This year’s NFL Draft class of cornerbacks is weaker than usual with some of them opting out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The potential is off the charts but the talent varies and will really have to be used in the right scheme and drafted in the rights spots during the NFL Draft.
Let’s take a look at the top five in this draft.
1. Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
Scheme fit: Man-on-man with the capability of pressing
As he is new to the position, his film doesn’t look like a player that is getting familiar with everything, he has been a quick learner. Farley brings a mix of characteristics to the table as far as size, length, briskness, ease, and physicality that he combines with remarkable man-on-man abilities that make him an energizing NFL prospect. Farley has game-changing ball abilities and is an alpha player.
2. Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
Scheme fit: Man-on-Man with a good mixture of zone
Patrick Surtain II is a three-year starter for Alabama, he has the DNA and football qualities of an NFL player. He had an ideal cornerback’s length, discipline, and playing style. Surtain II’s profound speed will be the greatest question that he should, as there have been a few events where he’s given up plays due to his speed. Surtain can play both zone and man to the same extent, so he is a package deal.
3. Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
Scheme Fit: Zone mixed with press coverage, with a mix of off-man
Horn has a long and stocky frame that can work for guarding NFL Talent. His size, length, and physicality appear on tape. He is exceptionally troublesome in press and ultra-serious at the catch point. The worries with Horn is that he isn’t there yet fundamentally and is poor as a tackler and playing off-man coverage. Coaching will be needed for Horn, unlike the first two.
4. Eric Stokes, Georgia
Scheme Fit: Mostly zone, with a mix of press-man
Stokes is a good mirror cornerback and can win some matchups but also tends to lose those battles. Therefore he can play press-man coverage but can get a bit grabby at times. Also, he is more of a zone coverage cornerback but can win in some 1on1 battles on the outside which is where he should play at the next level.
5. Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State
Scheme Fit: Man-heavy
Samuel does not have the ideal size for an outside cornerback but he plays bigger than his frame. He rarely gets beat in man-on-man so that will be a feat most teams will look at and love.
Zone coverage is where he needs to grow at, as he didn’t really play much zone coverage at FSU. That will need to be worked on at the NFL level. Samuel has the potential to be a real stud draft pick at the next level.