2019 Draft: Final Positional Rankings, Cornerback

The end of the road, my pals. We’ve made it. Another year, another group of prospects, and another panic-stricken couple weeks leading up the draft just hoping that this front office has it all together and can hit in the early-rounds. Briefly, before we proceed, some housekeeping items. I’ve often commented on how the draft is a “process”. Thoughts, opinions, and players’ grades change as we move closer to the finish line. Below, you can reference where my head was at for the initial unveiling of my positional rankings, followed by my pre-Combine thoughts, to where I ultimately ended up. It’s useful when contextualizing a players value, I think. If they stayed highly-touted throughout the months, chances are, we have a good player on our hands.

Early top-10 positional rankings are here. Pre-Combine rankings (thread) can be found here.


I’m not sure any cornerback finished on a higher note, or rather, was more obviously ascending, then Washington’s Byron Murphy (Round 1). The ball skills (7 interceptions and 20 pass breakups in just 87 career targets, per Lance Zierlein), smooth hips, and good-enough-twitch allow him to immediately step in as a starter. The ceiling may remain a little lower for some, given the average testing scores. My favorite part of Murphy’s game might be his willingness to mix things up in run support, working down hill. Greedy Williams (Round 1) walks and talks like a star cornerback. That’s important to me; I want my corners to chirp as often as possible. He was the consensus top cornerback entering this season, and may still be for most. He needs to bulk up a little at the next level (if we’re being nitpick-y), but his work in coverage and natural ability to simply stay on top of the wide receiver’s route is notable. David Long (Round 2) is probably the name that looks out of place here for most folks. He checks in as a 91st percentile athlete, which is important for a corner, one of the premiere “stopwatch positions”. He’s a stud in press, and will absolutely bully you on the line, despite his “smaller” stature. You worry about the bigger bodies opposite him, but with Long’s demeanor, he’ll eventually get his.


Deandre Baker (Round 2-3) isn’t the biggest corner, nor is he the most athletic, so I had a hard time moving him much higher amongst the top of this year’s group. What his profile lacks in those areas, he makes up for in other aspects. Baker was quite clearly a lockdown cornerback, allowing the fewest yards, fewest touchdowns, and lowest passer rating when targeted. He’s a PFF favorite. Sean Bunting (Round 3) is another above average athlete at the position (94th percentile), with long limbs and effortless hips. Much like Long, Bunting is a problem at the line of scrimmage, and he’ll get in your face and let you know about it.


Kendall Sheffield (Round 3-4) is the classic dice-roll and upside play this year. He tore his pec at the Combine, but showed up at his pro day and quickly reminded everyone about the type of athlete that he is. Call me stubborn, but I’ll almost always go out of my way for those types of players. His tape is a little more up-and-down, but with such obvious speed, he’s able to recover with the best of them and turn a bad situation around quickly. Temple’s Rock Ya-Sin (Round 3-4) has been a riser from the start of the process, and hasn’t stopped moving up boards. I’ll be lower on him than most, given the legit top-32 buzz he’s garnering at the moment. Some staff is going to fall in love with all the intangibles and his near-ideal build and convince the front office to nab him early and coach him up. I get it. Isaiah Johnson (Round 6) is 6-2, 208 with 4.4 wheels. Coaches fall over themselves for the height-weight-speed players every year (much like I just admitted doing myself). But I can’t get on board in the third or fourth round, where I often see him mocked and discussed. Everything about him screams raw; the technique, the hands, route-matching, everything. At the end of the day, you can’t teach his size and speed, so the mid-round investment shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise.

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