NFL

2013 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings: Top 10 Cornerbacks

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2013 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings: Top 10 Cornerbacks

2013 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings: Top 10 Cornerbacks
Howard Smith - USATODAY Sports

Now that the NFL Combine is over, we have a little clearer view as to who are the top players at each position, and where in the draft they will get picked. Of course, even after the college season, the combine, and the upcoming pro days all across the country, it can still be hard to predict the cornerback position.

Traditionally, the cornerback position has been one of the toughest in football for teams to draft. Outside of quarterback, it may be the toughest position to find a can’t-miss prospect, as well as the position with the most busts. Of course, as tough as it may be to find cornerbacks, with the emphasis on passing in the league today, there is a profound need for quality cornerbacks everywhere in the league, and so teams are going to continue to scour the draft for the next great lockdown corner.

This year’s crop of cornerbacks is an interesting group. The group is deep and contains as much as a handful of players that could be chosen in the first round. There’s even some talk of a cornerback receiving consideration for the number one overall pick in the draft. Like any year with cornerbacks, it’s tough to see anybody that could be considered a sure thing, but there are certainly a few guys that are close.

Now with the combine behind us, and the draft quickly approaching, let’s take a look at the top ten cornerbacks available in this year’s draft. With the depth in this year’s class, the list could go even further, but we had to draw the line somewhere, so here it goes:

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10. Leon McFadden, San Diego State

10. Leon McFadden, San Diego State
Christopher Hanewinckel - USATODAY Sports

McFadden is a little on the short side at 5’9’’, but he is a good cover corner and should be a useful part of an NFL defense, as a nickel back or a guy that can cover a slot receiver.

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9. Will Davis, Utah State

9. Will Davis, Utah State
Jeff Hanisch - USATODAY Sports

Davis was able to stand out, despite not playing at a big school. He has a lot of athleticism and great ball skills, which should be enough to make him a starter in the NFL.

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8. David Amerson, North Carolina State

8. David Amerson, North Carolina State
Rob Kinnan - USATODAY Sports

Amerson could be a risky pick in the draft, but there’s no denying he has talent. He can be too confident in his abilities, which causes him to be too aggressive, which leads to mistakes and big plays against him. However, he’s big, physical, and has great ball skills. If he doesn’t work at cornerback he can be moved to safety, so he does have a fallback position.

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7. Logan Ryan, Rutgers

7. Logan Ryan, Rutgers
Howard Smith - USATODAY Sports

Ryan would have jumped to the top of next year’s top-cornerback list if he had waited, but he’s still one of the best options available this year. He was put on an island a lot in college, so he won’t be intimidated by having to play man coverage in the NFL.

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6. Jordan Poyer, Oregon State

6. Jordan Poyer, Oregon State
Scott Olmos - USATODAY Sports

Poyer is a great athlete with a real high upside as an NFL cornerback. He may have some growing pains and make improvements in some areas, but the potential is there.

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5. Jamar Taylor, Boise State

5. Jamar Taylor, Boises State
Andrew Weber - USATODAY Sports

Taylor has the versatility to play cornerback in just about any type of coverage scheme. He’s a hard worker and a sure tackler that should do well in the NFL.

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4. Desmond Trufant, Washington

4. Desmond Trufant, Washington
Kirby Lee - USATODAY Sports

His brother is already a cornerback in the NFL, and Trufant should join him shortly. He has great coverage skills and is willing to be physical with wide receivers, while also possessing the speed necessary to turn and run with them.

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3. Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State

3. Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
Mark Zerof - USATODAY Sports

Banks played hurt for part of his senior season and his play suffered as a result, but that shouldn’t hurt his stock too much. He’s not an elite man-to-man cornerback, but he’s big and covers a lot of space in zone coverage, allowing him to shutdown a big portion of the field. He also sets the edge and stops the run as well as any cornerback available in this year’s draft.

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2. Xavier Rhodes, Florida State

2. Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
Kim Klement - USATODAY Sports

Rhodes is a big and physical cornerback that’s great at jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage. He has three years of experience at Florida State and has shut down plenty of quality receivers in that time.

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1. Dee Milliner, Alabama

1. Dee Milliner, Alabama
Derick Hingle - USATODAY Sports

There’s no doubt that Milliner is the top cornerback in this year’s draft. A lot was expected of him in 2012 and he blanketed receivers all season long for Alabama, usually while on an island by himself. Quarterbacks fear throwing towards him because they have so little room to fit the ball into, as his coverage skills are second to none.