The 2017 NFL Draft is just a couple of months away and we already know that the cornerback is extremely rich in talent.
It’s possible that we see as many as 7 cornerbacks selected in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The candidates include Washington’s Sidney Jones, Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore, Florida’s Jalen Tabor, Florida’s Quincy Wilson, Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey, LSU’s Tre’Davouis White and Ohio State’s Gareon Conley.
Jones and Lattimore are in a group of their own but aren’t too far ahead of the rest of the pack. Lattimore doesn’t have a ton of experience but he does argubally have the highest upside. Jones is my top ranked corner based on his ball skills and overall coverage ability.
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It wouldn’t surprise me if Wilson develops into the most productive player in this group.
The number of corners selected in the 1st round will depend on team need, but I don’t see a scenario where all these players are still on the board in the middle of the 2nd round.
Seven cornerbacks in the 1st round would be one shy of the past two drafts combined. The 2016 NFL Draft had five 1st round picks with Jalen Ramsey, Eli Apple, Vernon Hargreaves III, William Jackson III and Artie Burns.
2015 only had three 1st round corners in Trae Waynes, Kevin Johnson and Marcus Peters.
An influx of talented cornerbacks to the NFL would be a welcome sign for those who like defense. The NFL has increasingly become a game centered around the passing game and a lot of defenses have lagged behind the change.
It has become clearer over the past few years that a defense needs more than two talented cornerbacks. In fact, the best practice is to have 3 top-end cover guys like the Denver Broncos have shown.
The New York Giants employed the same tactic last year and it really helped the overall performance of their defense.