NFL Draft – CB Rankings

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

12.) Marcus Roberson, Florida (6’0, 191): Roberson had a bad combine and didn’t do much better at his pro day, but the tape doesn’t lie. He was one of the better cover guys in the country last season and has the potential to be a lock-down corner. Roberson is a non-factor against the run, but should improve the pass defense wherever he ends up. Draft projection: 2nd-3rd round

13.) Keith McGill, Utah (6’3, 211): The tallest corner in this year’s draft, McGill helped his stock at the Senior Bowl and again at the combine. He showed surprising fluidity in drop-backs, better coverage ability than expected, and ran a 4.51 at the combine. McGill is an intriguing prospect, but not without warts. He missed as many games as he started in his two years at Utah and does not have good hands. I saw him drop one against ASU that hit him square in the numbers. McGill only had 1 pick in two years as a starter. In his defense, McGill did have a pick at the Senior Bowl so maybe there is hope for his hands after all. Draft projection: 2nd-3rd round

14.) Antone Exum, Virginia Tech (6’0, 213): Was a top 50 prospect before subsequent injuries to his ACL and ankle kept him on the sidelines for most of his senior year. Exum is a versatile defensive back; He played slot corner as a freshman, free safety as a sophomore, and was an outside corner as a junior. His junior year he had 5 interceptions, 16 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles, and was considered a better NFL prospect then CB Kyle Fuller who I have as a late first round pick. Exum is built like a safety and that might be the position he ends up at in the NFL, but Exum has the athleticism to be a corner in a zone or press scheme. Wherever he ends up, Exum can be a big-hitter in run support and an aggressive coverage guy with the size to match up with the league’s taller receivers. His recent injury problems are an obvious risk and he is rumored to have some “coachability” issues, but Exum has day 2 talent and could be a steal in the mid rounds. Draft projection: 3rd-4th round

15.) E.J. Gaines, Missouri (5’10, 190): Speedy coverage guy with good anticipation and ball skills. Unfortunately Gaines doesn’t have very good hands, with only 7 interceptions in three years as a starter. He tackles well though and is an all-around solid player.  Gaines doesn’t have ideal height but plays bigger then 5’10 and usually did well against taller receivers ; He shut down Texas A&M’s 6’6 WR Mike Evans (4 catches, 8 yards) in their match-up last November. Draft projection: 3rd-4th round

16.) Walt Aikens, Liberty (6’0, 205): Made the freshmen all Big 10 team for Illinois before being kicked off the squad due to an arrest for theft. After a couple of weeks of jail time, Aikens ended up at Liberty where he dominated inferior competition. Aikens eased some competition concern at the Senior Bowl where he was one of the better corners in practice. Aikens has the height teams are looking for now, the strength to play press coverage, and the fluidity to play off-man. Aikens wasn’t invited to the combine but ran a 4.46 40-time at his pro day. After proving he has the straight-line speed to play in the league, the biggest concern is the jump from Liberty to the NFL. It may take him some time to adjust, but I think Aikens will end up being a solid NFL corner and is a perfect fit for an aggressive press coverage scheme. Draft projection: 3rd-4th round

17.) Phillip Gaines, Rice (6’0, 193): Tall corner who helped his stock with a 4.38 40-time at the combine. Gaines has good height and ball skills (35 passes defended in two seasons) but needs to get stronger and improve his coverage technique. On tape Gaines gets burned too often and isn’t aggressive enough verse the run, but his combine was great so he will probably get him drafted earlier than deserved. Draft projection: 2nd-3rd round