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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / 2017 NFL Draft The Year of the Corner

2017 NFL Draft The Year of the Corner

The Best Corners in the 2017 NFL Draft
Publish Date: 04/24/2017
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster


In this article, we take a look at some of the corners that make up one of the deepest groups at the position in recent memory.

Marshon Lattimore 6’ 194 Ohio State

Lattimore is excellent in both man and zone coverages.  His route recognition is excellent and at times he seems to replaces the receiver in the route.  He is a very good tackler and plays press coverage particularly well.  He can run stride for stride with any receiver and remain in position to make a play on the ball.  Lattimore has potential to be an elite corner in the NFL.

Gareon Conley 6’ 195 Ohio State

Conley makes great reads and breaks on the ball extremely well.  He is best in zone coverage where he does an excellent job playing off routes.  He is a tough physical player who loves to compete and is an excellent tackler.  He can play both outside and in the nickel corner position.  Conley showed his athleticism at the combine.  His combination of skills and versatility will give him a bright future in the NFL.

Marlon Humphrey 6’1” 193 Alabama

Humphrey has excellent man skills and plays the fade ball extremely well.  He struggles against bigger receivers and will sometimes jump the first cut of a double move.  He may be the best tackler in the draft from the cornerback position.  Humphrey is among the top talent in this class and would be an excellent fit for the Seattle Seahawks or anyone who runs a similar style of defense.

Tre’Davious White 6’ 197 LSU

White was a four year starter at LSU.  He is long and fast, and can run with any receiver.  He doesn’t look as fast on film as he times, which is generally good.  It is a sign that he has a very smooth natural stride.  He will need to work on his tackling, but he has excellent ball skills and makes great reads.  White has the skill set to be a star in the NFL particularly as a zone corner.

Adoree’ Jackson 5’10” 186 USC

Jackson is a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands.  He is a bit undersized for a corner, which will limit his ability to play man-to-man effectively at the next level.  He is proficient in zone coverage, where a combination of speed and good reads has allowed him to make a lot of plays throughout his college career.   Jackson has the skill set to succeed at the next level, but will need to be kept away from bad matchups.

Kevin King 6’3” 200 Washington

King has excellent size which could be valuable for man teams looking for someone to matchup on bigger receivers.  Some question his speed and if he can run with smaller shiftier receivers.  Excellent red zone and deep fade ball defender.  King could be an excellent defender for a team that makes proper use of his talents.

Sidney Jones 6’ 180 Washington

Jones may be the steal of the draft depending on how far he falls.  After an injury suffered during his pro day, Jones’ status for the fall is uncertain.  He should be able to play, but he may not be ready until the start of the season.  The team that takes a risk on Jones will be getting a corner with potentially elite coverage skills.  He is a smooth runner with long arms who can run with anyone.  He has excellent ball skills and has consistently produced interceptions.  He does not often come up in run support and needs to work on his tackling.  Jones could develop into one of the best man-to-man players in the NFL, but since he will be coming off of injury 2017 will probably be a difficult year for him.

Fabian Moreau 6’ 206 UCLA

Moreau has the speed and awareness to undercut routes and make great defensive plays.  He is smooth and athletic, and is built thicker than most corners.  Moreau has excellent speed, but often gives receivers too much space.  He is also called for coverage related penalties too often.  These problems could come down to technique or confidence, but it is uncertain.  Moreau could be an excellent corner in the NFL, but he will need to develop his coverage skills.

Quincy Wilson 6’1” 213 Florida

In addition to ideal size, Wilson has instincts and great ball skills.  He is a high effort player who seemingly makes people disappear in man coverage.  He will have to work on his fundamentals, particularly his back pedal and press man technique.  In  press coverage he does not utilize his hands and allows a free release.  Wilson could develop into an excellent man player particularly against big physical receivers.

Teez Tabor 6’ 199 Florida

Tabor was once seen as a potential first round pick, but his workout times have made many question his ability to succeed at the next level.  He plays well in man and on film seems to have good make-up speed.  He can accelerate and close on receivers when needed.  At times he has shown poor coverage reads and tackling.  He seemed to be more comfortable in the CB2 role than he was when he became the top guy in Gainesville.  Tabor has a lot of ability, but will need to win the mental game in order to succeed at the next level.

Cordrea Tankersley 6’1” 190 Clemson

Tankersley is remarkably fluid in his movement for a guy with his size.  He has good ball skills, but will gamble for a shot at a big play (he frequently wins).  He can be influenced a bit too much by a good quarterback looking him off.  His tackling is subpar and he knows it.  He seems unconfident when trying to make an open field tackle.  Tankersley has the size and play making ability to be a starter on Sundays, but will need to become more disciplined.

Ahkello Witherspoon 6’3” 198 Colorado

Witherspoon has a rare combination of size and speed and could be a valuable addition to any secondary.  He moves well for a guy of his size, and does an excellent job leaning on the deep fade ball.  Tackling and run support are not his strengths.  He will also need to clean up his footwork.  Witherspoon will be best suited as an outside corner or matching up in man coverage with bigger receivers.

Chidobe Awuzie 6’ 202 Colorado

Awuzie has good coverage skills in both press man and zone.  When defending short passes and receiver screens he has an excellent break on the ball, but is more of a big hitter than a sure tackler.  Awuzie played well in the slot which may be the best fit for him at the next level.

Howard Wilson 6’1” 184 Houston

Wilson is an excellent all-around corner who should be a steal for someone in the 2017 draft.  He plays very well in loose man coverage and has the size and athletic ability to match up with just about anyone.  He plays the ball well and is a turnover machine.  He has limited experience having missed most of 2015 with an injury.  Wilson should translate well in the NFL regardless of the team that selects him, but he may be best suited for a cover 3 and cover one centered team.

Corn Elder 5’10” 183 Miami

Elder is an energetic player who seems to make plays all over the field.  He plays well in a wide variety of zone coverages.  His slight stature may make him a better fit inside in the NFL.  Fortunately he is a physical player who could effectively support the run and be a pass rusher from that position.

Desmond King 5’10” 201 Iowa

King is a hard working talented corner who brings a lot of intangibles to the table.  He is a high effort player who gets to the ball and makes plays.  He is very experienced having started since his freshman year.  King may not have the speed to cover deep down the field and relies on his physicality in coverage more than he will be able to on Sundays.  King is a bit limited athletically and may be a better fit as a safety in the NFL.

Cameron Sutton 5’11” 188 Tennessee

Sutton is a talented player who is not afraid to take a chance to make a play.  He is a bit thin, but has long limbs and moves very well.  Sutton may lack the bulk to play press coverage, but he has the athleticism to be a skilled deep field zone player in the NFL.

Jourdan Lewis 5’11” 186 Michigan

Lewis is a speedy play maker who is an above average tackler for his size.  He also is frequently out of position in coverage.  He has problems in man coverage flipping his hips too soon, not using his hands properly, and looking back for the ball when he is out of phase.  His incredible speed gives him a lot of potential, if he can clean some things up.

Channing Stribling 6’1” 188 Michigan

Despite a poor 40 time, Stribling is a player who stands out amongst a deep group of Michigan defenders.  Stribling has good size, but seems to play bigger than his size.  He is physical with receivers and led his team in interceptions this season.  Stribling’s speed may limit his ability to play outside, but he should be an effective nickel and matchup corner in the NFL.

Shaquill Griffin 6’ 194 Central Florida

Griffin is one of the most athletic corners in this draft class.  His stop and go speed is very good making him ideal for covering smaller quick receivers on underneath routes.  He does not always read his keys particularly well and may be more effective in man.  He was generally skilled at locking down his opponent, but had struggles with certain match-ups.  Griffin has a lot to clean up, but has the athletic ability to be a huge success in the NFL.

Domontae Kazee 5’10” 184 San Diego State

Kazee is an aggressive defender who plays well against the run and the pass.  He has good coverage skills, but what really stands out about him is his ability to go up and make a tackle.  He may fit well in the NFL as a nickel corner for that reason.  His speed seems a bit limited once receivers open up their stride, which is a concern for deep field coverage.

Jalen Myrick 5’10” 200 Minnesota

Myrick is a fast athlete and an excellent tackler.  He excelled in his career with the Gophers.  The only real knock on him is his limited number of interceptions.  He plays the pass well and is an excellent tackler.  He could be a good fit as a nickel corner in the NFL.

Rasul Douglas 6’2” 209 West Virginia

Douglas has the size and speed to be an extremely valuable asset in the NFL.  He can match-up well with most receivers and is a big time playmaker.  Tall and long, he also fits the mold of what zone teams look for in a starting corner.  He will need to keep receivers in front of him, as may struggle down the field.  Douglas has the ability and a knack for playmaking that could make him a big time player in the NFL.

Sojourn Shelton 5’9” 177 Wisconsin

Shelton is a skilled defensive back with make up speed.  He plays well in zone coverage and takes advantage of great reads to undercut passes.  He seems to have another gear reserved for when the ball is in the air, so he is never out of the play.  His size is a major concern and will limit him in the NFL.  Not only could his height hurt him as an outside player, but his lack of bulk may make it difficult for him to play nickel and support the run.  Shelton has great ability, but will need to be kept away from size mismatches.

Nate Hairston 6’ 196 Temple

Hairston is physical and athletic but extremely raw.  He is a rough player who enjoys contact and loves to compete.  Hairston has excellent athletic ability and the ability to run down ball carriers in the open field.  He does not make as many plays on the ball as you would expect a converted receiver to.  Hairston has the intuitive ability to develop into an excellent corner, but will need to work hard at refining his technique.

William Likely III 5’7” 180 Maryland

Likely is a skilled defender and an explosive kick returner.  He is fast, seemingly being able to run with anyone.  He is a skilled and aggressive tackler who makes his presence known when coming up on a receiver screen.  Likely is extremely short which will make life as an NFL corner an uphill battle.  He appears to be the type of competitor who could make it work, and his ability as a kick returner will give him a chance at earning a roster spot.

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