While the early run on offensive lineman stole the most headlines coming out of Day 1 of the 2013 NFL Draft, the cornerback position also made out quite nicely.
The first round saw Dee Milliner go at No. 9 to the New York Jets, D.J. Hayden at No. 12 to the Oakland Raiders, Desmond Trufant at No. 22 to the Atlanta Falcons and Xavier Rhodes at No. 25 to the Minnesota Vikings. Consider that Atlanta traded up for Trufant and compare those four to the three cornerbacks that went in both 2012 and 2011, and the top of this positional class is represented well.
Some teams desperately needed to fill roles at the cornerback position right now, so I’ll examine the teams that most improved this spot heading into 2013:
Atlanta Falcons: Tough luck that Brent Grimes hit the injured reserve list pretty quickly last year. This secondary didn’t fall completely apart without him, but I think it could be significantly improved without Dunta Robinson. A nickel package of Asante Samuel, first-rounder Trufant and Robert McClain actually sounds pretty strong, at least purely in coverage.
Detroit Lions: Like the Falcons, the Detroit Lions possessed a good No. 1 corner in Chris Houston but had a gaping hole at No. 2. Enter Darius Slay with 36th overall pick and consider this problem addressed. It’s hard to remember the last time Detroit had two quality, healthy starting corners.
Miami Dolphins: After losing Vontae Davis via trade and Sean Smith via free agency, Miami has managed to replenish the cornerback spot in signing Brent Grimes and Richard Marshall, and now second-round selection Jamar Taylor out of Boise State. This could allow the Fins to move Marshall to nickel corner and really round out this position.