Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cream of the 2013 NFL draft crop: Cornerback


This is the fifth edition of an eight-part series noting the top prospects of the 2013 NFL Draft at their respective positions.

THE CORNERBACK PROSPECTS: Dee Milliner, Xavier Rhodes, Desmond Trufant, Johnthan Banks, Logan Ryan, Jordan Poyer.

Dee Milliner (6-1, 198 lbs.) Alabama
Plays with a high level of awareness, staying in position to knock down passes and having an exceptional ability to locate the ball in the air. Very strong in run support. Was a first-team All-American in 2012. Has a tendency to play too aggressively at times. Only has one season of starting experience. Projected round: 1 (photo: Matt Valazquez, Flickr)

Xavier Rhodes (6-1, 217 lbs.) Florida State
Big, physical cornerback. Does not allow receivers to out-muscle him in routes or in jump-ball situations. Strong tackler. Possesses good burst and reacts quickly to plays in front of him. Often plays too physical and is susceptible to interference calls. Projected round: 1

Desmond Trufant (5-11, 190 lbs.) Washington
Dynamic athlete with good balance. Displays a willingness to be physical with receivers. Started 47 games for the Huskies in his four-year college career. Has unrefined coverage skills and does not have great size or length.  Projected round: 1

Johnthan Banks (6-1, 185 lbs.) Mississippi State
Aggressive player with good frame and length for position. Has ability to locate the ball in the air and skills to make a play on it. High on playmaking ability, but is undiscplined in coverage at times and is inconsistent with his technique. Lean size and lack of tackling skills make him ineffective in run support. Projected round: 1-2

Logan Ryan (6-0, 190 lbs.) Rutgers
Strong and physical in man coverage. Athletic enough to stay in position on a receiver while keeping an eye on the backfield. Very effective in special teams roles in his time with the Scarlet Knights. Susceptible to being beat deep, and lacks top-end speed and ability to recover. Projected round: 2

Jordan Poyer (6-0, 182 lbs.) Oregon State
Cerebral player, maintaining awareness of the quarterback while capably matching up with receivers his size and bigger. Good at staying in position both in coverage and in run support. Lacks top-level athletic ability and bulk. Can be overaggressive and attempt to jump routes too early. Was arrested last May in connection with a bar fight. Projected round: 2

AFC East need meter: (Not pressing, mildly pressing, very pressing)
Bills: Mildly pressing
Jets: Mildly pressing
Patriots: Very pressing
Dolphins: Very pressing

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