2013 NFL Draft - Cornerbacks

Posted Apr 21, 2013

From a college football perspective, the analysis of the top cornerback prospects.

2013 NFL Draft Position Rankings


By Pete Fiutak
Follow Us ... @ColFootballNews 

2013 NFL Draft Analysis
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers
- Offensive Tackles | Offensive Guards | Centers
- Defensive Ends | Inside LBs | Outside LBs
- 2012 Cornerbacks
- 2013 Cornerback Rankings - No. 11-25

2014 Top CB Prospects
1. Bradley Roby, Ohio St (Jr.)
2. Louichiez Purifoy, Florida (Jr.)
3. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon (Jr.)
4. Jason Verrett, TCU
5. Quandre Diggs, Texas (Jr.)
6. Deshazor Everett, Texas A&M (Jr.) 
7. Ronald Darby, Florida State (Soph.)*
8. Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma
9. Jalen Mills, LSU (Soph.)*
10. Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
11. Damian Swann, Georgia (Jr.)
12. Antone Exum, Virginia Tech
13. Bennett Jackson, Notre Dame
*Not eligible until 2015
2012 CFN Prospect Rankings & Breakdowns
- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DTs
- ILBs | OLBs | CBs | Ss

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

2010 CFN Position Rankings & Analysis

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs
This Class Is … Really, really deep.

If you want to argue that Oregon State's Jordan Poyer, USC's Nickell Robey and Michigan State's Johnny Adams belong in the top ten, you're probably right.

If you want to pass on Tyrann Mathieu because of all the other strong options out there? Okay.

Way down the chain are options like Hawaii's Mike Edwards, Valdosta State's Greg Reid and Minnesota's Troy Stoudermire who can all add big play ability while adding something in the return game. In most years they'd be top 20 corner picks, but now they might have to fight just to get drafted. 

There might not be a true superstar other than Alabama's Dee Milliner, but this should be as rock solid a position as any in the draft with great value in the mid-to-late rounds.

The Best Value Pick Will Be … Jordan Poyer, Oregon State
Most Underrated … Terry Hawthorne, Illinois
Most Overrated … D.J. Hayden, Houston
The Deep, Deep Sleeper Is … Daxton Swanson, Sam Houston State

1. Dee Milliner, Alabama (Jr.) 6-0, 201
With great size and 4.38 speed, he has the right look and the right abilities to be a lockdown No. 1 corner with starting ability from the day he steps on the field. Not only is he a blazer, he can handle the bigger targets sticking to Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert in the BCS championship. Physical, he'll hit and support against the run and won't shy away from contact, coming up with the big pop and jam when needed. While he lived up to the prep hype from Day One and didn't disappoint in any way, he was just okay when the ball was in the air and didn't make as many big plays as an elite college corner should had. Not just an athletic talent, he has the drive and want-to to be better; he'll work to become great. Almost no bust potential, he's a sure-thing starter who can instantly be a team's No. 1 corner.
CFN Projection: First Round

2. Jamar Taylor, Boise State 5-11, 182
With good size, he's able to get physical with freakish strength – cranking out 22 reps at the Combine – with the toughness to jam and beat up receivers. More than anything else, though, is his raw blazing speed. His hitting ability is terrific and he can be a disruptive force, but his sub-4.4 wheels set him apart from the pack and make him the total package as a workout warrior. Now the tools have to translate into more production, proving to be just okay in coverage and relying on his raw speed a bit too often to play catch up. There are long-run durability concerns after suffering a broken leg, but he came back and did just fine. With the right coaching he could become a terrific all-around playmaker, but as is he should fit in somewhere right away.
CFN Projection: Second Round

3. Xavier Rhodes, Florida State (Jr.) 6-2, 210
With tremendous size and 4.4 speed, he looks the part with all the right abilities and skills – he's right out of central casting. Strong, he's able to provide the big jam at the line without a problem, and he's fast and smooth enough to stay with the sleeker, faster receivers. Good for any style, he doesn't have any problems getting physical and he'll make the big tackle when needed. Even with his frame, his wheels and his leaping ability, he didn't quite play up to the part in college, getting burned from time to time when it didn't seem like he was focused enough. There are durability concerns suffering a knee injury a few years ago, but it didn't slow him down. He'll need a few years to fine tune his craft, but he'll start from Day One. There's perennial Pro Bowl upside.
CFN Projection: First Round

4. Desmond Trufant, Washington 6-0, 190
All the abilities are there to become a solid NFL starting corner for a long, long time, including the bloodlines with brothers Marcus and Isaiah each in the league. Big, fast and smooth, he moves and works like a professional defensive back and should be ready right out of the box. Sticky, he doesn't lose his man and is more than happy to fight and battle a receiver for the ball. Not a great tackler, he'll get the job done but he's not the most physical of hitters and allows too many yards after the grab. Production-wise, he didn't make nearly as many big plays as he should've considering his athleticism and experience, missing on way too many interception opportunities. He's not going to be an elite corner to work a defense around, but he should be a good starter in nickel and dime situations and could shine as a No. 2 corner on the other side of an elite playmaker.
CFN Projection: Second Round

5. Logan Ryan, Rutgers (Jr.) 5-11, 191
A good-sized, strong defender, he has the right frame and the right look for a starting NFL quarterback. It would be nice if he was a half-tick faster, but he plays quick and he makes up for several concerns with tremendous tackling ability. Physical, he's a stats guy who brings is against the run, but he also moves nicely and can stay with the quicker receivers. A better football player than a workout warrior, he's missing all the next-level tools missing the raw speed and without special skills. You don't want a secondary full of Ryans, but he'll be very consistent and very tough as a nice playmaker who'll be a nice starter for a long time.
CFN Projection: Second Round

6. Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State 6-2, 185
With fantastic size and the right frame and body type, he's big enough to handle himself well against the bigger receivers and had no problem whatsoever against the more physical SEC targets. A big-time player against big-time competition, he attacked the ball and never gave up on a play. With great character and leadership skills, self-motivation is never going to be a problem as he becomes a key part of any secondary. While he doesn't hit like a safety and could stand to get functionally stronger, the bigger concern is his lack of raw speed. He'll likely flourish in a zone scheme or as a nickel or dime defender, but he won't be a lock-down No. 1 corner at the next level. However, he'll be a rock-solid sound piece of someone's defensive backfield puzzle.
CFN Projection: Second Round

7. Darius Slay, Mississippi State 6-0, 192
With special speed and good size, the NFL athleticism is there to be someone's No. 1 corner right out of the box. He can absolutely fly with sub-4.4 wheels, and he's not just a flashy finesse defender with the fight and want-to to get better. He busts his tail to make a play and won't have any problems being coached up to work on the finer points to improve. Strong enough against the run to get by, he won't have any problems in run support. Now he has to start playing up to his skills on a full-time basis. A better prospect than a pure football player, he still has work to do on the finer points – but, again, he'll work on it. He'll bite on craftier route-runners early on and he's hardly a form tackler, but he has everything a scout or a defensive coordinator would want to tinker with.
CFN Projection: Second Round

8. D.J. Hayden, Houston 5-11, 191
Can he stay healthy? He suffered a frightening injury – the vena cava blood vessel tore away from the back of his heart - that almost cost him his life after a huge hit in practice late last season, and he wasn't able to work out this offseason. When he's right, he's a dangerous all-around playmaker who's great at attacking the ball and making the big play with blazing speed and good size. Able to jam and fight, he's physical enough to battle receivers and not let them breathe. With the desire to get better, he's always working and always looking to improve doing all the little things needed. He needs to use his quickness better and tends to get lazy in his technique, but it's all about his health. Reportedly cleared to go, he's one of the highest-rising prospects with No. 1 corner potential.
CFN Projection: Second Round

9. Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Connecticut 6-1, 195
With great length and nice size, he has the potential to grow into a whale of a nickel and dime defender or be moved over to free safety, but he's a corner with good quickness and tremendous athleticism. He can jump out of the stadium, using his skills well to make up for his lack of raw speed. While he's experienced and tough, he's not a great tackler and can be shoved around a bit too much. He'll hit, but he's not going to blast away on anyone and will need help in run support. Able to find ways to make plays, he has good instincts and leadership skills to shine somewhere in a secondary.
CFN Projection: Second Round

10. Leon McFadden, San Diego State 5-10, 183
One of the best defensive backs in the Mountain West over the last few seasons, he's a pure cover-corner who takes on the job of handling everyone's No. 1 receiver and sticks to him like glue. Quicker than fast, he moves well and stays within range with good anticipation and instincts, always seeming to stay a step ahead of his man. The blazing NFL wheels aren't there to stay with the speedsters, and while he'll tackle, he's not a big hitter, but there are enough overall tools in place to be a great No. 2 corner or even a nickel and dime defender. Even though he'll need to be surrounded by athletes, and even though he'll need safety help, he knows how to handle himself and should be a solid longtime pro.
CFN Projection: Third Round

- 2013 Cornerback Rankings - No. 11-25