Top-10 Cornerbacks, Pre-Combine

There’s no time to waste. The NFL Scouting Combine is around the corner and it’s critical that we plant our flags and allow these takes, hot or otherwise, to fly. For reference, my initial top-32 big board can be found here. More importantly, here were all my early positional rankings and thoughts. Let’s see what has changed between now and then, and where my head is at walking into Indianapolis.

CB1 Byron Murphy III, Washington — He won’t test as well as some of Coach Lake’s recent draft picks at the position, but Murphy stands out when the ball is in the air and his ability to recover and simply make plays puts him at the top of this class for me. Think Kyle Fuller.

CB2 Andraez “Greedy” Williams, Louisiana State — I flip-flop between him and Murphy. Williams, unlike Murphy, isn’t all that interested in tackling. While he has the prerequisite length, but his frame isn’t as filled out. Still, shutdown potential and likes to chirp.

CB3 Julian Love, Notre Dame — Sticky man-cover corner with above-average anticipation skills which should make up for any questions there may be about his overall build and athleticism.

CB4 Deandre Baker, Georgia — Jim Thorpe Award winner. Aggressive, lockdown player who, like Love, will have to answer questions about overall size and build, along with less-than-ideal athleticism. Speed matters as a Sunday player, especially at cornerback.

CB5 Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt — At 6-2, 210-plus, Williams has the Seattle-type length that many teams have coveted in recent years. Will need more refinement, compared to others ranked ahead of him, but a solid Combine should keep him in this range and his floor relatively safe.

CB6 Justin Layne, Michigan State — Recruited as a wide receiver, so the ball skills are there; another lengthy prospect in a class filled with them.

CB7 Jamel Dean, Auburn — Rocked-up at 6-1, 212, Dean has a chance to pace the cornerback group as far as testing is concerned. Another hat-tip to my friend Justin, who’s been money this offseason circling these guys. Injury history and the unknown that comes with that keep him a little further down on this list.

CB8 Kendall Sheffield, Ohio State — Former five-star recruit and eventual Alabama transfer, Sheffield’s floor should remain high given his raw athleticism alone. He broke the Ohio State 60-meter dash record with 6.663 seconds; you can’t teach speed and those movement skills.

CB9 Rock Ya-Sin, Temple — Only started playing football toward the end of his time in high school. Has made impressive strides, given his lack of experience. Speaks to his competitive nature and drive; checks the intangible boxes. Tough player overall.

CB10 Trayvon Mullen, Clemson — Didn’t see a ton of action on his side of the field so the box scores look a little barren. Plus-athlete, length, and generally speaking, looks the part. Needs to clean up a lot of his footwork and technique to make a true impact at the next level.

Who do you want the Raiders to come away with and why? If someone missed the cut, tell me who and also don’t forget to tell me how wrong I am.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive