2017 Draft: Cornerback Rankings

You could say I’m not a fan of this Raiders’ secondary, I suppose. I’ve tried to be subtle about it.

Sure, Sean Smith and David Amerson are both paid. More than likely, they’ll resume their starting roles entering the 2017 season. That doesn’t mean the Raiders can skate by another year without investing in some young talent.

Timing couldn’t be any better for Reggie McKenzie. This year’s secondary class is notably deep and talented, even with injuries to three of the top names.

Let’s grab a player or two, shall we?

Round One

1) Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State — Snatches the CB1 crown from Sidney Jones, who’s recovering the Achilles injury. In Lattimore, you’re getting arguably the highest ceiling corner in this class. Incredibly fluid and athletic, his recovery speed is perhaps his best trait. Concern is the injury history of his own (hamstring).

2) Gareon Conley, Ohio State — Quietly, a top cornerback who’s been overshadowed by the rise that teammate Marshon Lattimore has experienced. Another high-ceiling prospect, Conley is an ascending talent who allowed only 14 receptions in all of 2016. Needs to improve as a tackler.

3) Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado — Complete corner. Excels in the slot, but you can play him anywhere. Some talk about moving him to safety full-time. Effective off the blitz. He’s in play at 24 overall:

Round Two

4) Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson — Put together a solid résumé at Clemson. Consistent, lockdown corner who plays physical (sometimes, too physical). 4.4 speed should put him in the Day 1 discussion.

5) Tre’Davious White, Louisana State — He’s what D.J. Hayden was suppose to be. You want him in the slot, but he’s proficient outside too. Up-and-down career at school, but made the smart move to return and pushed his stock back up. High-character, per several #sources.

6) Kevin King, Washington — His work at the Combine got him paid. Day 1 talk is real. One of the best athletes in the class (cornerback or otherwise). Likes to mix it up vs. the run, but tackling in general can improve. I’m thinking he’s the pick at 24, if he’s available.

7) Ahkello Witherspoon, Colorado — Another ideal size/speed prospect. Smooth, given the athletic profile. Feet standout. I’d be content with him early-Day 2, but he unfortunately struggles with contact and tackling in general.

8) Quincy Wilson, Florida — Really like the size. Good break on the ball. Sees his share of plays as a result, but gambles a bit too often a la Marcus Peters. Physical player, but tends to struggle against the smaller, quicker wide receivers; feet get sloppy. More tackling concerns.

Round Three

9) Sidney Jones, Washington — Prior to the injury, my CB1 (pushed him ahead of some slow kid from Florida). Does it all. Hope he’s able to return to 100%, but that’s a scary injury, especially for a corner.

10) Marlon Humphrey, Alabama — He’s going to go a lot higher than where I have him ranked. Stud athlete, plus #bloodlines. Strong in run support, coupled with ultra-recovery speed. Gets lost in coverage too often, and his technique is a mess in general. Still, a lot to work with.

11) Shaquill Griffin, Central Florida — Impact athlete who can tackle. Player with the ball in his hands. Discount Marshon Lattimore?

Checking boxes:

One of my personal favorite players, and stories, of this entire class:

12) Adoree’ Jackson, Southern California — Track star and all-around athlete, so speed isn’t an issue. Ball skills are there, and he plays the run surprisingly well. Gives up his share of back-breakers, however. Can factor-in on special teams.

13) Fabian Moreau, California, Los Angeles — Also recovering from injury (pectoral). Was getting top 50 buzz beforehand. Had a really impressive Combine. Physicality is obvious at the line; strong in press.

14) Cameron Sutton, Tennessee — Play has regressed since 2014; banged up a bit in 2016. Flashed ball skills. Allowed only three touchdowns during his time at Knoxville. Needs to clean things up at the line of scrimmage; needs to be more physical.

15) Jalen Tabor, Florida — I’ve done a complete 180 on Tabor, and it breaks my heart. Once upon a time, the CB1. You can’t ignore the tape, just like you can’t ignore his testing. He completely fell flat in both Indianapolis and during Florida’s pro day. There are some character-type concerns as well (concerns you were giving a pass to prior).

16) Damontae Kazee, San Diego State — Lacking the measurables (size, speed), but one of the better tacklers in the class. Suspect over the top, where the speed comes into play.

17) Jourdan Lewis, Michigan — Size is an issue, but his playmaking ability isn’t. 6 interceptions and 28 pass breakups over the past three seasons, per PFF. Had a Day 1 grade throughout the season from many. Perfect slot corner, now facing domestic violence questions.

Round Four

18) Rasul Douglas, West Virginia — Great build; he can press. Eight interceptions in 2016 alone. Could go on Day 2. Limited athletically.

19) Corn Elder, Miami — One of the better tacklers in this class, also dealing with size and frame-related questions. Tends to bite, with underwhelming production (only three INT’s in three seasons).

20) Desmond King, Iowa — He’s a safety, right? Production is definitely noteworthy, but he’s limited. Hips stink. Was once the cant-miss, CB1 (2016).

21) Jack Tocho, North Carolina State — Instincts are there, as is the height. Going to have trouble running with the speedier options at the next level.

22) Howard Wilson, Houston — ACL injury in 2015. Needs to bulk up. More than willing as a tackler. Athletic enough, and a playmaker when the ball’s in the air.

23) Jalen Myrick, Minnesota — He’s really fast, but plays tight. Size concerns. Excellent balance and willingness to come downhill (despite limitations).

Round Five

24) Aarion Penton, Missouri — Ball-hawk that plays a lot bigger than his listed height.

25) Treston DeCoud, Oregon State — Aggressive corner who may find a home at safety in the league. Sound-tackler. Impressive size and length, but he’s an average athlete otherwise. Had a game vs. Chad Hansen, who a majority see a Day 2 wideout.

26) Brandon Wilson, Houston — Might be a better athlete than his teammate, the other Wilson. Checked all sorts of boxes at his pro day (ran 4.36, jumped 41″, broad of 11’1″ with 24 reps). Might play running back in the league?

27) Brian Allen, Utah — Former wide receiver, so the ball skills are there. Given the new position, he’s still a work-in-progress. Banking on the elite measurables.

Round Six

28) Jeremy Cutrer, Middle Tennessee — Smooth corner who stands at 6’2″, but he barely has any meat on his bones. That’ll be an issue on Sunday’s.

29) Arthur Maulet, Memphis — 4.6 speed isn’t great, coupled with his size. Productive player in 2016, however. Per NFL: 73 stops, 7.5 for loss, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, and a team-leading 13 pass breakups.

Round Seven

30) Breon Borders, Duke — Was tabbed as a “breakout candidate” at one point. Play is fairly inconsistent, although he shows good speed and reaction in coverage:

31) Channing Stribling, Michigan — Plays well at the line of scrimmage, and he was productive in general (six interceptions during the previous two seasons). Quickness isn’t there; plays tight/slow.

32) Ryan Lewis, Pittsburgh — Noteworthy pro day, running in the 4.3’s. Only one season as a starter though.

33) Des Lawrence, North Carolina — Lengthy corner who gets his hands on passes. Doesn’t complete the turnover (only three INT’s to his name); too thin, slow.

34) Torry McTyer, Las Vegas, Nevada — 4.3 at his pro day. He can hit, too.

35) Joshua Holsey, Auburn — Undersized at 5’9″ with a couple of ACL injuries behind him. Tough kid, all things considered.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive