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2011 NFL Draft - Cornerback Rankings
LSU CB Patrick Peterson
LSU CB Patrick Peterson
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 24, 2011


If LSU's Patrick Peterson isn't the best prospect in the 2011 NFL Draft, he's close. The corners are very talented and very fast, led by some terrific players up top, but there will be plenty of second guessing about the pecking order in the middle rounds. With the draft less than a week away, check out the CFN ranking of the top cornerback prospects.

2011 NFL Draft Position Rankings

Top Ten Cornerbacks


By Pete Fiutak

- All-Time Greatest Draft - Cornerbacks
- 2011 NFL Cornerback Rankings - No. 11 - 25

2011 NFL Prospect Rankings & Breakdowns
- QBs | RBs | FBs | WRs
- TEs | OTs | OGs | Cs 
- OLBs | ILBs | DTs | DEs
- CBs

2011 NFL Post-Combine Draft Rankings
- Top 32 Talents
- 2nd Rounders
- 3rd Rounders
- 4th Rounders
- 5th Rounders
- 6th Rounders
- 7th Rounders & Top Free Agents  

2011 NFL Combine Position Analysis
- QB | RB | WR | TE
- C | OT | OG | DE
- DT | ILB | OLB | S | CB
- 2012's Top Returning NFL Prospects - Offense

THE 2010 NFL DRAFT


2010 CFN Talent Rankings
- 1st Rounders
- 2nd Rounders
- 3rd Rounders
- 4th Rounders
- 5th Rounders
- 6th Rounders
- 7th Rounders 
- Top Free Agent Talents 

2010 CFN Position Rankings & Analysis

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs

2010 NFL Combine Quick Looks & Post-Combine Rankings

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs

2010 NFL Combine Results
- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs 

2010 NFL Combine
- Offensive Winners  
- Offensive Losers 
- Defensive Winners 
- Defensive Losers

This Class Is … interesting after the top two. Patrick Peterson is amazing and Prince Amukamara is fantastic, and then roll the dice. This is a deep class with several interesting calls to be made, and there will be plenty of second guessing. There's a chance a star could be found well down the pecking order.

The Best Value Pick Will Be … Ras-I Dowling, Virginia
Most Underrated … Chimdi Chekwa, Ohio State
Most Overrated … Shareece Wright, USC
The Deep, Deep Sleeper Is … Devon Torrence, Ohio State
 
1. Patrick Peterson, LSU 6-0, 219 (Jr.)
If there’s such a thing as a perfect defensive back prospect, Peterson might be it. He’s big, smooth as silk, a strong hitter, and very, very fast checking in with a 4.34 in the 40. He has no problems getting physical and isn’t going to shy away from making a stop, and he makes teams pay for trying to go his way with the ability to take the ball away and do something big with it. While he can be a lock-down cover-corner on any No. 1 target, he might end up making the biggest splash, eventually, as a whale of a free safety with limitless range and playmaking potential. The only possible problem might be a slight issue of consistency. He rose to the occasion, but he also needed a challenge. And then there’s the issue with the hype. Like all great corners, the ego is overflowing, and now the fawning has become so over the top that anything less than a perennial Pro Bowl career will be a disappointment.
CFN Projection: First Round

2. Prince Amukamara, Nebraska 6-0, 206
While all the hype and all the attention is going to Patrick Peterson, Amukamara could be a better value. With great size, tremendous speed, and all the tools needed to be someone’s No. 1 cornerback, he’s a top talent who looks the part. Not just a finesse corner, he’s great against the run and has no problems whatsoever getting his nose dirty. The problem is his lack of big plays, failing to make a pick last year (but he made five as a junior), and he’s not going to be the type of offensive defensive back who takes the ball to the house, but he’ll be a sound, consistent corner who becomes a key part of a defense. Throw him out there and don’t worry for the next ten years.
CFN Projection: First Round

3. Aaron Williams, Texas (FS) 6-0, 204 (Jr.)
Is he the next great Texas defensive back? Probably, but the bigger question will be where he plays. Part safety and part corner, he’s a tweener in a good way and has the versatility to sit in someone’s secondary for a long time and be extremely productive. With his size and skills he can beat up receivers, but he’s not fast enough to be a No. 1 lockdown coverman and might have to work in a Malcolm Jenkins-like role as a star as a part of a system. Running a 4.52 at the Combine, his future is at free safety where he could be a league-leader in interceptions, but he’ll likely start out at corner where he should be terrific for a few years. A great all-around defensive back, the only thing missing is that raw speed. He’s athletic, can jump out of the stadium, and can be very good as long as he doesn’t have to be the main man.
CFN Projection: Second Round

4. Brandon Harris, Miami 5-9, 191 (Jr.)
Unlike the other top corner prospects in the draft, Harris is lacking the bulk to go along with the speed. He plays fast and looks the part on film, but his 4.44 is just good enough to get by, and he came up with a 4.51 in some dashes. Nice against the run and with the look of a No. 1 cover-corner, he does a little bit of everything well, and he’s more talented than advertised with a great attitude and the want-to to be special. Already good, he’ll be even better once he gets NFL-level coaching. The overall skills might not be there compared to Patrick Peterson and the other star corners, but he’s a bust-proof starter who will take away one side of the field.
CFN Projection: First Round

5. Jimmy Smith, Colorado 6-2, 211
Very big, very athletic, and very fast, Smith has the tools that scouts dream about. He measured even bigger than expected at the Combine, flashed a 4.44 in the 40, and threw up 24 reps on the bench. While his future is as a safety with his size and range, he’s going to be a corner right away thanks to his measureables. Smooth as a three-day beard with the working definition of tight hips, he doesn’t cut well and doesn’t look quite as fluid as you’d like for a corner. While he’ll be great against the bigger, fast receivers, he’ll have problems against the jitterbug-quick targets he can’t get his hands on. Again, his future is brightest as a free safety, but he should be solid right away no matter where he plays if, and it’s a big if, he keep his attitude in check and can absorb an NFL playbook. He’s not exactly in the running for the Rhodes Scholarship.
CFN Projection: Second Round

6. Ras-I Dowling, Virginia 6-1, 198
A long, lean defender with terrific speed, he looks the part of an NFL corner. Unlike some of the other big corners in this draft, Dowling can cut on a dime and has no problems whatsoever staying with the quicker receivers. He’s not going to blow anyone up with his hitting ability, but he’s not afraid to tackle and he’ll work in the weight room and will do whatever is needed to get better. Hurt, he was never quite right all throughout last year and he slipped. A much hotter prospect going into last year than he is now, durability is the main problem that will knock him down a bit. He’ll never be 100% and he’ll have to fight through problems, but he’s a good character guy who’ll never dog it.
CFN Projection: Third Round

7. Brandon Burton, Utah 6-0, 190 (Jr.)
With enough size and enough toughness to hang with the stronger receivers, and just enough speed to get by against the faster ones, he’s a good all-around prospect. Not great, but good. The 4.51 40 at the Combine was a problem, and for some, the 8 ½” hands are considered a major negative, but he has the right attitude, is quick, and seems to play faster than he times. Not quite a good enough hitter to move to safety, he could be locked into being a No. 3 corner with his less than ideal athleticism. Even so, he’s a good football player who can be a nice part of a secondary that’s already full of good playmakers.
CFN Projection: Third Round

8. Chimdi Chekwa, Ohio State 6-0, 191
Very, very fast, Chekwa looked the part at the Combine with 4.39 speed and an explosive 10’6” broad jump, and he has the good size and four years of high-end production that some scouts are going to love. All the tools are there, and the experience isn’t a problem, but he doesn’t hit with any regularity and he’s not polished. In college he made up for his mistakes by being faster than everyone else, but that’s not going to work at the next level. The concern is that he’s great in workouts but not a top football player, and he’ll have to show right away that he can make more plays when the ball is in the air to be a nickel or dime defender.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

9. Davon House, New Mexico State 6-0, 200
The 4.46 wasn’t bad at the Combine and was extremely quick, but he was awful in the ball drills and couldn’t hang on to the ball in any way. However, he made 11 career picks with 37 broken up passes and has decent ball skills, but he was the most talented fish in the WAC pond and dominated against weaker competition. He has the size and he’s athletic enough to be part of a veteran secondary, but he’s missing the elite skills to be anything more than a decent starter. Not all that strong and not a big hitter, he can’t be moved to safety, but everything else is in place to be productive.
CFN Projection: Third Round

10. Curtis Brown, Texas 6-0, 185
He’s just not fast enough. He might be smooth as glass and he jumped out of the stadium with a jaw-dropping 39.5” vertical, but the 4.54 at the Combine didn’t get the job done. Quick, tough, and athletic enough to be used as a kick and punt returner if needed, he moves without a problem and he effortlessly flies around the field. He’ll get beaten up by the bigger receivers and he only made two picks in 52 career games, but he broke up 32 passes and he has the experience and skills to be a nice part of a good secondary. While he’ll never be the main man, he’ll be worth a long look as a No. 2 corner but will show his worth as a to special teamer.
CFN Projection: Third Round  

- 2011 NFL Cornerback Rankings - No. 11 - 25