A Prospect For Each Round: Cornerback

Jordan Poyer’s quick reflexes make him a viable second-round option this April. (Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Editor: Matthew Jones

Recently we previewed some of the wide receivers which the New England Patriots could potentially target in each round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Today, we’ll take a look at seven cornerbacks who may appeal to Bill Belichick in next month’s draft.

1. Johnthan Banks, Mississippi St.

Banks may not have the workout numbers that Bill Belichick prefers in a cornerback prospect, which could exclude him from New England’s draft board. However, they would be wise to consider adding him, as he has the length, physicality, and technique to fit as a left cornerback at the next level. Although Banks looked slow at the NFL Combine, he was consistently in-phase on wide receivers such as Cordarrelle Patterson and Alshon Jeffery in college.

2. Jordan Poyer, Oregon St.

Like Banks, Poyer didn’t perform especially well in Indianapolis, but that may be the only reason he could potentially be available for New England in the second round. Poyer is a competitive, confident cornerback whose skillset translates well to either the inside or outside at the next level. While not the tallest option, he is a quick-twitch player with strong recognition skills and impressive ball skills.

3. Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Connecticut

At this point, it appears as though Wreh-Wilson will be selected somewhere between the end of the second round and the end of the third round. Should he last to this point, New England would be wise to select him. A highly intelligent player with experience in both man and zone coverages, Wreh-Wilson has an attractive combination of size (6’1”, 195) and athleticism (4.53 in the 40-yard dash, 6.97 in the three-cone drill.)

4. Will Davis, Utah St.

Davis should be selected in the sixty-to-eighty range in April, but will likely fall to the third or fourth round. A small-school prospect, Davis nonetheless possesses incredibly refined man-coverage skills which should translate to the next level; he also posted an outstanding time of 6.52 seconds in the three-cone drill. Although Davis needs work in zone coverage and is not the best run defender, his ability to lock down outside receivers should not be overlooked.

5. Nickell Robey, Southern California*

Robey’s diminutive size (5’7”, 169 pounds) may cause teams to overlook him in the draft. A fourth-round talent who will likely be selected in the fifth or sixth round, Robey’s other numbers (4.53 in the 40-yard dash, 6.74 in the three-cone drill, 37.5” vertical leap) suggest an agile, explosive player. At Southern California, he was typically asked to play in the outside, but would profile best as a slot cornerback in the NFL.

6. Micah Hyde, Iowa

Hyde projects best as a right cornerback in a zone-coverage scheme, but he has also been projected to free safety by some draft analysts. He may fit well in New England because he is capable of playing three different spots (left cornerback, right cornerback, free safety); he could prevent Devin McCourty from having to play cornerback if Aqib Talib gets hurt, or offer a short-term replacement for Alfonzo Dennard on the right side.

7. Marcus Cromartie, Wisconsin

Marcus Cromartie hasn’t received much notice in draft circles, which is surprising considering his impressive physical tools. A Combine snub, he measured in at 6’0” and 195 pounds at Wisconsin’s pro day, running a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash and posting a 6.85-second three-cone drill. If no one has taken a chance on his athleticism by the seventh round, New England could look into drafting him as a press-man project.

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5 Responses to “A Prospect For Each Round: Cornerback”

  1. Big Dan From Maine says:

    Why is there no Love for Jonathan Banks? He was highly productive in college and played in the SEC covering some really good wide outs. He was able to get a lot if interceptions. I dont care about the 4.6 40, he looks faster than that on tape.

    I remember another CB out of Michigan that was said to be to slow to be an impact Corner. Ty Law, and if I remember he did OK. The under ware olympics (combine) is not where you judge talent, its tape and game play and college production.

    Just my opinion, I would LOVE to see the pats pick Banks in the first round. Best way to improve a pass rush is to give them a litttle more time. Good coverage improves the pass rush, and much as a good pass rush improves the coverage.

  2. Glen says:

    1. Desmon Trufant
    2. Jamar Taylor
    3. Tyrann Mathieu
    4. Tharold Simon
    5. Sanders Commings
    6. Marc Anthony
    7. Kayvon Webster

  3. acm says:

    Good options but I personally don’t think Banks is worth a 1st rounder. If he is highest rated CB at 29, I think it would bring better overal value to trade down to mid 2nd or so and get there one of Banks, Sly, Poyer, Wreh-Wilson or Ryan, Amerson in late 2nd.
    Just don’t think the difference between Banks and the other CBs above is so big as to warrant spending a 1st rounder on JB.

    Wreh-Wilson’s stock has been on the rise and I have serious doubts he even makes it to late 2nd, let alone the 3rd. For 3rd round CBs, especially late in the 3rd, I would look at Ryan, Mcfadden, Webb and DJ Hayden if he falls there and the Pats can clear him medically.
    My personal favourites in late 3rd would be Mcfadden and Hayden.

    Another smaller-sized CB, who’d project in the nickel in the NFL, would be Brodrick Brown (OK St), who’d probably be better value in the 7th or even as a UDFA than Robey in the 4th now that Arrington has been resigned.

    I can also see BB give Hyde a go in the late rounds, maybe 5th as opposed to 6th. As Russel already suggested, Hyde possesses the versatility BB likes in his CBs and would be good value in the later rounds as a back-up secondary next season.

  4. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    More info on Mach Hyde;
    4.56 -40 , did 12 on the bench. During the 2012 season he had 78 tackles, including 44 solo. led the team with 14 pass break-ups, and had , two forced fumbles.
    Over the last TWO years returned 27 punts, 7.5 yds per. return.

  5. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    I feel the Patriots, will draft one CB most likely in the 3d round. Wreh-Wilson looks good, as does, Jordan Poyer, but booth will be gone before pick #91.
    I like CB Micah Hyde at 6′ 197 with a 6.78 cone drill. He is a stretch in the 3d round, but if BB trades back and picks-up a 4th, this is his type of CB. He was team captain, played CB and S and was a good tackler in the run game. Better in Zone type coverages, but a very versitile player, used on special teams as well.

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