2017 NFL Draft: Top Five CBs
Check out CommRadio's picks for best corner backs in this year's NFL Draft. Tune in April 27-29 for our draft weekend coverage live from the Philladelphia Art Museum.
1. Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State
Lattimore might be one of the draft's five best overall prospects. He had a breakout 2016 season in which he had 41 tackles and four interceptions. He's an outstanding athlete with the speed and the agility to stick with receivers down the field. He also has good hands for the position, terrific ball skills, and he is willing to come up and tackle in run support. He could stand to add some bulk to his frame in the NFL, and his instincts could use a little more polish, but these should get better with more experience. Overall, there is not a more athletically talented and higher-upside cornerback in this class. He will be an instant impact player in the NFL with the potential to develop into one of the best players at his position in a few years.
2. Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
There are moments when Humphrey looks like the best cornerback prospect in the draft, and there are others where he looks like someone who lacks sufficient experience. From a size standpoint, he has good measurables at 6'0 and 197 pounds. In two seasons, he had 81 tackles, five interceptions, and five passes defended. Humphrey knows how to press receivers at the line of scrimmage and can keep up with receivers on vertical routes. He shows good burst to close on passes when he's working in zone coverage. He sometimes has issues locating the football, and he can draw flags for being over-aggressive. However, he has the instincts and run support skills to become an early starter, with an abundance of physical gifts and great upside.
3. Gareon Conley, Ohio State
Despite playing with Lattimore and former first-round pick Eli Apple, Conley managed to stand out at Ohio State. The Buckeyes used Conley in the slot and outside. He has good agility that lets him to keep footing with quick receivers, and he has enough size and power to play with bigger players. Conley is physical at the line of scrimmage to disrupt timing on routes. In zone coverage, Conley displays the type of instincts and closing speed NFL scouts desire in cornerbacks. He may be at his best in a zone system. He could get a little better with his tackling technique and presence in the run game, but he has the talent to become an instant starter.
4. Tre’Davious White, LSU
There might not be a more experienced corner in this draft class than White. He started four years at LSU, playing 49 games in his career. LSU often put White on the right side, but he does have some experience as a nickel corner. Playing nickel could make him an attractive prospect to a team that already has a top cornerback on their roster. White plays an aggressive style with great physicality at the line of scrimmage. He is the type of cornerback who competes on 50-50 balls and knows how to battle in the air with receivers. White isn't the biggest (5'11, 192 pounds), but he gets by with technique and timing. He seems best suited for all forms of man coverage. Although he lacks run support ability to be an every-down corner, he's talented enough to challenge for slot duties immediately.
5. Kevin King, Washington
Sidney Jones and Budda Baker often overshadowed King, but he’s been one of the highest risers in the draft recently. King didn’t allow a single touchdown last season, which speaks volumes to his ability to play both zone and press. He can make highlight-reel plays with his size and length. King needs to add strength, but at 6-3 and 200 pounds, he obviously has the frame to do so. He also is an exceptional athlete, recording a 4.43 40-yard dash time and a 39.5” vertical at the NFL Combine. He needs to improve his aggressiveness as a tackler, but there is tremendous upside here.
Will Desautelle is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.