015 (75 tackles, 8 INT, 2 FF, 7 PBUs) and 2016 (65 tackles, 7 INT, 8 PBUs). His cumulative career numbers of 17 INTs, 6 FF, 29 PBUs makes him the most prolific CB in this draft class. Despite his size he is like a heat seeking missile in run defense. Few players I’ve ever scouted play more recklessly than Kazee as he just launches himself into blockers and ballcarriers. It makes me worry that he’ll be injury prone at the next level but also makes me think he could be a Pro Bowl special teamer. He’s right up there with Chidobe Awuzie and Corn Elder as the best run stoppers in this class, with all being elite in that category. He had a very good week of practices at the Senior Bowl and seems like a sleeper to me. It’s sad he’s a sleeper since he’s a 2x Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year as his highlight reel is ridiculous. If he was an inch taller and 0.01 faster he’d be a first rounder. Since he’s neither, he might be forced inside as a slot corner but he’s so physical and his ball skills are impressive enough that I’d first try him outside as I think he could stick there. He’s an impressive player and I think some team will get a steal in him. I’ve heard some say Chris Harris of the Broncos with him, Honey Badger honestly is a decent comp too as some of his hits and interceptions are just wow plays. Early 2nd round as my #7 CB 4/15/17.
  8. Gareon Conley Ohio State 6’0 195 Jr. Redshirted one season. He was a part time player in 2014 (16 tackles), played well in 2015 (49 tackles, 2 INT, 5 PBUs) and then had more big plays but fewer tackles in 2016 (26 tackles, 4 INT, 8 PBUs). He had a poor game vs. Clemson in 2016 (BCS Playoff Game) as he struggled all night long except for his good INT on one of the first plays of the game. Mike Williams really took it to him, looking bigger and faster than him. He ran a 4.44 40, ‘37 vertical, 10’8 broad, 4.18 shuttle and 6.68 3 cone. He’s a tall, tightly built CB without great quickness or agility but makes up for it with his length, straight line speed and good ball skills. He has some impressive INTs and can make the tough catch. He doesn’t have great bend and seems to always be crouching due to his bend at the waist body type-rare for a CB. That being said he has quick feet and looks like a good fit for a press cover system. He reads plays well and drops off his man to contest plays not to his man which I like to see, especially for a guy his age. He will need to gain strength as he gets no real push on his man when he presses. Conley is a tough guy to evaluate as he has quick feet, good long speed, very good size and is a playmaker so the tools are there. Unfortunately he doesn’t bend well, is tightly built, lacks strength (something that worries me early in his career since he fits best as a press corner) and isn’t incredibly quick or agile-traits I highly value in corners. I like him but probably less than other teams due to his lack of bend and mediocre quickness. Early 2nd round as my #8 CB 4/12/17.
  9. TreDavious White LSU 5’11 ¼ 192 Sr. He ran a 4.47 40, ‘32 vertical, 9’11 broad, 4.32 shuttle and 6.90 3 cone all of which were average to below average. He’s been around forever it feels like as I loved him as a true freshman in 2013 (55 tackles, 2 INT, 1 FF, 7 PBUs). He kind of plateaued as a prospect but at least it was at a high level as he had 33-44 tackles each year to go along with 27 PBUs and 4 INTs in those three seasons. 6 INTs and 34 PBUs shows good but not great ball skills for a four year starter like White and that’s what kind of prospect he is as he’ll be a good starter but seems to lack the elite athleticism to be a star. He seems like a really good kid though and I suspect some team will see his high character and elite experience (4 year starter at a top program in the best conference in the nation) and draft him a tad higher than his tape maybe warrants. He has a good frame with long arms and strength to play press which is what he’s best suited for. He’s a little tight in the hips and doesn’t have great quickness or long speed but has good technique and knows how to play man coverage. It’s rare to find a prospect that played so much man coverage for FOUR years so he should be able to contribute as a rookie. It’s interesting because I had a first round grade on him as a true freshman yet he never improved after that and I now see him as a highly polished, low upside corner. Press teams will love his size, strength and experience but I don’t see him being anything more than an above average starter at the next level. 2nd round as my #9 CB 4/12/17.
  10. Howard Wilson Houston 6’0 ⅝ 184 Soph Redshirted one season. He had a great season as a true freshman in 2014 (48 tackles, 3 INT, 3 PBUs) and then got injured in 2015 (3 games-tore his ACL, 5 tackles and 1 INT) and ended his career in 2016 with a prolific season (54 tackles, 5 INT, 10 PBUs). He ran a 4.57 40, ‘33 ½ vertical, 9’11 broad, 3.94 shuttle and 6.68 3 cone with the quickness drills both being elite. His shuttle was the 2nd fastest among the 60 DBs, only behind Kevin King was the best measurement of the entire Combine, regardless of position. He has very good height, good hands (some of his INTs are WR like) and elite quickness so there are a lot of tools to work with. He plays almost exclusively off coverage, which is a little surprising due to his size that he doesn’t play a little press. He reads the QB well and breaks quickly on the ball. His elite quickness measurements from the Combine clearly translate to the field and it’s rare to see a guy his height with his quickness and agility. In 2016 he had two drops of clear path pick sixes which would have given him 7 INTs and 3 TDs, both impressive numbers. I know dropping the ball makes them not count but it shows the kind of ballhawk he is. I really like Wilson as he’s young, tall, long, quick and is a ballhawk. If he ran a 4.4 40 we’d be talking about the 1st rounde with him. He didn’t, and his tape shows he isn’t a 4.4 athlete, but that shouldn’t downgrade him too much as all the other tools are there. In a zone scheme he’ll be very good and in a press scheme I suspect he’ll be good too but it’s a little questionable as I only saw him in press coverage on one snap in the two games I scouted him in extensively. Mid 2nd round as my #10 CB 4/15/17.
  11. Sidney Jones Washington 6’0 186 Jr. Tore his Achilles at his pro day and will likely get drafted much later due to him now likely missing his entire rookie season. He ran a 4.47 40, ‘33 ½ vertical, 10’3 broad, 4.28 shuttle and 7.02 3 cone all of which were average to below average. He played well as a true freshman in 2014 (61 tackles, 2 INT, 1 FF, 5 PBUs), had his best season in 2015 (46 tackles, 4 INT, 4 FF, 2 defensive TDs, 10 PBUs) and another good one in 2016 (39 tackles, 3 INT, 2 FF, 6 PBUs). He has a noticeable burst and really impresses me with his body control and agility. Watching him it’s clear that the Combine didn’t do him justice as he’s more athletic than his measurements. His 7 career FF would make a safety or linebacker proud and shows his toughness and physicality for a CB, especially considering he’s only 186 lbs. Teams threw away from him a lot (1 throw to him by my count vs. USC, 1 vs. Washington-left in 3 Q with head injury). He’s an ineffective blitzer due to his size and lack of strength. He isn’t incredibly fast and is more agile and quick than a pure speedster. He could play the slot as it’s all about quickness and route recognition in that spot, both of which are fortes for him. I love his quickness and body control but he isn’t that big and he isn’t that fast so I settled on him as an early 2nd rounder as a highly polished, lower upside type prospect. Due to his Achilles injury he won’t play as a rookie, no matter what his agent says, and could have a reduction in speed, which is unlikely but would be devastating as he isn’t that fast to begin with. As such his grade drops to the late 2nd round as my #11 CB 4/12/17.
  12. Fabian Moreau UCLA 6’0 204 Sr. Redshirted one season. Five years out of HS so he’s an older prospect. He ran a 4.35 40 (2nd among 60 DBs at the Combine), ‘38 vertical (6th), 11’4 (2nd), 4.12 shuttle and 6.94 3 cone. He barely played in 2012 (4 tackles), had two solid seasons in 2013-2014 (52-53 tackles, 0-1 INT, 4-8 PBUs each year), was hurt in 2015 (8 tackles in 3 games-given a medical redshirt) and then bounced back with a good season in 2016 (31 tackles, 2 INT, 1 FF, 9 PBUs). 3 INTs in 4 (technically 5) seasons is pretty terrible and shows that he’s more athlete and run stopper than ballhawk. He’s a tall, thickly built CB with obvious NFL athleticism. Jim Mora raves about the kid’s locker room presence and leadership. Moreau is a tough evaluation despite being easy to scout. He’s a big, strong, fast corner who looks like a future starter in a press scheme. Yet he’s an older prospect, rarely made game changing plays (3 INTs, 1 FF COMBINED from 2012-2016?!) and doesn’t have great quickness, ball skills (often never even turned to find the ball in the air!) or instincts. I think Moreau has 1st round athleticism but I’d never consider taking him that high as he just isn’t a playmaker. The light might turn on for him late (he did have two of his three INTs and his only FF in his final season) but I find that guys that don’t make plays in college usually don’t make plays in the NFL and vice versa. He’ll be a non-descript Brandon Carr type starter at the next level but guys like that shouldn’t be taken in the 1st round. Also he tore his pectoral muscle at his pro day and will likely start the year on the PUP. It just adds another thing to my list of worries about him but might keep him from being overdrafted like I expected. Late 2nd round as my #12 CB who I think will be overdrafted due to his size/speed ratio 4/15/17.
  13. Jourdan Lewis Michigan 5’10 ¼ 188 Sr. He ran a 4.54 40, ‘34 ½ vertical and 10’1 broad. He was a spot player in 2013 (17 tackles, 2 PBUs), improved in 2014 (39 tackles, 2 INT, 6 PBUs), peaked in 2015 (52 tackles, 2 INT, 1 FF, 1 sack, 20 PBUs) and then had injuries and only played 10 games in 2016 (25 tackles, 2 INT, 11 PBUs). His 31 PBUs the past two years is elite, though the fact he only got 4 INT in 35 tries shows he has poor hands. He played the slot a lot for Michigan and it’s likely where he will play in the pros as he’s undersized but quick and very agile. Todd McShay is a douchebag but I do agree with him when he says Lewis has some of the best coverage of any DB in the country. The red flags on Lewis are that he is small, isn’t physical (Elder and Kouzee are smaller too but pack a wallop which Lewis does not) and he just doesn’t create turnovers. As a pure cover corner though his tape isn’t very different from Sidney Jones whom everyone raves about. Lewis gives that same “in the hip pocket” closeness in coverage and makes me think he’ll be a very good pro. He doesn’t make a lot of INTs but his INT vs. Wisconsin in 2016 is one of the greatest INTs I’ve ever graded. It was a one handed, leaping, outstretched arm INT on a +40 yard seam route which was amazing to watch numerous times in slow motion. Brian Griese said Lewis not Jabrill Peppers (Heisman candidate) was the best player on Michigan in 2016. Considered a big time leader and consummate pro. Lewis will have very divergent grades from teams as his size/speed ratio is pretty poor and he isn’t a ballhawk yet he has great technique, is extremely quick and is one of the best cover guys in the nation. He likely will be “only” a slot corner in the NFL but those guys play +50% of the snaps for teams and he’ll be one of the better ones. Early 3rd round as my #13 CB 4/15/17.
  14. Jeremy Cutrer Middle Tennessee 6’1 ½ 167 Sr. 4 star recruit who committed to LSU out of HS yet went JUCO due to grades. He was homeless as a kid due to Katrina. He only played at Middle Tennessee for 2 seasons but who played well in 2015 (31 tackles, 3 INT, 1 sack, 13 PBUs) and slightly better in 2016 (64 tackles, 3 INT, 1 FF, 10 PBUs). He’s an incredibly long and skinny player who needs to gain weight fast and looks like a project. That being said he moves very well for a guy his size. His pro day was underwhelming (4.52 40, ‘32 vertical, 10’2 broad, 4.62 shuttle, 7.26 3 cone at his pro day-all of which were average to below average). He was a 2x All-Conference selection and his tape is very good (his 2015 Alabama game was impressive, especially coming from the JUCO ranks so recently). Despite his size he shows good strength and is really aggressive. If he can add 10 lbs and keep his speed the kid could be something as his strength, aggressiveness and length are NFL caliber traits. His 6 INTs and 23 PBUs in two seasons is impressive, especially considering teams often looked away from him. He forces the action and is a playmaker both against the run and the pass. I really like Cutrer and think he’s a sleeper in this draft. His tape is that of an early 2nd rounder yet his measurables are that of a late round guy. It’s rare to find guys with his height, long arms, agility and toughness though so I’ll take his tape over his measurables and give him a better grade than I expect most will be giving him. Early 3rd round as my #14 CB who could be one of the steals of this draft 4/12/17.
  15. Teez Tabor Florida 6’0 12 199 Jr. He ran a 4.62 40, ‘31 vertical and 10’0 broad with the 40 and vertical being atrocious measurables for a CB. He was a starter as a true freshman (31 tackles, 1 INT, 2 sack, 1 FF, 8 PBUs) which at Florida is impressive. He then rounded out his career in 2015-2016 with 33-40 tackles, 4 INT, 1 sack and 6-14 PBUs each year. 8 INTs and 20 PBUs the past two years is very good. His Combine was that of an undraftable player so I think everyone had to go back and review Tabor’s tape to see if we missed something. On film he’s a quick corner with good feet and agility who does lack explosiveness and long speed. He plays faster than 4.62 but is by no means a 4.4 corner and will have trouble with some athletes at the next level. He’s a very instinctive corner that gambles a bit and reads plays quickly. He has three pick sixes for his career. He’s smart, quick, agility and is a big time playmaker. Combine that with his poor long speed and it seems obvious to me what he is, a slot corner. Tabor lost a lot of money with his terrible Combine but I still think he will settle in as a good corner at the next level, just one that spends most of his time in the slot or, when he is outside, is matched up with a safety over the top to help him out. Tabor deserves to drop on draft day as he isn’t a great athlete and CB and RB are the two positions I value athleticism at more than any other spots BUT his film is great. He was an impact player in the best conference in the country since he came on campus as a true freshman. That means something and shows he has the skills and instincts to overcome his physical limitations. Let’s not overreact to finding out Tabor isn’t a blazer. He still is a good football player and should be a solid NFL corner for someone. Early 3rd round as my #15 CB 4/13/17.
  16. Corn Elder Miami 5’9 ⅞ 183 Sr. He ran a 4.55 40 which is pretty poor for his weight and didn’t do any other exercises. In 2013 he barely played (7 tackles) and then was solid in 2014-2015 (34-41 tackles, 1-2 sacks each year) with 2 INT and 11 PBUs in 2015 and then exploded in 2016 (76 tackles, 1 INT, 3 sacks, 1 FF, 12 PBUs). 23 PBUs the past two years is impressive as is his 76 tackles, especially for a kid his size. Elder is in competition with Chidobe Awuzie as the best tackler and run stopper in this CB draft class. While Awuzie is a better athlete, Elder is a harder hitter and a better form tackler with some of his sticks being coaching tape worthy. He’s adept at slipping blocks and getting to a ballcarrier. He’s a perfect slot corner as he has great quickness and body control but lacks top end speed. With 6 career sacks and with how good he is as a tackler he is a good fit to blitz off the edge occasionally. He’s such a good tackler that if he doesn’t work out at slot receiver I would have no issues trying him at safety. He’ll be a good special teams player (was their gunner). He fits best in a zone scheme as he’s great at jumping routes, making sure tackles and keeping plays in front of him. He played some press and is solid at it due to his quickness but won’t be able to be a press corner on the outside in the NFL due to his size. I really like Elder as he fits as a slot corner or FS in any scheme and as an outside corner in a zone heavy scheme. He lacks top end speed and isn’t the biggest guy but has great quickness, was very productive for 3 years in a Top 5 conference, is an elite tackler and seems to be a very intelligent player. 3rd round as my #16 CB 4/13/17.
  17. Adoree Jackson USC 5’10 186 Jr. He ran a 4.42 40 but didn’t do the rest of the drills. In 2014 as a true freshman he had 49 tackles, 1 FF and 9 PBUs but made more of a name for himself with 3 receiving TDs and 2 kickoff return TDs. In 2015 he had similar numbers (35 tackles, 1 INT, 1 FF, 8 PBUs) on defense to go along with 27 414 yds 2 TDs as a receiver. In 2016 he had by far his best year as a defender (55 tackles, 5 INT, 11 PBUs), barely played as a receiver but had his most productive seasons as a kick returner (2 TDs, 29.5 average) and as a punt returner (2 TDs, 15.8 average). He’s a difficult prospect to evaluate as most teams won’t use him at WR, RB or as a kick returner so you’re really just getting a CB and punt returner. That takes away a lot of the “fluff” of his game as he’s so widely known as a prospect due to his multiple roles with the team. His 2016 Notre Dame game was his best showing of this versatility as he scored as a WR, on a kick return and on a punt return. Few can do that and it shows the natural athlete he is but again I just don’t see that translating to the NFL as few teams allow players to even be both a kick returner and punt returner, let alone a WR, RB and CB. As purely a CB he wasn’t anything special until 2016 and really improved as a player in that role. He’s undersized but with good speed, quickness and ball skills. He isn’t the best at route recognition and often is too aggressive with double moves working very well against him. In the run game he is inconsistently good as he shows strength and tenacity on one play and then looks indifferent or weak on the next one. To me Jackson is a good prospect that is being overrated due to his versatile role he played at USC. His best game was against Notre Dame but even in that one he was a mixed bag of sorts as he also lost a fumble on a punt return and was beat badly for a TD on a double move. His best fit is as a slot corner with special teams contributions yet due to his work as a RB and WR I see his name in the “1st round mix” at times. Give me Damontae Kazee, Jourdan Lewis or even Corn Elder over Jackson as they look like far superior slot corners. Jackson will be a dynamic special teams player and could develop into a ballhawk on defense that makes me regret downgrading him but he’s too inconsistent as a defender and a lot of his headline making plays at USC just won’t transfer to the NFL. 3rd round as my #17 CB who I think is a bit overrated by the media 4/16/17.
  18. Cameron Sutton Tennessee 5’11 ¼ 188 Sr. He ran a 4.52 40, ‘34 vertical, 10’0 broad and 6.81 3 cone. A four year starter who began his career with a bang in 2013 (39 tackles, 2 INT, 1 sack, 7 PBUs) and then had his best year in 2014 (37 tackles, 3 INT, 1 FF, 13 PBUs) yet plateaued after that with 23-28 tackles, 1 INT and 4-6 PBUs each of his final two seasons. Did teams throw away from him or did he regress as 5 INTs in a player first two seasons and 2 in his final two isn’t often the script. His final season was only 7 games long due to injury (fractured ankle) yet his junior season’s lack of production still isn’t accounted for. He’s an intense competitor, loves to make the big hit and plays his heart out. His 4.52 40 is apparent on film as he doesn’t have great long speed but has a good burst, agility and quickness. He’s a very good punt returner (3 career punt return TDs and had an 18.7 average as a junior). I like Sutton as he’s quick, agile and has good ball skills. He is a good athlete in some areas but lacks great size and doesn’t have long speed so he doesn’t fit all schemes and will need to be protected at times, no matter the scheme. Still though, he’s a four year starter and was productive in the best conference in the nation so he’s battle tested. I suspect he’s taken in the mid rounds and surprises people as a starter early in his career. He’s a low ceiling, higher polish prospect that could be a steal if he falls to far. 3rd round as my #18 CB 4/15/17.
  19. Brian Allen Utah 6’3 ⅛ 215 Sr. Redshirted one season. Five years out of HS so he’s an older prospect. He ran a 4.48 40, ‘34 ½ vertical, 9’9 broad, 4.34 shuttle and 6.64 3 cone. Interesting as his shuttle was terrible but his 3 cone was elite which isn’t often seen as they test the same skill, quickness. He barely played in 2014 (3 tackles), and then had a solid season in 2015 (26 tackles, 1 INT) and a very good 2016 (35 tackles, 4 INT, 1 sack). His 5 PBUs the past two seasons is very low. He’s a very large CB and is in the same mold as Eric Rowe, who also came from Utah. The first thing to ID on big guys like him is are they CBs or safeties. To me he isn’t active enough to be a safety, isn’t a good tackler in space and has poor ball skills. Take away his size and he’d be undraftable. His feet aren’t quick, he’s a long strider and all of his INTs are balls underthrown right to him. He has better agility than a Stanley Baptiste type who was an immediate draft bust but isn’t the well rounded athlete an Eric Rowe is. I’m not interesting in him at all but would understand if a team that valued bigger CBs like Seattle began sniffing around him in the mid to late rounds as he does have some decent agility and obviously has elite size. Late 5th round as my #19 CB 4/12/17.
  20. Marquez White Florida State 5’11 ¾ 194 Sr. He ran a 4.59 40, ‘36 vertical and 10’3 broad. In 2013-2014 he barely played (15 tackles and 1 INT COMBINED) yet in 2015 he played okay (25 tackles, 1 INT, 2 PBUs) and continued the mediocre to above average play in 2016 (25 tackles, 2 INT, 4 PBUs). 6 PBUs for a career is pretty atrocious, as is 65 tackles-especially for a kid that stayed in school for four years. He’s an explosive athlete who is stiff and isn’t very agile. He’s very long legged, something I absolutely hate in corners. He could work in a zone scheme where the play is in front of him, or possibly could move to safety, as he works well going forward but really struggles laterally and when he needs to find the football in the air over his shoulder. I don’t like his tape very much and his 40 time was pretty poor but if I was a zone team I’d take a shot on him in the late rounds. 6th round as my #20 CB 4/15/17.
  21. Jalen Myrick Minnesota 5’9 ⅝ 200 Sr. He ran a 4.28 40 (1st among 60 DBs and one of the faster times ever at the Combine), ‘37 ½ vertical, 10’4 broad, 4.22 shuttle and 7.06 3 cone. He barely played in 2013 (3 tackles), was okay in 2014 (21 tackles, 1 INT, 1 FF, 7 PBUs), good in 2015 (27 tackles, 3 INT, 3 PBUs) and leveled off in 2016 (41 tackles, 1 INT, 11 PBUs). He’s a short, thickly built CB who is built more like a RB than DB. He is very tight and isn’t very agile or quick. He will struggle against quicker wideouts and is not an option for the slot, despite his poor height. He doesn’t have good ball skills and isn’t that instinctive. Basically Myrick is the opposite of Howard Wilson as he is inferior in every aspect of his game except his long speed (Wilson is good in every aspect except long speed). If Myrick ran a 4.5 he’d be an easy guy to spot as not worth a draft pick but he ran a 4.28 40 and there is film that shows that elite speed of his. Unfortunately it’s mitigated by a tight build, poor agility, poor hands, sub 5’10 height, poor quickness and poor instincts. I don’t want any part of this kid. It’s really sad that such incredible speed was wasted on this guy. Someone should have moved him to RB, it appears he was tried there briefly in 2013 as a freshman, as he just doesn’t move like a CB and has no concept of how to play the game. His speed is impressive though so maybe someone takes a shot with him but to me he’s an obvious bust. Free Agent as my #21 CB 4/15/17.

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  1. peter permalink

    Great to see this. It’s amazing that there are 18 cornerbacks who are in the range to start. This includes a lot of big outside cornerbacks who are normally rare.

    • Definitely true in regards to the big corner. It seems like the college game finally caught up to the NFL and gave them the corners they wanted. The NFL won’t have to push mediocre prospects up the board like Stanley Jean-Baptiste just because they have size. This draft has a lot of big corners with good speed, agility and ball skills.

      • peter permalink

        It is interesting that Ohio State appears to playing the Seattle Seahawks coverage system with press/bail coverage combined with a free safety with tremendous range. (Since I don’t watch the games – I don’t have the eyes for it – I can’t be sure.) Perhaps Gareon Conley’s coverage statistics are exaggerated by this system. (May not make much difference now).

        It is also interesting that there are three combinations of two cornerbacks + safety scheduled to go early in the draft: Ohio State, Washington, and Florida. Could these players somehow be overrated the way Alabama linemen used to be when they were all pretty good, and great collectively?

      • Historically that tends to be the case as every time you look back at the “great” teams (USC, Miami, Ohio State, Florida State, Alabama) you see that there really were a few stars and then a number of overrated players next to them (Ed Reed vs. Mike Rumph or Clay Matthews vs. Rey Maualuga or AJ Hawk vs. Bobby Carpenter). I am strongly on the Lattimore and Hooker are elite, Conley is just a guy but we shall see. I’ve heard chatter that some scouts preferred Conley over Lattimore (pre legal issues) due to no injuries and more tape but I find that hard to believe. I could write an entire column about the absurdity of the statements made by unknown scouts. Joe Mixon being the best prospect in the entire draft being my favorite this year.

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