Friday, November 13, 2009

2010 NFL Draft: Cornerback Rankings

1. Trevard Lindley, Kentucky – In Lindley you have a corner who is one of the most polished cornerbacks in the college game, who has the ability to take away half the field. Not only does he have great speed, and anticipation skills but he also has the size to go with it, standing right around six feet tall. Last season, Lindley was a second team All-American by the Walter Camp Foundation. He is not as thick as Malcolm Jenkins (Lindley is only around 180 pounds) who was the first cornerback drafted and went #14 overall to the Saints in the 2009 draft, but he has better, speed, agility and ball skills than Jenkins. This season Lindley has missed time with a high ankle sprain.

2. Pat Robinson, Florida State - As a sophomore, Robinson recorded a team and career-high six interceptions including a five game streak to tie the school record for consecutive games with at least one interception. Unfortunately, Robinson was one of the players involved in the infamous Florida State cheating scandal, and that will raise some question marks with NFL teams. Last season he had 26 tackles despite playing in only eight games and had four pass break-ups, due in part to opposing quarterback staying away from him. He has good size at 5' 1"1, 194 pounds and can both cover and support the run. He should run in the low 4.4 in the 40 when he is tested. This season hasn’t lived up to expectations for Robinson as he only has 23 tackles, with no interceptions (seven pass break-ups).

3. Brandon Ghee, Wake Forest – Ghee is the next player off of the Wake Forest defense to be headed towards the NFL. A 5' 11", the 190-pound cornerback has the ability to come up and make tackles on wide receivers as well as the willingness to stick his nose in the backfield and take on running backs. He has good hips and shows the ability to play man to man. So far this season has 40 total tackles and six pass break-ups. Ghee doesn’t have an interceptions and he needs to show improvement with his ball skills.

4. Syd'Quan Thompson, California – Thompson isn’t the biggest cornerback in the land, but some how always finds away to make plays. The question is going to be, does he make up his lack of size with true recovery speed? Many people beleive he is a 4.4 guy, but we won’t know for sure until we get a stop watch on him. Thompson is a ball hawk and is better in man to man coverage than he is in zone, but the Golden Bear does have the ability to play in either defensive scheme. This season Thompson has 31 tackles, one interception and six pass break-ups.

5. Perrish Cox, Oklahoma State – Cox has good size a 6' 0" and 200 pounds; he is not only a good cover cornerback, but a willing tackler. He has good speed and shows that off in the return game. He has the ability to play both man to man and zone as a cornerback. As a senior, he has 24 total tackles with one interception and an impressive 12 pass break-ups. The Poke as has 455 kick return yards on 19 returns averaging 23.9 yards a kick return. Cox has also returned eight punts for 78 yards.

6. Jerome Murphy, South Florida - Murphy is one of the biggest hitter on the USF team, not very common for cornerbacks. He also has very good speed for his size, checking in at 6' 1" and 185 pounds. Some have him rated with a similar grade as former South Florida cornerback Mike Jenkins, who was a first round pick of the Dallas Cowboys two years ago. This season the USF Bull has 40 total tackles, two interceptions and six pass break-ups.

7. Kyle Wilson, Boise State – Last season Wilson was named first team All-WAC cornerback and second team all-conference punt returner. He lead the team with five interceptions, 10 pass breakups and 15 passes defended, to go along with those stats he had 35 total tackles and five tackles for loss. He had 33 punt returns for 470 yards and three touchdowns. Wilson is 5-10 184 and runs in the 4.4, he is good both in man to man and zone coverage and when he gets his hands on the ball, this Bronco can make plays. He isn’t just a cover cornerback but will come up and support the run. This season has 23 total tackles and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown.

8. Javier Arenas, Alabama – Arenas is not only a good cornerback, but he is a great returner and last season he returned three punts for touchdowns. He has the ability to score every time he touches the ball with great speed and elusiveness as a returner. As a cornerback he has good ball skills, but is short standing in 5' 9". Arenas does have good size weighing almost 200 pounds. He isn’t a shutdown corner but he can cover man to man and also is good in zone coverage. He is effective supporting the run, and come off the edge on the blitz. But what makes Arenas so special is his ability as a game changer in the return game. This season so far on defense has 45 total tackles 8.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks and one interception. In the return game he has 19 punt returns for 320 yards (16.8 average per return) and 10 kick off returns for 278 yards (27.8 average per return).

9. Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Indiana (PA) - Owusu-Ansah has great size at 6' 1" and 205 pounds for a cornerback, combined with his speed, it makes him a tough shut down cover corner. He is a great on special teams as both a kick and punt returner, which will help his stock come draft day. This season on defense he has 21 total tackles, two tackles for loss, two interceptions, four pass break-ups and six passes defended. In the return game he has 16 kick-off returns for 462 returns (28.9 average per return) and two touchdowns; with 21 punt returns for 271 yards (12.9 average per return) and three touchdowns.

10. Devin McCourty, Rutgers – McCourty is a good overall cornerback at 5' 10" and 190 pounds, who broke out last season with 57 tackles and seven pass break-ups. McCourty is a reliable tackler with fluid hips, a good leaper, who can be physical and aggressive. He has good instincts and awareness, with a strong work ethic. This season so far has 47 tackles which leads the team, 2.5 tackles for loss, one interception and five pass break-ups. He is also one of the nation's top special teams players, which should make him a valuable edition as a rookie.

Photos Courtesy of SEC Sports Media, University of California, Media Relations Boise St. University