The Square Pigeon’s 2019 NFL Draft Coverage – Cornerback
Top 5 Cornerbacks
Another position that is a perfect example of the lack of top talent in this year’s draft.
Don’t get me wrong, there are several quality corners in this draft, but there is only one who would be considered a first-round pick in a normal season.
I wouldn’t be surprised if four of these guys go off the board early day two.
1) Greedy Williams LSU
Greedy Williams made third-team All-American in 2017 and bumped it up to second-team All-American 2018. The redshirt sophomore made the most of his two seasons by pulling down eight career interceptions.
The tallest, fastest cornerback on this list is clearly the top corner this season. Williams routinely gets himself into the proper position, and his impressive interception total shows that. At 6’2”, he has the height to compete with most wide receivers. Plus, he has the athletic ability to follow and mirror the best.
Even with the height and speed, Williams lacks weight. The lack of girth affects his ability to jam receivers at the line which sometimes give them an easy release. It also limits his abilities as a tackler. He tends to get a little “handsy” with receivers as they get down the field. He will see plenty of PI flags during his rookie season.
2) Deandre Baker Georgia
Being the reigning Jim Thorpe award winner (defensive back of the year) and first-team All-American is only good enough for second place for Deandre Baker. Over his career, Baker snagged seven interceptions and 23 pass deflections.
The SEC is the best conference in college football, and Baker made a name for himself as a lockdown man corner. He has the quickness and power to press receivers at the line which takes them out of the play. Over the past two seasons, he hasn’t allowed a touchdown. Good instincts and anticipation for routes.
His size and speed will be called into question in the NFL. Will he be able to handle the larger outside receivers in the NFL? Or, can he keep up the faster pass catchers? At the college level, he had the burst to recover; however, the NFL is a big step up. I think his technique will allow him to take on the outside guys, but he needs to overcome large size differentials.
3) Byron Murphy Washington
Byron Murphy has limited track record since he is only a red-shirt sophomore who only started for one season; however, Murphy looked rather impressive during that season. Four interception and 13 pass deflections earned him second-team All-American honors.
As a former All-American high school receiver, Murphy has better than average ball skills for a cornerback. His ability to find the ball and make a play led to seven interceptions on 87 passes thrown at him. The receiver experience also helps with his route recognition.
Murphy could end up being the best corner in this draft, but it will be up to the team that drafts him to continue his development. He only played 20 games in college. This lack of playtime and lack of size might mean he never makes it the starting lineup. Even so, he should already be able to excel as a nickel corner in the NFL.
4) Rock Ya-Sin Temple
There is no doubt that Rock Ya-Sin will be drafted no later than the first 10 picks of the second round; however, Ya-Sin didn’t arrive to the doorstep of the NFL the same way as most players. He only played one season of FBS football as a graduate student at Temple after playing three years at an FCS school who dropped to Division II this season.
Making the jump up to FBS didn’t slow Ya-Sin down any as he continued to produce for the Owls. His amazing athletic ability helped the transition. He is a quality man cover corner, and he is an asset in the run game. The Senior Bowl showed his ability to compete with NFL level talent.
Ya-Sin is an absolutely raw talent that needs some refinement. His technique needs improvement to succeed at the next level. Really strictly on his athletic gifts will no get him by in the NFL. His top end speed leaves a little to be desired.
5) Julian Love Notre Dame
Julian Love was a first-team All-American this year. During the past two seasons, Love recorded four interceptions and 36 passes defended which included a school record 20 passes defended in 2017. He also managed 94 solo tackles during the same time (131 total).
As a balanced cover guy, Love will be able to perform in several defensive schemes. He can handle both man and zone coverages and never lets receiver create much separation. Creates many of his defended passes by ripping at the ball at the catch.
There is a lack of physicality in his game. Bigger receivers can overpower him at the top of the route. His speed lacks the top gear to go one-on-one against faster receivers. He will need safety help covering the outside receivers.