top of page

NFL Draft PRR 2024: Cornerbacks

7 rankings down, 4 to go. Today, we'll review some elite ball hawks and coverage defenders. Whether they're shutting down the top weapon on the opposing offense, breaking up and picking off passes, or flying downhill to stop plays dead in their tracks, this loaded corner class has it all.


As a side note, some CBs that I believe will move to nickelback will not be in this ranking. Those players include Ennis Rakestraw Jr, Mike Sainristil, and Andru Phillips, among countless others. Those players above are in my Safeties & Nickelback ranking here. Check in on that to see where I have them ranked among the best "rover" players in this class.


Let's take a look at the 12 best corners for this year's draft!


Photo: Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

 

12. Dwight McGlothern - Arkansas

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

High level zone coverage, reads through receiver to QBs eyes, flows well

Stiff hips in man coverage, got beat in press within a few yards of the snap

Has a knack for finding the football, good amount of picks and breakups

Not a great tackler, seems like he doesn't want to hit anyone

Good athleticism and length, helps stick with faster receivers

Overall footwork can get sloppy at times, struggles changing direction

Blanketed some of the top receivers in this class


Dwight seems to find the ball when it comes his way. He had a pick or breakup on almost a third of the targets he saw this year. He plays really well in zone too. He needs to get better at staying in phase and having more fluid hips, but is a great underrated prospect who could thrive in the league.

 

Pro Comp: Isaac Yiadom


11. Elijah Jones - Boston College

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Good physicality, stuck his nose in piles and made sound tackles

Gets beat by guys with better straight-line speed, tries to predict route breaks

Closes space quickly, bites down on short routes to stop ball-carriers in their tracks

Didn't get a ton of press looks, played off coverage most of the time

Decent man defender, better in zone

On the older side, will be 24 his rookie season

I really like Elijah's play style; he gets downhill quick and isn't afraid to be physical, does well enough in both man and zone coverage, and has some decent ball skills as well. He does tend to get antsy and try to predict routes rather than reading hips, and he didn't play in press a ton, but was serviceable when he did.

 

Pro Comp: Sean Murphy-Bunting


10. Khyree Jackson - Oregon

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Played a ton of press coverage, did relatively well with it

Doesn't have good top end speed to keep up with faster receivers

Fluid hips, gets them open to run with receivers with ease

Mainly used as a man defender, didn't get to see too many zone drops

Has nice ball skills, made some good pass breakups

Horrible tackler, throws his body at ball-carriers

Massive 6'3 frame and nearly 33" arms

Will turn 25 before his rookie year starts

Khyree is not a bad corner by any means, I just think he wasn't utilized correctly. I wish I got to see more zone from him so I could give him a better eval, but between lack of top athleticism and physicality, I would like to see him in a zone scheme far more than a man one. Other than that, he's got solid athleticism and a great frame to go with it.

 

Pro Comp: Jaylen Watson


9. DJ James - Auburn

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Triggers downhill with urgency, great acceleration to support run and pass

Effort is questionable at times, looked like he pulled up on some plays

Does well in man coverage, has good closing speed if he allows separation

Gets lost in zone a good bit, missed routes that he should've picked up

Solid ball skills, made some tough pass breakups and had a few nice picks

Could be better as a run defender, decent overall, but should be better given his skillset

Stays in phase throughout the entire route, rarely gets off track


DJ does a lot of little things well that you want to see from a pro-level corner. He needs to improve his zone coverage and get better at playing with effort every snap, but he's a savvy zone player with decent run defense ability, like him as a CB2 or slot corner at his floor.

 

Pro Comp: Dee Alford


Photo: Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics


8. Kamari Lassiter - Georgia

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Great downhill tackler, flies in and lays the wood on screens and slants

Takes bad angles when tracking ball-carriers, gives up extra yards

Flows well in zone, latches right onto receivers once they enter his area

Drops too deep into his zones at times, doesn't break well against cleaner routes

Good ball skills in man coverage, plays through the hands of receivers

Gets beat in man often, footwork is subpar and he doesn't open his hips

Young and raw, should develop nicely with pro level coaching


Kamari plays best when cranking downhill to make a play on the ball-carrier or receiver. He will do better in a zone system as of right now. He needs to improve his footwork before being able to lockdown NFL receivers. He's a decent prospect overall, and has some viciousness to him that any coach would love to have in a corner.

 

Pro Comp: Deommodore Lenoir


7. Cam Hart - Notre Dame

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Can play any coverage, exceled in both man and zone schemes

Is a little handsy throughout routes, will get called for more flags in the NFL

Big physical corner who can play inside or outside, and in press and off alignments

Could be better at taking on blockers and being a bigger impact in the run game

Fluid in coverage, does a great job opening his hips

If he isn't on point with his hips, he loses reps in man coverage

Nice reaction at the top of routes, broke on nearly perfect passes to break them up


Cam is a really solid corner. He wasn't targeted a ton, but that's more a good thing than a bad. He has great size, technique, and is a pretty good athlete, but needs to get better in run support. That should be easier than others considering his frame - he's one of the more underrated prospects in this class.

 

Pro Comp: Jamel Dean


6. Renardo Green - Florida State

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Physical corner, excels in man coverage, locked down some top names in this class

Not the best open field tackler, shoots for ankles at times and misses

Rarely allows separation, does a good job staying in phase and flipping his hips

Gets off balance here and there, not overly concerned but worth noting

Solid in zone coverage, knows when to bail deep and play more shallow

A little undersized, may get moved inside more often than not

Relatively good athlete, can stay locked up with most receivers


Green's a dawg, plain and simple. He excels in man coverage and plays well in zone. He needs to improve his tackling and fix some balance issues, but overall is very solid and a sleeper in a loaded CB class. Green should be talked about as a potential top-5 corner from this group.

 

Pro Comp: Greg Newsome II


Photo: Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports


5. Nate Wiggins - Clemson

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Elite in man coverage, hip fluidity and ability to stay in phase is top notch

Small for a CB1, doesn't have the weight to compete with bigger receivers

Closes space quickly, doesn't always get the ball out, but stops receivers at catch point

Zone coverage could be better, passes routes off well, but overcommits at times

Good ball skills, came down with INTs and jarred passes free

Will get beat over the top here and there, more of a physicality issue rather than speed

Great athlete, awesome speed and change of direction


I was initially not that high on Wiggins, but felt much better about him the second time around. He has fluid hips that help him be a menace in man coverage. He also triggers really quickly to react to short routes and playing the ball. He is on the smaller side, and his zone could use some improvement, but he has a tenacious play style to make up for it.

 

Pro Comp: Donte Jackson

4. Cooper DeJean - Iowa

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Exceptional zone cover corner, passes off routes well and takes great drops

Seemed to get lost in the sauce at times, didn't expand when he needed to

Run fits and tackles at a pro level, isn't afraid to take on blocks either

Ball skills could improve, but still tracks well with receivers and passes

Stays in phase really well and reacts to cuts quickly

Broke his leg in his senior year, seems to have healed well regardless

Great athlete, can play inside or outside, and could play safety if needed


Overall, Cooper is a top-level prospect. He does a lot of things really well that some corners don't do until they get to the pros. He's great athlete with incredible range and tracking ability, and will be a day 1 starter on most teams due to his playing ability and versatility.

 

Pro Comp: Jaylon Johnson


3. Kool-Aid McKinstry - Alabama

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Great in both man and zone, picks up crossing and switch routes well

Struggles getting his hips around on outside breaking routes

Surprisingly good in run support, comes downhill once run is committed

Susceptible to RPO game, especially in zone, not his fault entirely

Great sense of when to play through the ball vs through the man

Footwork can get sloppy, usually solid overall

Aggressive on short routes, patient on deep balls, great combo


Kool-Aid is yet another victim of prospect fatigue, but he's still a top 3 corner in this class. He can play zone or man at a high level and he's a good tackler, can come in and be a CB1 within a year or two. He needs to get better at defending outside breaking routes and getting his hips around faster. Other than that, he's NFL ready.

 

Pro Comp: Charvarius Ward


Photo: Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel


2. Terrion Arnold - Alabama

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Plays violent and fast downhill, fantastic in run support and eating up shallow routes

Zone coverage could use some work, picked up routes that weren't his and left holes open in the defense

High level man corner, loves to get physical at the top of routes as well

Hip movement is concerning at times, seems to get stuck on stutter steps

Has lighting twitch, diagnoses plays quickly and reacts on time

Struggles on jump balls, mainly due to poor positioning

Good tackler, doesn't back down from bigger players either


Terrion is a top 3 corner according to the consensus, and rightfully so. He excels in man coverage and has experience in the slot, giving him great versatility. He will thrive as an outside corner in a heavy man scheme, and if he can get better in zone, there's no reason why he can't be the best corner in this class.

 

Pro Comp: Slower Denzel Ward


1. Quinyon Mitchell - Toledo

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Despite playing a ton of off coverage, he closes space quickly and eliminates passing windows

Wasn't targeted much in 2023, but that was mainly due to his dominance in 2022, QBs knew to avoid him

One of the best "in phase" corners in this class, hips are always on time

Undercut zone coverages at times, left room behind him for deeper routes

Great ball skills, knows when to play the ball and when to play the receiver

Needs to improve open field tackling, took some rough angles as well

High level athlete, posted a 9.71 RAS


Quinyon played in a basic defense and still looked incredible. He possesses great closing speed from off coverage and made plays on the football. He needs to get more physical and be more sound in zone coverages, but has a ton of range, speed, and ball skills to be a true shut down corner.


Pro Comp: L'Jarius Sneed


Rebecca Benson/The Blade

 

Final Notes:


Some prospects who missed the cut were Kamal Hadden, Ryan Watts, Kris Abrams-Draine, and Myles Harden. I think all of them could end up becoming high level CB2 or slot defenders, but it'll take the right system and coaching to do so.


Join me on Friday as we round out the week with the best offensive tackles in this draft!

Comments


bottom of page