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Top Cornerbacks In The 2019 Draft

1. Washington CB Byron Murphy – Redshirt Sophomore – 5-11, 190 – 4.55
After a slow start to his career because of a broken foot, Murphy hit the ground running upon his return. That started off in the Fiesta Bowl, where he did a little bit of everything – recording a seven tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, and an interception. He continued ascending next season, where he made first team All-Pac 12 and second team All-American. While playing mostly on the left side, this corner has instincts that could see him play on both sides. He does well in both man and zone coverage, fighting for position and finding the ball wherever it is in the air. He had 74 tackles, one sack, 20 passes defended, six interceptions, and one defensive touchdown during his two years with the Huskies.

LSU CB Greedy Williams

LSU CB Greedy Williams – Photo by: Getty Images

2. LSU CB Greedy Williams – Junior – 6-2, 185 – 4.37
Once given the opportunity to play in 2017, Williams never looked back and started ever since. LSU has become the one-stop-shop for many defensive players – especially in the secondary – to become a successful NFL defenders, and Williams is surely in line for that. He excels in man coverage in large part due to his speed, size and length. Not many corners have all three of these traits, but Williams does. Adding to that, he covers the ball like he has a GPS on it, recording eight interceptions and 19 passes defended for the Tigers. Williams went up against some of the best wide receivers in the country that he faced in the SEC, defending each and every kind of route that can be ran. It doesn’t matter if it’s a long or short route, Williams has the quickness to stay step for step. He earned first-team all SEC honors along with second team All-American while at LSU.

3. Temple CB Rock Ya-Sin – Senior – 6-0, 192 – 4.51
If teams want a physical cornerback then Ya-Sin is their guy. He started playing at Presbyterian College for two years before transferring to Temple in 2018. The jump to Division I competition was no problem for him, as he ended up making first team All-American Athletic Conference while recording 47 tackles and two interceptions. Along with the physicality, Ya-Sin likes to talk it up on the field as well. He will go one-on-one with an opponent and talk to them before, after, and during the play. Ya-Sin brought that over to the Senior Bowl, where he had a strong showing during practice week. He loves to throw receivers off their route using his physical nature, which should bode well for him at the NFL level. He’ll likely be drafted in the second round.

4. Georgia CB DeAndre Baker – Senior – 5-11, 193 – 4.52
Baker is the kind of player that got better in increments each year he was at Georgia, and it ended with a blast as a senior. Last season, Baker went on to receive two big honors, making first-team All American, and winning the Jim Thorpe award as college football’s best defensive back. He was a shutdown corner as a senior, and overall, had 116 tackles, 27 passes defended, and seven interceptions for the Bulldogs. He is great at detecting the route being ran before the receiver can even get to his break, leading to many incomplete passes. With a great combination of athleticism and size, Baker is able to press well at the line of scrimmage, and his ability to find the football makes him a good fit for a zone scheme as well. The only thing keeping him out of the first round is his lack of elite speed.

5. Notre Dame CB Julian Love – Junior – 5-11, 195 – 4.54
Love has the ability to cover man-to-man, but would probably work best in a zone due to his lack of agility. Most corners don’t have the strongest trait of making tackles in the run, but that’s not the case for Love. He’ll be able to help a team if you get him in the right scheme that doesn’t ask him to cover the speediest of receivers. He had 176 tackles, 39 pass breakups and five interceptions in 38 games at school.

6. Clemson CB Trayvon Mullen – Junior – 6-1, 199 – 4.46
Mullen enjoyed plenty of team success while winning two national championships as a member of the Tigers. He had a more prominent role on that second championship team, which included winning the Defensive MVP in the game. He started in all 13 games and had 46 tackles, three pass deflections and one interception. He’s quite gifted athletically, which makes him strong in man-to-man coverage, but he struggles with his technique at times, particularly with his footwork.

Penn State CB Amani Oruwariye

Penn State CB Amani Oruwariye – Photo by: Getty Images

7. Penn State CB Amani Oruwariye – Senior – 6-2, 205 – 4.70
Residing from our very own Tampa, Florida, Oruwariye was a three-star recruit when he headed to Penn State. There was some questions about him not starting as junior, but that Oruwariye still got a lot of playing time in every game and actually had a career-high four interceptions that year. He followed up that up by earning first team All-Big Ten honors as a senior. Overall, he had 106 tackles, 20 passes defended, eight interceptions and a touchdown for the Nittany Lions. His play also earned him an invite to the Senior Bowl. Oruwariye, who had a local pre-draft visit to One Buc Place, does a great job of altering routes of receivers and backpedaling in pursuit, being best fit for off man coverage.

8. Central Michigan CB Sean Bunting – Junior – 6-0, 195 – 4.42
Bunting started early as a sophomore and that continued until he decided to leave Central Michigan for the NFL Draft. He would be strongly suited to play in more of a zone scheme due his ability to read and react on a play with his aggressive anticipation. He’s fast with his feet and is able to stop and change direction because of the route. Bunting played 35 games in college, recording 104 tackles, 15 passes defended, nine interceptions and four forced fumbles.

9. Auburn CB Jamel Dean – Junior – 6-1, 206 – 4.30
He began his college career at Ohio State, but was ruled medically ineligible to play based on knee injuries he had from high school. Dean then transferred to Auburn and was able to get cleared, but he suffered an early knee injury in 2016 and missed the entire year. Once he worked to get back, Dean’s perseverance paid off as he played in 26 games and totaled 73 tackles with one sack, 17 passes defended and two interceptions. He is a very versatile player who is still quite fast despite all of his injuries. Dean will lock up receivers in coverage and get them away from what they had planned on doing. His arm length goes a long away for all of his pass deflections. He just needs to stay healthy for an entire season, which it looks like he’s overcome now. The Bucs had Dean in for a pre-draft visit and he could be an option on Day 2, possibly in the third round.

10. Vanderbilt CB Joejuan Williams – Junior – 6-4, 211 – 4.64
Williams sure has the size standing at 6-foot-4, which gives him the opportunity to make a play on any ball. Adding to that, he’s on receivers as well, giving Williams a good push against his opponent. With that size comes a lack of speed. He’s balanced for a player his size, he just needs to keep up alongside the receiver. Williams record 119 tackles, 25 passes defended, four interceptions and one forced fumble in his time at Vanderbilt.

Best Of The Rest

11. Michigan State CB Justin Layne – Junior – 6-2, 192 – 4.50
He was a four-star recruit at Michigan State, which is a school that’s been known to pump out NFL-caliber cornerbacks. With that territory, Layne likes to put on his physicality to win battles against the wide receiver that he’s covering. He won’t be afraid to get in there and break up a play, using his length to succeed. Layne 130 tackles, 24 passes defended and three interceptions on the Spartans.

12. Kentucky CB Lonnie Johnson – Senior – 6-2, 213 – 4.52
Johnson started out his career at Garden City Community College, and as a freshman had five interceptions on the year, starting in the last five games. After sitting out his sophomore year, Johnson transferred to Kentucky went into an important role. He ended up with 23 tackles, four passes defended and one interception that senior year for the Wildcats. Johnson has long, long arms and the jumping ability to cover a wide range of space. What he needs to work on is his press coverage on the receiver upfront at the line of scrimmage. Tampa Bay had Johnson in for a pre-draft visit.

13. Michigan CB David Long – Junior – 5-11, 198 – 4.45
Long was a two-year starter at Michigan where he recorded 37 tackles, 12 pass breakups, three interceptions and half a sack. He’s not the biggest corner, but he does have decent speed and Long is very competitive. He’s well versed in press man coverage and does a great job of jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage with his aggressive style of play. The Bucs had Long in for a Top 30 visit and he could be a target in the third or the fourth round of the draft.

14. Ohio State CB Kendall Sheffield – Junior – 5-11, 193 – N/A
Sheffield has some good traits that you want out of a corner, and that’s mainly his quickness. He’s fast and he reads quarterbacks, setting himself up to match well with the receiver. What He lacks though is true physicality, and that hurts him on these jump ball where his opponent will come away with it. Sometimes he doesn’t keep up with his technique, but he has the agility to overcome it. He had two interceptions, 15 passes defended, and two forced fumbles at Ohio State. Sheffield is blazing fast, but tore a pectoral muscle bench pressing at the NFL Scouting Combine and couldn’t run in the 40-yard dash.

15. Houston CB Isaiah Johnson – Senior – 6-2, 208 – 4.40
Johnson had a great showing during practice week at the Senior Bowl in individual drills. He engulfed the receivers up at the line and really knocked them away from what they wanted to do. Johnson’s tremendous athletic ability allows him to win these match-ups, especially when you throw the length and physicality that he has. One thing he’ll need to work on is coming down with the ball, turning an incomplete into an interception. Johnson had four interceptions and 12 passes defended at Houston.

16. James Madison CB Jimmy Moreland – Senior – 5-11, 175 – 4.48
Moreland plays with brash confidence and trash talk. He’ll try to get opponents off their game by getting under their skin, and it doesn’t stop. Moreland is a scrappy, spark plug for any team, who always find himself where the ball is making plays. Moreland has such a good showing at the during the East-West Shrine Game practices that it earned him an invite to the Senior Bowl, and his good performance also translated over there. Moreland’s a little undersized, but makes up for it instinctual play and insane production. Moreland had 63 pass breakups, 18 interceptions and six pick-sixes. He can also be a returner as well.

17. Alabama CB Saivion Smith – Junior – 6-1, 199 – N/A
Once again, another original Tampa native, Smith had an interesting journey before getting to Alabama. He started out at LSU and played in a backup role and then decided to transfer the next year to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in order to keep eligibility. Finally, he made his way to Alabama. Smith three interceptions, five pass breakups and one defensive touchdown in his only year with the Crimson Tide. He’s at his best when he’s just being physical and tackling, but needs to work on some of his technique at the next level.

18. Boston College CB Hamp Cheevers – Junior – 5-9, 169 – 4.52
Cheevers is on the smaller end in size but he still has a good ability to find the ball in coverage. He’s quick, so he manages staying on pace with a receiver, and will have to do so more than likely out of the slot. He had nine interceptions, 10 passes defended and one defensive touchdown while at Boston College.

19. Miami CB Michael Jackson – Senior – 6-1, 210 – 4.45
Jackson is a big, physical athlete that brings the intensity every time. He’s competitive as can be, and he uses that with his toughness to get receivers off their line when going one on one. He’ll need to improve on his foot work to gain a little more agility. During his time at Miami, Jackson had four interceptions and 11 passes defended.

20. Clemson CB Mark Fields – Senior – 5-10, 192 – 4.37
Fields has some question marks around him for two reasons, one is a character question regarding his one game suspensions from a locker room incident. The other question is about why he was never able to be keep a starting job despite playing for four years. Outside of this, Fields has gifted speed and athletic talent matched with physicality. He likes to jump at the point of attack but even if he overdoes it, he’s got enough tracking speed to get back deep for the pass breakup. He’s an all around competitor that makes up for his size difference.

Click Page 3 For The Bucs’ Best Bets At CB

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About the Author: Matt Matera

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2 years ago

I can add that I’ve watched Long at CB for a couple of years at Michigan and he’s going to be an above average corner in the NFL. Plays a game very similar to Brent Grimes without the drama but is a willing tackler. Loves football and super competitive. Would love to see him on the Bucs. He could be there at the top of the 4th, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he went towards the end of the 3rd.

2 years ago

On offense the Bucs are really close just need to fix right side of O line. Defense is another story. You really can’t say they are set or deep at any position which is kind of crazy. LB went from strength to weakness in one season. CB has been deficient for years. Safety has been below par. DT was pretty solid now with McCoy that’s a weak spot possibly and they could use more DE or whatever you want to call it now with 3-4 they need more pass rushers. If Bowls can get some help still in free agency… Read more »

2 years ago

This team desperately needs to add another corner. Davis looks like he has the makings of a solid CB2, but I’m not sure how this team can count on getting anything out of Hargreaves. Hoping Greedy or Rock Ya Sin are there in round 2. This team needs to find a player with CB1 potential. Though it doesn’t sound like the Bucs are particularly interested in either player. The Penn State kid ran a 4.70, so no thanks.

2 years ago

I am sure BA knows more than I do but I will believe it when I see it about VHIII being an outside corner. Don’t understand why a pro football team likes to have a local Florida player on the team. Not like it is doing anything to draw fans, are people coming to see Hargreaves? Secondary is where our scouts and front office will earn their money in the draft, and in the secondary FA market. The young secondary players last year did as good as could be expected being thrown to the wolves, and if I were the… Read more »

2 years ago

There’s some pretty good depth this year at CB. Plus they’re some tall dudes as well. I know I’m a Miami hurricanes homer, but Michael Jackson was a hell of a player on that defense last year. Seems like he could be a fourth rounder due to how deep these positions are. I’m just so over the anticipation for this years draft. Let’s go already!!!

2 years ago

We really have needs at every defensive position, so I believe we should trade down and pick up some more draft picks. We are not one player away from making the playoffs; our schedule didn’t help either.

Freeman Strickland
2 years ago

Matt Matera, As you note in your analysis, the Bucs, like pretty much every team, would love to get a “ball-hawking CB”. But, “The nickel position in the slot starts to get a little dicey for the Bucs here.” That being said, the film clips show bot of these guys mostly working outside. Are you thinking Dean outside and Long in the slot for nickel? I hope two top spots are given to the offensive line. I would love to have defenders, but the Bucs have a massive decision to make about Winston next year. I want to see the… Read more »

2 years ago

If I’m being completely honest, Dean looks trash. Teams are probably in love with the guy because of his size and speed, but he can’t play. Watch actually game tape against Alabama – he clearly hates physical contact. Now, Long on the other hand looks like he can play nickel at the next level. IDK if he has the physical tools to do so, but clearly has good instincts. He’d be a grab find in the later rounds.

2 years ago

I think Amani Oruwariye ran better than a 4.7 typo?

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