2009 NFL Draft
The Top Cornerback Prospects
2009 NFL Combine Numbers
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Full Player Breakdowns & Analysis To Come In March
2008 CFN Draft Central
2008 NFL Draft Breakdown and Analysis
1. Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 1
Post-Combine Skinny: It was an underwhelming workout. Jenkins ran a
pedestrian 4.53, was fine in the short drills, but nothing special, and
he didn't look like the must-have, defense-changing corner who demands
to be taken in the top ten. He was fine and will be the top corner
taken, but he didn't blow up.
Tremendous physical skills. Won’t be pushed around by the bigger
receivers, can keep up with the faster ones … Good tackler. Doesn’t shy
away from contact … Great at finding the ball and making the play.
Negatives: Is he a corner or a
free safety? This might not seem like a negative, but he’ll have to
establish himself at one position right away … A bit of a gambler … Has
to show he can handle being picked on after getting little work thrown
2. Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 3
Post-Combine Skinny: He was good enough. No one questions his ball
skills and his instincts, and in Indy he had to show off his
athleticism. The 10'9" broad jump was incredible and the 4.5 in the 40
was fine and expected. He did nothing to diminish his stock.
Pick-off artist. The ACC’s all-time interception leader … Nice speed.
Can be used on special teams … Great instincts. Gets excellent break on
Mediocre tackler … Not all that physical. Better in coverage than at
jamming … Will have to learn to fight a bit against the bigger
3. D.J. Moore, Vanderbilt
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 2
Post-Combine Skinny: While he's a great athlete on the field, he
didn't show off enough of his skills in Indy. His 4.54 wasn't anything
special, and while he jumped 39.5" in the vertical, he didn't do
anything else to stand out. Basically, he was small and timed slow. It
wasn't a good workout for a player looking to go in the first round.
A phenomenal all-around athlete … Fast. Great make-up speed … Plays
bigger than his size.
Negatives: Not big. Will get tested by taller receivers … Not thick.
Will have to show he can be physical … Gets lost in the wash at times
against the run.
4. Vontae Davis, Illinois
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 4
Post-Combine Skinny: This was where he was supposed to shine, and
he did. The game tape isn't going to help him so he needed to blow up
the Combine, and he came in under 4.5 in the 40 and was tremendously
quick in the short drills. And then there were the guns. The guy looked
like a serious physical specimen.
Elite athlete. Possibly the best in the draft … Tremendous speed … Looks
the part. Has all the tools and all the skills.
Negatives: Does he really want
to play? Mediocre junior year … Character questions. Not a hard worker …
Doesn’t play up to his athleticism 100% of the time.
“Macho” Harris, Virginia Tech
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 5
Post-Combine Skinny: While his 40 time was a safety-like
4.57, he made up for it by dominating the short drills. He roared
through the shuttle and was among the best players in the cone drill. He
delivered enough to be a second rounder.
to being the No. 1 guy against everyone’s No. 1 receiver. Handled it
well … Excellent tackler … Playmaker. Steps up to the challenge.
Negatives: Not an elite
athlete, relative to the position … A bit flaky. Ultra-confident … Not
lightning fast on the field and needs play catchup too often.
Darius Butler, Connecticut
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 6
Post-Combine Skinny: Many thought he'd come to the Combine and up
his stock big time with a blazing 40 and tremendous athleticism. It
didn't happen. His 4.45 was fine, but there were rumblings that he was
going to tear off a 4.3. The 43" vertical leap was amazing and the 11'2"
broad jump was special, but he wasn't as smooth as expected when he ran.
Positives: Did a little
of everything well … Fast. Can’t be beaten deep without a heck of a move
… Great hands. Saw some time at receiver.
Negatives: Not physical. Will
try to hit, but can’t do it … Needs to be on a speed receiver; not a
big, strong one … Only a corner who’ll struggle to get the jam.
7. Mike Mickens, Cincinnati
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 8
Post-Combine Skinny: He didn't run and didn't work out, but
that might have been a plus considering the disastrous workouts by the
other corners across the board. Now, if he can come up with a good
post-Combine run, his stock will shoot up.
Ultra-productive. Always got the job done … Good toughness against the
run. Isn’t afraid of contact … Great instincts. Knows what he’s doing.
Negatives: A little too
confident at times. Might have a hard time early on at the next level …
Can get hung up when blocked … Not a form tackler.
8. DeAngelo Smith,
Cincinnati 5-11, 194
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 11
Post-Combine Skinny: While a 4.56 would be a nightmare for most
corners, it wasn't all that bad considering that's around what he was
supposed to do. He proved to be quick enough to get by and he was
generally fine in the drills, but he showed what he is: a good prospect
who isn't going to be a star.
Positives: Will bust his tail
to get better … Steady tackler … Versatile. Can play corner in any
scheme and could even play safety.
Negatives: Will struggle
against the quicker receivers … Isn’t a speed corner … Has to take too
many chances to make big plays.
Byrd, Oregon 5-11, 207
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 9
Post-Combine Skinny: He measured in big and strong-looking, but he
wasn't able to work out and run. If he can run a 4.5 in private
workouts, he'll make himself a ton of dough.
Positives: Big-time producer …
Solid tackler. Not a prima donna in any way … Nice, fluid athlete with
speed is lacking … Even with his size, he’s not tough enough to play
safety … Can get sloppy in his technique.
10. Asher Allen,
Georgia 5-9, 194
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 12
Post-Combine Skinny: With a slow group of corners trying to
lumber through, Allen's 4.47 stood out. The 22 reps in the weight room
helped show that he should be able to play bigger than his size.
Positives: Big-time upside …
Great in coverage. Will erase receivers when he’s on ... Excellent
Not big and not all that physical … Still needs work. Was hardly
polished … Quick, but not necessarily fast.
11. Cary Harris, USC
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 7
Post-Combine Skinny: He came in with a reputation for not being a
great athlete, and he wasn't, He didn't look all that smooth in the
drills, lumbered a bit, and ran a mediocre 4.58 in the 40.
Positives: Try-hard player
who’s always working … Smart. Doesn’t make mistakes … Very good tackler
who could be used in a variety of ways.
Negatives: Not a special
athlete … Not necessarily a ball-hawk … A better tackler than a
12. Donald Washington, Ohio State
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 17
Known as the other Ohio State corner to Malcolm Jenkins, and not
considered too smart for coming out early, he became the prospect who
made everyone scramble for game tape. The 4.5 in the 40 was a bit
strange, he's faster than that, but he came up with one of the best
leaps in Combine history with a 45" vertical. The 11'3" broad jump had
the other prospects bug-eyed.
Extremely fast, extremely athletic … A big-play performer. Had to be
avoided, even though Malcolm Jenkins was on the other side … Can step in
on day one and play on his athleticism alone.
Negatives: Character questions
… Not a great hitter. Doesn’t always play up to his size … Doesn’t do
enough against the run.
13. Captain Munnerlyn, South Carolina
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 10
Post-Combine Skinny: The technique was solid and he looked
smooth overall, but for his size, he needed to rip off a great 40. 4.53
isn't going to cut it considering he was expected to be a 4.4 guy.
Positives: Extremely fast when
the ball is in the air … Good physical player for his size … Can move
and adjust on the fly as well as any of the corners.
Negatives: Not big. He’ll get picked on by big NFL receivers …
Struggled to stay healthy. Not afraid to hit, and that was a problem at
times … Gave up too many big plays.
14. Domonique Johnson,
Jackson State 6-1, 197
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 13
Post-Combine Skinny: For
his size, the 4.5 was good enough to open up a few eyes. He didn't
always look smooth as silk, but he proved he belonged with the big boys.
Positives: He has all the
tools. Fast, big, and athletic … Dangerous with the ball in his hands. A
playmaker … Will work out extremely well.
Negatives: Where is his
position? He looks like a big corner, but he’ll likely be tried out as a
free safety, too … Competition level … Not a big enough hitter to be a
top NFL safety.
15. Brandon Underwood, Cincinnati
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 15
Post-Combine Skinny: It
was the workout everyone had been waiting for from the corners. Not only
is Underwood big, but the 4.49 was fantastic. He was great in the short
drills, jumped well, and worked out like a real, live NFL cornerback.
Positives: A safety with the
speed to play corner … Tall, lanky. Has few problems against bigger
receivers … Versatile. Can step in and play anywhere.
Negatives: What’s his
position? Needs work on being an NFL corner … Not a natural coverman as
a corner … Not a huge hitter considering his safety background.
16. Bruce Johnson, Miami 5-9,
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 2
Tremendous quickness through the short drills and a 4.47 in the 40 were
exactly what he needed to do to make up for his size. He was a fluid,
smooth runner who looked the part of a decent No. 2 corner.
Positives: Good athleticism
and a solid cover man. Can be a No. 1 corner against speedier targets …
Fast. Could be a returner … Fluid. A shadow on most receivers who don’t
put on a good move.
Not big. Tries to be physical, but isn’t … Not a top playmaker.
Didn’t do enough special things … Will need to play zone at the next
17. Joe Burnett, UCF
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 16
Post-Combine Skinny: His
money will mostly be made as a key backup corner and on special teams,
and with a 4.49, he showed he could be a returner. Few were as quick in
the short drills as he blew though the shuttle and the cone.
production from day one … Pick-off artist. Makes big plays … Nice speed.
Can be used as a returner.
Negatives: Not a form tackler. Not going to make big hits … Good
speed, but not elite wheels … Will struggle in the NFL in man coverage.
18. Morgan Trent, Michigan 6-1, 193
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 25
Trent might have moved up from a 6-to-7 rounder to a 4-to-5 rounder with
a standout day. The 4.53 was good enough for his size, and the 23 reps,
38" vertical, and lights out quick drills put him on the radar.
Positives: Veteran with plenty of experience … A good athlete with
nice technique … Solid tackler. Doesn’t miss much.
Negatives: Not quite quick
enough to be a top NFL corner … While tall, he doesn’t have an NFL body
… A good prospect with limited upside.
19. Keenan Lewis, Oregon State
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 18
Post-Combine Skinny: With
his size, if he could just run well he would quickly rise up. He ran
well. The 4.49 stood out on a day when no one seemed able to move. It
was a good enough workout to get noticed and move, potentially, into the
Veteran who saw it all. Tons of experience … Excellent size with enough
quickness to get by … Makes plays. Fights to make things happen.
Negatives: The wheels are
mediocre when the ball is in the air … Gets shoved around too much for his size … Could stand to be
a better tackler.
20. Coye Francies, San Jose State
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 19
Post-Combine Skinny: He
had everyone buzzing by looking smooth throughout all the drills and
cutting on a dime, and the 24 reps in the weight room didn't hurt. And
then there was the 40. A 4.62, and there went the potential for being
this year's hot mover up the charts.
Decent speed and all-around athleticism … Stepped up and played well
when challenged, including the post-season workouts … Will hit. Not
afraid to step up against the run.
Negatives: Not experienced.
Only had one real year of experience at San Jose State after getting
suspended from Oregon State … Not bulky. Will try to be physical, but
that won’t work outside of the WAC … Mediocre hands.
21. Jerraud Powers, Auburn
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 23
Post-Combine Skinny: He
had a nice day. Criticized for coming out early when he could've upped
his stock with a good senior year, he came up with a nice 4.47 in the 40
and was one of the quickest players in the Combine in the shuttle.
Looks the part even with his size. Strong … Willing tackler who’s great
at coming up with the big stop … Good athlete who showed big-time upside
early in his career.
Needs work to be a player and not just a great athlete … Didn’t show
quite what he could do last year because he was hurt … Big on potential,
but some team will have to be patient.
22. Ryan Mouton, Hawaii
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 22
Post-Combine Skinny: A
tough guy for his size, he showed off the quickness and shiftiness
expected. The 4.54 wasn't great, but he whipped around the short drills
and leapt an incredible 10'9".
tough for his size. A playmaker … Can be used as a returner … Quick and
small. Got away with his size in the WAC … Needs technique work … A
willing tackler, but he’s not all that physical. Doesn’t provide any
23. Jahi Word-Daniels, Georgia Tech 6-0, 197
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 24
While he didn't run the 40, he played to his strength ... his strength.
With good size, he's still on the draft board and he lifted an
impressive 24 times on the bench. the 35.5" vertical didn't hurt.
Positives: Nice size and good hitter … Was a top prospect before a
mediocre senior season … Good against the run. Physical.
Negatives: A hamstring problem
hurt him … Not quite athletic enough to stay with a No. 1 NFL receiver …
Not afraid to hit, but he’s not always good at it.
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 14
Post-Combine Skinny: Uh
oh. If you're going to measure 5-8 and 190, you can't run a 4.6. He
might be tough and he might play well on the field, but he didn't show
enough raw athleticism to warrant anything more than a mid-second day
Great leader. Excellent character … Played bigger than his size early in
his career … Tough as nails. Will play hurt.
Negatives: Not big enough.
He’ll get beaten up … Once he got hurt, he played through it, but he
wasn’t as physical … Not a great NFL athlete.
DeAndre Wright, New Mexico
Pre-Combine Position Rank: 21
Disappointing. Extremely disappointing. The Lobo great jumped well and
moved fine, but the 4.61 in the 40 wasn't close to as good as what he
should've done. He's not going to be physical, so he needed to be
A veteran who excelled at a high level his entire career … Great against
the run. Fantastic in the open field … Excellent instincts. The
experience is going to be a factor.
Negatives: Banged up. He’s
tough and wasn’t afraid to hit, but he has a shoulder issue … Wiry.
Doesn’t have an NFL body … Will have problems against speed receivers.