Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado
A four year starter in Boulder, Awuzie catches the eye with linebacker-like achievements: in his final two seasons he has 8 sacks, 18 tackles for loss and 4 forced fumbles. And a linebacker-like 3 interceptions. Colorado moved him all over the field throughout his career and have had a pretty good pass defense. He might lack the long speed to stick on the outside, but should be able to find a home in the slot.
Gareon Conley, Ohio State
Though seen as the lesser of the two Buckeye CBs in the draft, Conley is a legit prospect in his own right. Played inside and out, and Ohio State wasn’t afraid to match him up against top WRs like Mike Williams and Chris Godwin. If he matches his listing, he’s got good size and speed that will interest a lot of teams.
Rasul Douglas, West Virginia
A JuCo transfer in 2015, he earned a starting job in 2016 and led the nation in interceptions. Listed at 6’2”, 203 pounds, he’s one of the biggest CB prospects in the draft. Despite that, he’s probably going to need a good showing at the Combine to solidify a day two selection, as he isn’t the athlete that other top corners are.
Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
Started both of his seasons for the Crimson Tide, which is impressive for anyone at Alabama, and has size that teams fall in love with every spring. But he’s prone to giving up a big play, with 17.5 yards per catch against him over his career.
Adoree’ Jackson, USC
Tremendous athlete, making the Olympic qualifying final in the long jump. Was one of the best returners in college with 4 career punt return touchdowns and the 5th best yards per punt return in 2016 and 4 career kickoff return touchdowns and two top 10 kick return averages. As a corner, had a standout season in 2016, winning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, the Jim Thorpe Award and being a Paul Hornug Award finalist. His 5 interceptions showcased his ball skills, but he’s still developing. Size might limit him to a slot position long term, but his speed and skills should see him get a shot on the outside to start his career.
Sidney Jones, Washington
Maybe the best playmaker at his position in the draft. Jones has terrific ball skills and isn’t afraid to go and get it. He’ll need to add a little bulk to his frame—he weighs 20 pounds less than players his height (6’1”) and could improve against the run.
Desmond King, Iowa
King is a bit like Malcolm Jenkins in that he’ll likely enter the league as a corner but might ultimately be a safety. He’s the ball skills to play anywhere, but his athleticism might warrant a position change. A really good Combine would help him out. He was also a big contributor in special teams for the Hawkeyes, both as a kick returner and in coverage.
Kevin King, Washington
(No relation to Desmond.) Big (6’3”) physical player who played inside, outside, corner and safety for the Huskies for four seasons. His size should interest teams like the Seahawks and Saints who prefer tall corners, but like Desmond King, might start off as a corner who eventually moves to safety, or he could be slotted into a safety role right away.
Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State
Probably the first cornerback taken. Physically, he’s got everything—good height/weight, tremendous athleticism, and enough long speed. But he only started in 2016, having hamstring surgery in 2014 and dealing with recurring hamstring issues in 2015. Hamstrings didn’t bother him in 2016, but the lack of playing time means he’s rawer than the rest of the pack.
Jourdan Lewis, Michigan
Projects to the slot due to his size (5’10”). Can run into problems with grabbing guys if he gets beat, drawing pass interference calls. Impressed with a good week at the Senior Bowl.
Cameron Sutton, Tennessee
Four year starter, so there’s plenty of tape on him. Missed half the 2016 season with a fractured ankle. Production declined in his junior and senior years due to teams not throwing his way, he averaged 12 passes defensed in his freshman and sophomore seasons and 5 total interceptions, but had just 12 total passes defensed and 2 interceptions as a junior and senior. Tall enough to play on the outside but likely to lose battles against larger WRs. Added value as a punt returner, his 2015 season was a school record and one of the best in the country.
Teez Tabor, Florida
Aggressive on the field, attacking the ball at will. There’s questions about his long speed—you’ll heard “quicker than fast” used about him—a good Combine could put those to rest. Aggressive off the field too, having been suspended for the opener in 2016 for fighting a teammate and for a game in 2015 for failng a drug test by refusing to take it then took to Twitter to vent about it. He also caused a stir by comparing playing college sports to slavery.
Cordrea Tankersly, Clemson
Nearly declared last year after his first season as a starter, and has only solidified his stock since. Has played well in big games, with three of his four interceptions in 2016 were in the ACC title game and first round of the playoffs, and had a pick in the 2015 ACC championship as well. Eight pass interference calls in 2016 will give teams pause though.
Tre’Davious White, LSU
Four year starter in Baton Rouge, playing mostly on the outside, but at a slim 5’11” he might be a slot in the NFL, but he’ll get looked at on the outside to start his career. Had a good week at the Senior Bowl before suffering an ankle injury that kept him out of the second half of the week and the game. Was awarded the #18 jersey, which is given to the player who excels on and off the field (Bennie Logan wore it in 2012). Can add value as a punt returner.
Quincy Wilson, Florida
Wilson has everything you want on paper and shows it on the field. The third of three pairs of cornerback teammates (along with Teez Tabor), this is the only one where there’s the question of, who’s better? Depends on who you ask. And even then, he’s another who should start his career as a corner but might wind up being a safety.