NFL Draft 2021: Top 5 Defensive Back Prospects

Story posted April 22, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio, NFL Draft by Trevor Grady

We are one week away from the beginning of the NFL draft returning to our televisions. This means we have to start taking a look at what players are the best of the best at their position.

Let’s look at the top five defensive back prospects in this year’s draft class.

1. Patrick Surtain II, Alabama

Patrick Surtain has great size for a cornerback coming into the league standing at 6 feet 2 inches and 208 pounds. He is a lockdown, press-man cornerback that showed in his time with Crimson Tide that he can match up with just about any brand of receiver anywhere on the field.

Surtain finished his career at Alabama with 38 consecutive starts, and while he was there, he only gave up five plays of 29-plus yards in true man-to-man coverage. He has great feet and possesses outstanding route recognition. While starting all 13 games of his final season, he led his squad with 12 pass breakups.

During his pro day, Surtain posted unofficial 40-yard dash times of 4.42 and 4.44 seconds.

Following the 2020 season, Surtain earned first-team All-American and SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors. He should expect to hear his name called in the mid-first round.

2. Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

Jaycee Horn is another cornerback with excellent size in this 2021 draft class. Horn stands at 6 feet 1 inch and weighs 205 pounds. He was a three-year starter for South Carolina and racked up 23 pass breakups in his 29 starts.

Horn was amazing in man-to-man coverage in college and has the ability to play in a variety of coverage schemes. He showed off in his pro day, running a 4.39-second 40-yard dash time.

Horn is the son of former NFL All-Pro receiver Joe Horn. Look for him to go in the mid-first round as well.

3. Greg Newsome II, Northwestern

Greg Newsome is a very explosive cornerback that can make some outstanding plays on the ball on the outside. He is 6 feet 1 inch and weighs 190 pounds, so he is a little smaller than the two corners ahead of him, but he still has great size for someone at his position.

In Newsome’s final year at Northwestern, he had one interception and a team-high 10 pass breakups. His play earned him third-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten status.

Newsome tallied an impressive 4.38-second 40-yard dash time at his pro day. Most draft projections have Newsome going in the late first round of this year’s draft.

4. Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech

Caleb Farley played quarterback in high school and hoped to play on the offensive side of the ball for Virginia Tech as well. This clearly was not the path that Farley took, and it seems to have worked out quite well for the Hickory, North Carolina, native.

Farley stands at 6 feet 2 inches and weighs 197 pounds, and he uses his length and strength very well to hassle receivers. Farley opted out of the 2020 season but garnered first-team All-ACC honors in the season prior when he tallied four interceptions in 11 games.

Farley was unable to participate in Virginia Tech’s pro day in March after undergoing a back procedure. Look for Farley to be selected in the late first round as well.

5. Trevon Moehrig, TCU

Trevon Moehrig finished his junior season with the accolades stacked up. He was a second-team All American, a first-team All-Big 12 selection and the Jim Thorpe Award winner for the nation’s top defensive back.

Moehrig came into college as a cornerback and left as a safety. He will most likely play safety in the NFL, and that makes him the top-ranked safety in this year’s draft. Moehrig should hear his name called in the late first or early second round.

Trevor Grady is a junior majoring in supply chain management. To contact him, email tmg5685@psu.edu.