Cornerback is one of the most difficult positions to get right. The type of player and the design of the defense have to mesh to be productive. Derrelle Revis lives on an Island but it allows the Jets to go after the QB and pressure them into making mistakes. Other like the Steelers thump and bump to redirect the WR and throw off timing, or Palamalu and Harrison will try to decapitate them and intimidate them.
As I said we will hear all about the top 5 CBs through the combine and up to the draft. Here some of the players that I like and would be great picks. You might be surprised how many of these players you never heard of, like House was last year, will be picked in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th rounds.
3/4th round grade
Josh Norman from Coastal Carolina leads the bunch. At 6-0 205lbs. He looks like a safety but plays like a CB. He has great arm length (32 ½) which is similar to a man 6-4. He was a very late round prospect but has looked good in practices and East West game. He is moving up the board as a little raw against top FBS talent but he has fluid hips, great back pedal, and a willingness to hit somebody. He is a player that excited me and I think will draw some more attention with his workout at the combine. Maybe squeezes into to the 3rd round.
Ryan Steed a Paladin from Furman excelled at every drill and looks ready. Give this guy a year to develop in an NFL weight room and watch tape. He has the skills, he was fooled every now and then in read react but no worse then most CBs looking to jump to the NFL. He is 5-10 190lbs and looks ready to give it a shot. His 40 time will dictate 3rd thru 5th round. He will be a good player.
Dwight Bentley from Louisiana Lafayette I commented a month ago as a player I am rooting for as his practice and on field performance really dwarfed far higher ranked prospects. He is a little short for Green Bay at 5-10 and a hair light at 178lbs but he never backed down from anybody and always seemed to get in good position and broke up a lot of passes his way. That skill is not really taught, it is like being a good rebounder in basketball, you kind of just have to be able to do it. He is a 3rd 4th grade right now with a solid combine.
5th round grade
Donnie Fletcher from Boston College (6-0 200lbs) is a strong athletic CB from a school more known for O linemen. He capable of playing CB or FS and his 40 time will dictate. I have times from 4.41 to 4.63 over the last 3 years. If he runs 4.4s he may go round 4. If he runs 4.6+ he may not get drafted. This combine and his proday will make our break his possible NFL career. Looking at scout notes I see a 4.48-4.53 which is good and solid and a 4.2 20 yrd shuttle . With those number he will be a solid 5th round pick and with a team like the Packers a less expensive ST player, and maybe better cover player, then Jarrett Bush.
The last CB is Central Florida’s Josh Robinson (5-10 193lbs.). He is a junior that decided to go pro. He is quicker than the film suggests and has some solid coverage skills. He is 4.4s fast and played a lot of boundary CB which means he is more of a cover 2 corner. He also has appeal in Green Bay because of how Capers runs the Zone Blitz scheme here is a similar system to what Josh has been playing in at college now. 5th round grade unless he runs above a 4.5 40 yard at the combine.
Next up- Safeties