Category: Cornerback

CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama

6’2” – 207 lbs.

Played on offense, defense, and special teams as a freshman, catching eleven passes while returning kicks and punts, then served as a punt returner the following year while rotating sparingly into the defense. Stepped into a starting role as a junior but saw his season end after just six appearances, sustaining a foot injury. Rebounded to have an excellent senior season, intercepting three passes and breaking up another eight while scoring two defensive touchdowns. Possesses excellent size, bulk, and length for a pro cornerback. Usually lines up in either shuffle or press-man coverage, but will go into a zone look when no receiver is split out wide to the left side of the defense, or occasionally drop into the slot; didn’t really see him on the right side, so it will be interesting to see what his footwork looks like from there. Coordination is good for his size.  Has good footwork at the line of scrimmage to match a receiver’s release, although it would be nice to see him get physical with opposing receivers to jam their release, something he didn’t do often during the games reviewed. Looks comfortable sticking with inside releases or routes breaking over the middle of the field. Does a good job of using his length to pin opposing receivers to the boundaries; not the most physical corner at the line or elsewhere, but uses his hands to feel routes down the sideline. Able to get low and play with leverage despite being a taller cornerback, although his footwork can be a little bit relaxed. Has pretty good pattern-recognition skills and reaction times, playing with a conservative temperament. Can plant and drive quickly. Not an elite athlete, but has adequate deep speed and recovery speed to provide coverage further downfield. Quarterbacks didn’t look his way very often during the review, although he was successfully targeted on some confident throws into tight windows, allowing a touchdown on such a throw vs. Louisiana St; would like to see him be more aggressive at the catch point. Understands positioning in the run game. Gets physical with opposing receivers and positions himself to the outside of the ball carrier to funnel them back inside. Angles in pursuit are solid. A very solid shuffle/press-man corner who has excellent size and length to pin opponents to the sidelines, along with the quickness, recognition skills, and instincts to provide tight coverage on opposing split ends. Requires a little bit of projection because he didn’t jam opponents much, but looks like a legitimate first-round candidate coming off of an excellent senior season.

CB Kristian Fulton, Louisiana St.

6’0” – 200 lbs.

Appeared in three games as a freshman, and none the following year. Started the first ten games of the season as a junior before missing the final three games with an injury; finished that year with 25 tackles, nine breakups, and an interception. Started all fourteen games as a senior and posted 32 tackles, 13 breakups, and one interception. Solidly-built for his position in terms of height, bulk, and length; pretty much what teams look for on the outside. Often lines up in press-man coverage, moving back and forth between the left and right sides of the defense; when opponents don’t split a receiver out to his side of the field, often slides back into more of a safety look. Solid athlete for his position, if a little bit lacking in explosiveness on tape. Willing to use his length to get physical with opponents at the line of scrimmage, disrupting their release. Can match outside releases with enough speed to carry opposing receivers downfield, using his size and length to pin them to the sideline. Does a good job of using his hands to feel routes developing, which allows him to provide pretty tight coverage through the route stem on those snaps; overall pattern recognition looks pretty solid. Can occasionally struggle to maintain balance while playing physical coverage. When playing off, is a little bit more susceptible to head-fakes and double moves; see touchdown allowed vs. Florida this past season. Would like to see him play with a little bit more urgency in coverage when targeted; doesn’t always plant and drive aggressively on a spot, and his closing burst doesn’t look outstanding. When in-phase, ball skills look good; capable of getting his head around to locate and make plays on the ball, although he intercepted just two passes over the past two years. Uses form technique when coming up to make tackles on opposing ballcarriers.  May not have the freakish size or athleticism of some of the other top cornerbacks in this year’s class, but offers a solid combination of size, length, and athleticism, with a physical temperament to mix things up at the line of scrimmage and a very good overall feel for the position; polished boundary defender with good pattern-recognition skills and pretty consistent play. Those traits make him a relatively safe option for teams seeking help in the secondary.

CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio St.*

6’1” – 200 lbs.

One of the top recruits in the country out of high school, he ended up making seventeen tackles and breaking up one pass as a true freshman. Became more of a major contributor the following season, finishing with 32 tackles and eight breakups. Enjoyed his most productive campaign as a junior, finishing with 35 tackles, nine breakups, and three interceptions before declaring for the draft. Tall, long-limbed defender with an excellent build for the position. Lined up on the left side of the defense this past season, playing a lot of shuffle technique and press-man; wasn’t asked to backpedal much. Would play zone out of a shuffle technique when no receiver lined up split out wide to his side of the field. Snap to snap consistency is very impressive. More of a pure cover cornerback who didn’t jam opponents at the line very often, but flashes the ability to mix things up from time to time; instead, used his excellent quickness and balance to match opposing releases at the line of scrimmage, appearing equally comfortable defending against inside and outside releases. Covers a lot of ground when shuffling and does a good job of keeping the play in front of him without being too conservative in his cushions. Quick-twitch player who has excellent hips and speed to stick with opponents in man coverage; looks comfortable running with opponents down the field, or even across it on shallow crosses, etc. Overall pattern recognition is very good; rarely caught out of position, and can provide tight coverage through the route stem. Can diagnose route combinations when working in zone coverage. Able to use his hands to feel routes developing. Able to locate the ball in the air, with the length, leaping ability, and timing to make plays when targeted. Because of his excellent pure cover skills, was rarely targeted during the games reviewed, with Clemson being the game where he was challenged most. Effective run defender who attacks blockers with aggression and can also use his quickness to slip past them. Understands the need to maintain outside position and uses wrap tackling technique to bring down ballcarriers. One of the cleanest prospects in this year’s draft class, checking every box as a man cover cornerback; has excellent size, speed, fluidity, recognition skills, and reaction times, making him about as safe a bet as a prospect can be. Looks like a lock for the top five or ten picks as a plug-and-play starter who can serve as a defensive cornerstone for years to come.

CB Jeff Gladney, Texas Christian

6’0” – 183 lbs.

One of the most experienced cornerback prospects in this year’s class. Redshirted, then started eight of twelve games played the following year, ending up with 46 tackles and six breakups. Has been starting almost every game ever since, posting 28 tackles, five breakups, and two interceptions the following year. Finished his junior year with 41 tackles, thirteen breakups, and two interceptions. Senior season ended with 31 tackles, 14 breakups, and one interception. Lanky boundary corner with solid height and excellent length but a slightly thin build. Very good athlete who looks comfortable working in press man coverage from the left side of the defense, where he usually lines up. Also plays some off coverage. Has solid speed to carry opponents down or across the field. Hips look fluid, and is a very flexible player overall. More likely to use his footwork to match releases at the line rather than jamming opponents, but does a good job of using his hands to feel routes as they develop, allowing him to stick with opponents through the route stem. Does do a little bit of backpedaling but footwork looks better when he’s turning and running out of press man; backpedals with balance but needs to clean up his technique in the lower body. Pattern recognition skills are polished, as you’d expect from someone who’s essentially a four-year starter. When playing in zone, adopts a conservative approach, keeping the play in front of him and taking the top receiver on high-low route concepts. Ball skills are a plus, as his 27 breakups over the past two years would suggest. Excellent length allows him to make plays on the ball when targeted; appears to have good technique to slap balls free before the catch has been completed as well. Attacks blocks with aggression in the run game, although his thin frame impacts his anchor strength. Capable of sniffing out screens and has enough short-area quickness to slip by blockers and make tackles. However, he may need to add some additional strength in order to hold up against the physicality he’s going to be exposed to at the next level. One of the most flexible cornerbacks in this year’s class, with the diagnostic ability, ball skills, and athleticism to provide tight man coverage. Coming with four years of starting experience, he should be ready sooner rather than later from a mental and technical perspective, although he may need some time in a pro strength program.

CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah*

6’0” – 195 lbs.

Started two of twelve games as a freshman, finishing with 25 tackles, six breakups, and an interception, then stepped into a full-time starting role the following year and totaled 41 tackles, four breakups, and four interceptions. Posted 36 tackles, eleven breakups, and two interceptions this past season before declaring. Well-built for a pro boundary cornerback, with height, weight, and length in line with what teams look for. Lines up on both sides of the field, playing different techniques but predominantly off-man, zone, and press-man. Was at one of the college football programs which asked its cornerbacks to backpedal fairly regularly, and shows quick feet and good balance, although he could stand to clean up his footwork a little bit. More often is playing off or shuffling, where his footwork also has some minor issues. That said, has solid athleticism for the outside, with good flexibility. At his best when playing off in zone coverage. Appears to have pretty solid diagnostic skills when working in zone; has a good feel for underneath throws developing, with solid plant-and-drive skills. Does a good job of keeping the action in front of him, and times his approach well to break up passes without drawing penalties. Has a good sense of when to break off of his man and provide help. A little bit less impressive in man coverage. Working from press-man, has the length and physicality to mix things up with receivers at the line of scrimmage and disrupt their release. However, when he’s not playing bump-and-run, doesn’t provide the tightest coverage, either in terms of matching footwork on the initial release or through the route stem. Balance issues crop up too frequently; looks like he’s losing control at times. Overall speed appeared at least adequate, but can be beat over the top when he gets caught peeking, as he doesn’t have elite recovery speed to compensate. Wasn’t able to get a great feel for his ball skills during the games reviewed, but had pretty solid on-ball production over the past couple of seasons. Physical when attacking blockers in the run game, although he has some balance issues which crop up on contact; can be put on skates by more physical receivers. Not the strongest tackler. While there is a lot to like about his ability to keep the play in front of him and diagnose when playing in off-coverage/zone, there are better options in this class when it comes to playing press-man, which could somewhat limit the range of teams that rank him among the top cornerbacks in the class.

CB Damon Arnette, Ohio St.

6’0” – 195 lbs.

Four-star recruit out of St. Thomas Aquinas. Redshirted in 2015, then picked up 21 tackles and an interception the following year. Ended up finishing his career with thirty-eight starts, making 44 tackles, breaking up eight passes, and intercepting two as a sophomore. Finished with 40 tackles, six breakups, and an interception the next year, then ended up with 35 tackles, eight breakups, and a pick-six in his senior year. Adequately built for the outside, with solid size and bulk for the position. Lined up opposite Jeff Okudah, usually in press-man coverage on the right side of the defense, which is probably the technique he’s best-suited for at the pro level as well. Pretty physical cornerback who can play bump and run on the outside, but who also has pretty good footwork to match releases at the line of scrimmage without using his arms. Does a nice job of using his hands to feel routes developing and provide coverage through the route stem. When defending against outside releases, does a good job of using his size to pin opponents to the sideline. Able to get his head around and locate the ball in order to make plays when in-phase, although he can be a little bit physical at the catch point, which may cause him to pick up some penalties for pass interference at the next level. However, is not the twitchiest cornerback, and when he’s not using his hands, can be a little bit late to react, making him susceptible to timing-based throws. Will occasionally play a little bit further off, and looks conservative in that capacity, giving pretty generous cushions which create opportunities for teams to complete shorter passes underneath, particularly because his ability to plant and drive is just adequate; not one of the most explosive cornerbacks in this year’s class. Willing to get physical in the run game, although his awareness and positioning leave a little bit to be desired; would like to see him do a better job of locating the ball, staying square, and maintaining outside positioning. Is one of the most experienced of the top cornerbacks in this year’s draft class, and has a pretty good feel for the position, particularly when he’s playing press-man or bump-and-run on the outside. Might not blow anyone away with his athletic ability but has the look of a potential number-two option and will probably get some second-day consideration as a result.

CB C.J. Henderson, Florida*

6’1” – 202 lbs.

Started five of eleven games played as a freshman, finishing with 22 tackles, four interceptions, four breakups, and two defensive touchdowns. Started all thirteen games the following year and finished with 38-5.0-3.0 with two interceptions and seven breakups. Was limited to nine games this past year, and finished with 33 tackles and eleven breakups. Listed size is very solid for a pro cornerback, but looks a little bit smaller on tape, so official measurements will be important. Plays various different techniques on both sides of the field; tends to line up on the short side. Typically lines up in man coverage and shuffle coverage, often a few yards off the line of scrimmage, but sometimes in off-man as well. Has quick, smooth footwork to match releases at the line of scrimmage; didn’t backpedal too much, but does so with good balance. Does a good job of using his hands; willing to mix things up a little bit near the line, and uses his hands through breaks in order to feel routes developing. Has enough speed and explosiveness to carry opponents downfield. Has fluid hips to change directions, and can provide pretty tight coverage on inside breaking routes. Was not targeted often during the games reviewed. Plays a little bit conservative despite his speed, burst, and quickness; makes quick tackles to limit yards after the catch, but wasn’t always in a position to make plays on the ball when targeted during the games reviewed. That’s surprising, as his on-ball production was actually pretty impressive over the past two years. Can look a little bit tentative when diagnosing route combinations from zone coverage. Gets good extension with his arms when playing off of blocks, doing a good job of locating the ball, although his contract strength can sometimes be a little bit lacking for a bigger cornerback. Short-area quickness allows him to navigate through traffic on his way to the ball. Willing to come up and support the run, although he’s not the most physical or reliable tackler. Injury sustained this past season will require further medical evaluation at the Combine. A cornerback who can play too conservatively in coverage at times but who also possesses most of the tools teams look for in a man-coverage cornerback; he is tall, fast, and quick, with good footwork and hand use, traits which allow him to stick with opposing receivers.

CB Bryce Hall, Virginia

6’1”- 200 lbs.

Started seven of twelve games played as a true freshman, finishing with 25 tackles, four breakups, and two interceptions. Became a full-time starter the following year, finishing with 47 tackles, nine breakups, and one interception. Had a highly productive junior campaign – 62 tackles, 22 breakups, two interceptions – then was limited by injury to just six games as a senior, finishing with twenty tackles and four breakups. Big, well-built cornerback with good length for the boundary. Lined up on the left side of the defense, playing different techniques; tends to be in press-man, off-man, or zone coverage against bunches. Plays like his hair is on fire; overall level of intensity is excellent, although it can cause him to play a little bit out of control at times. Backpedals under control and with good balance, demonstrating quick feet. Long-strider who covers a lot of ground when shuffling. Overall athleticism is good for his size, with solid speed; fast and fluid enough to provide reasonable coverage on receivers breaking over the middle of the field on inside releases. Smooth when it comes to planting and driving on the ball, but often plays with a generous cushion which makes it difficult for him to get in position. From tighter coverage, looks relatively fluid to stick with opponents through the stem. However, can shift down too much at times and give up separation at the stem on stop-and-go routes. When in-phase, does a good job of locating and using his length to make plays on the ball. Despite having essentially three years of starting experience, is often a split-second late to diagnose route combinations. Would like to see him play with a more conservative temperament and more awareness in zone coverage; can get underneath opposing receivers and lose track of them. Very aggressive and physical attacking blockers when defending against screens and rushing attempts. Length gives him a good tackling radius, and likes to stick his nose in. Was also asked to blitz off the edge fairly often and looks fast in that capacity. Season-ending ankle injury will require further medical investigation. One of the most physically and athletically gifted cornerbacks in this year’s class, it would be easy to imagine a team falling in love with his energy, aggression, and physicality. However, as a three-year starter, it would be nice to see him play with more discipline and awareness, his pattern recognition skills and feel in zone coverage leaving something to be desired. Consequently, may be more of a boom-or-bust prospect.

CB A.J. Terrell, Clemson*

6’1” – 190 lbs.

Has been a contributor since his freshman season, a year in which he recorded 15 tackles, seven breakups, and one interception over 237 snaps. Became a full-time starter the following year and finished with 53 tackles, seven breakups, and three interceptions. Reprised his starting role as a junior, finishing with 39 tackles, seven breakups, and two interceptions before declaring for the draft. Tall and lanky corner who played on both sides of Clemson’s defense, sometimes out of a press man look but also in off-man, which he both backpedals and shuffles out of. Started fifteen games in each of the past two years and has the type of diagnostic skills/instincts you’d expect given that amount of experience; feel for the game is a plus. Has the length and physical temperament to mix it up with receivers at the line of scrimmage, but more often was using his footwork to match releases at the line, and looks good in that capacity. Looks smooth and covers a lot of ground when shuffling, although his footwork on the backpedal could stand to be cleaned up a little bit. Has fluid hips to stick with opposing receivers through their breaks in man coverage, but reaction times can be slightly slow when he’s not able to use his hands to feel routes; that said, does a good job of limiting big plays, being more  susceptible to curls, hitches, and other shorter patterns. Has solid top end speed to stick with opponents down the field. At his best when defending down the sidelines. Knows how to use his length to pin opponents to the boundary when playing on the short side of the field and defending against outside releases. Does a good job of getting his head around to locate and make plays on the ball when targeted; length allows him to get to a lot of throws. Played some zone coverage against route combinations, although it would be nice to see him get more depth to keep the play in front of him. Willing to come up and make tackles on ballcarriers, with a good sense for sniffing out developing screens. Has the short-area quickness to slip past blockers and flow to the ball. Pretty physical into contact, with solid tackling ability. Doesn’t get quite as much hype as some of the other top cornerbacks in this class, but is a polished and athletic prospect who really checks all of the boxes teams look for in a man cover corner and has starting-caliber traits.

CB Jordan Brown, South Dakota St.

6’0” – 201 lbs. – 4.51
Was a wide receiver in high school. Redshirted, practicing at both receiver and cornerback, then appeared in eleven games the following year before taking over a starting job in 2016, retaining that role for three seasons and totaling eight interceptions over that span to conclude his collegiate career. Well-built cornerback who took snaps on both the left and right sides of the defense and both the field and boundary sides. Often backpedals out of off-man coverage, but will also press regularly as well. Backpedal itself looks very nice; demonstrates good balance and quick feet, giving him an advantage over many corners in this class who tend to turn and run out of press on the majority of their snaps. Looks good flipping his hips to turn and run with opposing receivers. Not the fastest or most explosive player, but overall speed and athleticism are pro-caliber. Has good reaction times to receivers breaking off their routes, which allows him to provide tight coverage through the stem. Puts himself in position to break up throws even if his plant-and-drive burst is nothing special. Has a little bit more trouble navigating the congestion in the middle of the field. Has good footwork to match opposing releases from press-man, but would like to see him be more physical with his arms to disrupt timing; temperament is a little bit finesse, especially for a bigger cornerback. Also doesn’t have much stopping power as a run defender; willing to stick his nose in, but doesn’t play with the sort of power or physicality you’d expect given his size. Misses some arm tackles and even some attempts to hit and wrap opposing runners. Needs to keep the play in front of him, as he lacks the recovery speed to chase down opponents when caught flat-footed. Silver lining is that he gets good extension and understands positioning when taking on blocks, allowing him to funnel opposing runners back inside to help. Comes from an FCS program, so he’ll be making a big leap up in terms of the level of competition he’ll be playing. Nonetheless, his combination of size, technique, quickness, and pattern recognition is intriguing enough that it’s hard to believe he’ll slip much past the mid-rounds. Surest route to working his way up the depth chart will be by improving the overall level of physicality in his game.