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2011 NFL Draft: Which Cornerbacks Have Ball Skills?

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The way a corner gets into the pro bowl, the way he gets the big money is to get picks. Nnamdi Asomugha might be the one exception, but for the most part the interception is the glamor stat for a corner. While INTs can tend to get a bit overrated, there's no doubt that forcing turnovers changes games and guys that can do that are a premium in this league. There's few things more frustrating than watching a defensive back get himself in good position and drop what should have been an easy pick. It happens all the time.

In some ways it is to be expected. Like I always say, if you're big, fast and have good hands, the coach has you play wideout at every level. Those guys don't become defensive backs.

There are some guys though, like Asante Samuel, that just have knack for holding on to those picks. This week, Todd McShay highlighted a couple guys that will be picked outside of the first round that have ball skills.

Kendric Burney, North Carolina - Burney is small (5-9) and ran a poor 40 (4.74) so he's not going to be taken in the first couple rounds, but he's got a knack for getting his hands on the ball and his said to be very instinctive in coverage. He has 10 career picks in college, two of which he returned for TDs. He was suspended for for six games for accepting about $1,300 in "improper benefits." It was allegedly a plane ticket from a former Tarheel football player. So he's got a lot of things going against him that may push him into the later rounds, but could end up being a real solid player for someone.

Ras-I Dowling, Virginia - Dowling is a tall, fast corner with eight career INTs and 28 pass break ups in his first three seasons. So why isn't he being mentioned among the top corners? For one, he's coming off a slew of injuries in his senior season, including a broken ankle. He missed the combine this year thanks to those injuries, but was seen by many as a possible first round pick prior to his senior year. The Eagles have never been scared off by a guy with some injury concerns, so Dowling could be an option in the second.

Of course ball skills in college don't always translate to pro success, just ask Quintin Demps.

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