NFL Draft – CB Rankings

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

6.) Jaylen Watkins, Florida (5’11, 194): Watkins played both corner and safety at Florida, showing good versatility and a team first attitude. He stood out at the Senior Bowl as one of the most polished corners there and had the best speed (4.41) / power (22 reps) combo of all the corners at the combine. Watkins has the potential to be a solid outside cover guy and didn’t miss many tackles in college. Despite being the 3rd corner at Florida, Watkins is going to be the best pro of the group.  Draft projection: 2nd-3rd round

7.) Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska (6’3, 218): He’s 6’3, ran a 4.46 40 at his pro day and has a 41.5″ vertical leap. Measurements like those don’t come along very often at the corner position. It’s not like he is just a workout warrior either, Jean-Baptiste had 6 interceptions and 21 pass breakups in just 17 starts and was 2nd team all Big-Ten last season. Jean-Baptiste’s technique is raw, he has only played corner for two years after switching from wide receiver before his sophomore season at Nebraska. I was impressed with SJB’s instincts breaking on the ball at the Senior Bowl and he has excellent ball skills from his days as a wide out. He’s inconsistent against the run but has shown sings of being a big hitter. SJB is a great fit for a zone scheme and might be a better fit at free safety. Draft projection: 2nd-3rd round

8.) LaMarcus Joyner, Florida St (5’8, 184): He’s going to be one of the shortest players in the NFL, but Joyner can play. He’s a fierce hitter despite his small stature, has good speed, and his instincts are so good that he is always around the ball. Joyner is probably too small to cover outside the hash marks, but he can play either safety spot and could be an outstanding slot corner. Joyner can help out on kick & punt returns as well. Draft projection: 2nd-3rd round

9.) Bashaud Breeland, Clemson (5’11, 197): Might have had a shot at the first round if he stayed at Clemson for another year of seasoning. Breeland has good size and speed, but only started for one season and is a bit raw. He did show pro-level athleticism and was a play-maker for Clemson (4 INTs, 10 pass breakups, 3rd team all-ACC). The talent is there to be developed and Breeland could become a lock-down corner in 2-3 years. Draft projection: 2nd-3rd round

10.) Rashaad Reynolds, Oregon St (5’10, 189): Started 38 consecutive games, so durability isn’t an issue. Reynolds is a cover corner with good instincts who makes up for a lack of top-end speed with flawless technique. Reynolds, a three-time state wrestling champ in high school, has good strength for a corner (20 reps), good agility (6.72 3-cone), sticky hands (6 INTs) and is a willing tackler. His lack of elite size or athleticism will probably drop him to the middle rounds, but he’s good enough to contribute right away and I think he will be a starting NFL corner by year two. Reynolds is one of the most underrated corners in the draft and a steal in the mid rounds. Draft projection: 3rd-4th round

11.) Pierre Desir, Lindenwood (6’1, 198): Desir is making a huge jump up in competition from tiny Lindenwood college, but showed he could handle it at the Senior Bowl and then ran well at the combine (4.59) for a guy his size. There is a lot of potential here, Desir has great size, arm length and ball skills. It might take him a year or two before his technique is good enough to crack the starting lineup but once he’s there he should be a solid pro. Draft projection: 2nd-3rd round