NFL Draft Prospect Rankings: Ben Natan’s Top 10 Corners

Oct 5, 2013; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies cornerback Kyle Fuller (17) celebrates with safety Kyshoen Jarrett (34) after making an interception in the fourth quarter. The Hokies defeated the Tar Heels 27-17 at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

In today’s pass happy NFL, it is very important to have talented corners to stay competitive. Seattle is a great example of this. In the 2013 class, there is a multitude of different types of corners, with several warranting a top 50 selection. Here are the top ten corners in this year’s class.

  1. Jason Verrett (TCU): Verrett is not going to wow anyone with his stature or blind anyone with long speed, but put on the film and watch a true football player. Verrett is incredibly physical at the line and is very good as a man corner. However, he is even better in zone when he can play facing the QB and make plays with the ball in front of him. He has great ball skills and is a nasty, willing run defender. A complete corner.
  2. Kyle Fuller (Virginia Tech): Fuller is an incredibly physical corner who exceeds in man coverage. Not only is he a great cover corner, he is a great asset in the run game. He has the ability to play in any scheme, but his physicality in man coverage is hard to look past.  
  3. Bradley Roby (Ohio State): After a preconceived down year, Roby has fallen down the board. After a closer look, it was evident he was just miscast in a zone scheme was not nearly as bad as some thought. Where he plays best is when he can man up with a receiver. He is very physical at the line and is very willing as a tackler. In the right scheme, Roby can impact immediately.
  4. Stanley Jean Babtiste (Nebraska): Babtiste is a long, athletic corner who moves very smoothly in coverage and uses his frame to shut down receivers and make a play on the ball. He also flashes great strength in jamming receivers at the line with his long arms and can completely throw off a receivers timing. He is still a bit raw as he transitions from wide receivers, but his ability and physicality to is too hard to pass up.
  5. Pierre Desir (Lindenwood): Not getting the attention he deserved for most of the year due to lack of exposure, Desir is still among some of the best corners in the country. He is a phenomenal athlete in a great frame who uses his speed, quick feet and active hands to shut receivers down in coverage. People may knock him for lack of competition, but he was just not targeted when he was at Lindenwood. When he was, he made the quarteback pay.
  6. Dexter McDougle (Maryland): Despite getting hurt early in the season, McDougle was putting on a clinic. He has great feet and body control and plays the ball very, very well. Hopefully he recovers fully from his injury, because if he does, he will slowly work the way up of a lot of teams’ boards.
  7. Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State): Viewed by many as the top corner, I have concerns about Dennard’s lack of long speed and his lack of agility. He is very physical, almost to a fault, and he is a very smart and strong player, but his physical limitations will limit what he can do in the NFL. A good corner, but a limited one.
  8. Andre Hal (Vanderbilt): Hal is a very technical corner who does incredibly well when manned up with the receiver. He is a bit limited athletically and tends to get a bit grabby, but with some help he can be a very solid corner.
  9. Terrance Mitchell (Oregon): Mitchell is a good athlete and it shows on his ability to close on the ball. He can man up and has quick feet in zone, but I hope that he improves his willingness as a tackler. He is very talented and some teams may take his range and ball skills at safety.
  10. EJ Gaines (Missouri): Gaines is a good athlete and a very physical corner. I love the way he can close in off coverage and make a play on the ball. The Missouri scheme does not ask the corners to press and there is often a big cushion, but Gaines thrives in the system and he could prove to be much better than the tape makes it look.

Topics: 2014 NFL Draft, Cornerbacks

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