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If there is one position the NFL covets, it’s the cornerback position. With quarterback’s arms getting stronger and receivers getting better, cornerbacks are a position of need no matter how many you have. These five guys are some of the best coverage guys in college football and will be looking forward to having their names called by an NFL team next Spring.
1. Derek Stingley, LSU
HT: 6’1” WT: 195 lbs.
2020 Statline: 27 tackles, 0 interception, 5 passes defensed
Stingley is the best corner in college football, hands down. You can argue he has been the best since his freshman season at LSU, where he recorded six interceptions and fifteen passes defensed. He has elite feet, top tier speed and great ball skills.
If you are a team looking for a top corner, this guy is it. He has the size to mirror bigger receivers at the pro level and is fluid enough to kick inside on slot receivers as well. He is a day one prospect and is a lock for the top 10.
2. Kaiir Elam, Florida
HT: 6’2” WT: 193 lbs.
2020 Statline: 39 tackles, 2 interceptions, 11 passes defensed
Kaiir Elam is a flat-out football player with a nasty streak. He knows how to throw his muscle packed 6’2” frame around and impose his will on receivers. A natural press-man cover corner, he has good footwork and a fluid back pedal for his size, which allows him to mirror short routes and change direction on a dime.
Elam does have some hip tightness, which is worrisome at the next level because it could leave him open to double moves. His long speed is also a question but as a total package he is a day one corner.
3. Shawn Steele, University of Arkansas Pine Bluff
HT: 5’11” WT: 180 lbs.
2020 Statline: 0 tackles, 1 interception, 0 passes defensed
Steele is a guy not many will know but believe me when I tell you he can flat out play. A HBCU product, Steele is a ball hawk who loves to compete on every down. He is slight in build but can attack the ball and works well in off coverage which allows him to take advantage of his speed.
As mentioned before, he is on the smaller side and may translate to being a slot corner at the next level rather than an outside guy. If he can improve his strength, he is more than capable to be a top cover corner with a floor of a top tier nickel corner.
4. Jalen Green, Texas
HT: 6’1” WT: 205 lbs.
2020 Statline: 14 tackles, 1 interception, 2 passes defensed
In every draft there are a handful of guys who show they can play with little experience on the field and Green is one of those guys. A long cover corner, Green has shown the ability to attack the ball out of a back pedal as well as separate the ball from the receiver. His most impressive attribute may be his eyes: he has shown the ability to diagnose routes on the fly, which is valuable at the next level.
His one flaw is he can get a little over aggressive at the point of attack. He is physical but in the NFL he will draw a lot pass interference calls. Green can be a day one or day two player at this point but his tools say first rounder.
5. Alontae Taylor, Tennessee
HT: 6’0” WT: 193 lbs.
2020 Statline: 22 tackles, 1 interception, 0 passes defensed
If you are a fan of corners who can hit and tackle then Taylor is the guy you want. He has above average coverage skills and excels at punishing revivers. His is more sudden than he is fast which lends him to being more of a slot corner at the next level.
Taylor, as good as he is in coverage, has trouble with getting position on receivers. At times he is caught on the receiver’s back hip and out of position to make a play on the ball. If he can improve in that area he could hear his name called as early as day two.