The 2014 NFL draft may be months away but there are several players who are being predicted to be selected quickly. Here’s a look at the top cornerbacks in the draft.
NFL scouts are looking for recognition skills to find the ball, the speed and agility to change direction and then accelerate to the pass or ball-carrier, and the physical skills to put the runner on the ground after he has the ball.
Pierre Desir- Lindenwood
Desir is a top small-school cornerback in the 2014 draft class and he has a chance to be the first player drafted from a non-FBS school.
He has the ideal size, speed and agility for the cornerback position. He’s physical at 6’1″ and over 200 pounds, and he matches that up with athleticism that allows him to be a factor as a return man.
He has the toolbox to become a starting-caliber NFL cornerback. While it may take him time to transition to the big leagues in terms of technique, his athleticism and one-on-one cover skills are pro-ready.
Marcus Roberson- Florida
A prototypical cornerback for the NFL today, Marcus Roberson is one of three exciting defensive backs that the Gators will send to the pros this year.
He stands at 6’0″, 200 lbs, which puts him above the line when looking at the ideal build for a starting cornerback. Add in his speed and fluid lower-body movements in space, and you’ve got a player with starter athleticism.
He can be physical in coverage and shows the hands at the line of scrimmage to jam and press receivers. While he’s not aggressive against the run or a surefire tackler, he’s not afraid to get physical in coverage and will use his size and strength to win battles against receivers of any size.
Kyle Fuller- Virginia Tech
Fuller has first-round potential and could be a future Pro Bowler, on one condition–he must stay healthy.
That’s been a struggle for the Hokies’ cornerback, especially in 2013. He played just 8 games this year and failed to get into a solid rhythm to show the skills that previously made him a first-round talent.
When he’s on the field, Fuller shows excellent speed. He’s fluid, and for a stout 6’0″ and 200 pounds, he’s able to move well in space and show off range by coming up to play the ball and retreating to track deep routes.
There’s little to argue about in terms of football skills and abilities. The key is keeping him healthy.
Lamarcus Joyner- Florida State
Florida State’s Lamarcus Joyner is impressive with his short-area quickness. He is explosive when moving in any direction, and offensive coordinators have taken notice.
Any scout can notice that at 5’8″, he is shorter than almost every player on the field. That’s something you can overcome in college, but how he measures up against NFL players may be a different story.
He is an exciting athlete and a versatile weapon for an NFL team. He can play cornerback or safety and also help as a return man. But getting over his lack of height will be something teams must weigh carefully.
For more on this story visit: Matt Miller, Bleacher Report