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Ranking 13 cornerbacks for the Eagles in the 2023 NFL Draft

NCAA Football: Maryland at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Full disclaimer: as some of you may know, I am from England, so I do not watch any college football during the season and I go into this process with absolutely no preconceptions about who I’m about to watch. I watch at least three games of each player I rank, but I cannot share any film with you here because sharing college All22 online is dangerous and I do not want to be blocked!

These rankings are based on how I think these prospects would fit the Eagles’ scheme or who I want the most based on who the Eagles already have at a certain position. This is very important, so please keep this in mind! Therefore, sometimes I may have one player above another, even if I think the other player is a better overall prospect. If a player isn’t on this list, I haven’t watched them yet! I have also put them into tiers because sometimes there isn’t a lot of difference between prospects, and I find the tiers useful to separate players.


Tier 1

1. Christian Gonzalez

Gonzalez is an outstanding blue-chip prospect. He has the size, athleticism, and traits to be a high-level starting cornerback early on in his career. He should fit in any scheme and has the movement skills you want to see. He doesn’t commit pass interference often and has the length and ability to press as well as the fluidity to effectively play in off coverage.

Eagles Thoughts: The Eagles probably don’t want to spend a 1st round pick on a CB this year, but if Gonzalez is there I think you do it. You can’t have too many good cornerbacks and Gonzalez could turn into an all-pro over the next few years.

2. Devon Witherspoon

Witherspoon is an outstanding prospect and has the swagger you want from a top CB. He has a fiery personality. He is a smart, instinctive, and athletic corner who should excel in any scheme. He is undersized and a bit grabby so I can understand some concerns about whether he should start on the outside in the slot. In the modern NFL, does it really matter? You can line up with Witherspoon outside in base and then in the slot in nickel if you wanted. He’s just a good cornerback, period.

Eagles Thoughts: I prefer Gonzalez as a prospect to Witherspoon, but I wonder if the Eagles would prefer Witherspoon as he can provide more cover for Maddox who has been injured a fair bit of late. The Eagles don’t need a new starting cornerback this year, but I would be very happy if they added Witherspoon at 10 if they see him as a blue-chip prospect. He’s really good and I love the attitude he plays with.

Tier 2

3. Deonte Banks

Banks just looks like a top CB prospect. He has the size, length, athleticism, and movement skills to be outstanding. The game he had against Marvin Harrison Jr. highlighted his talent level. He has it all from an athletic standpoint. He still needs some work as he is a little bit raw as a prospect and is too grabby at times, but the talent and upside are there.

Eagles Thoughts: I like Banks, and I think he may go early. He’s a tough and physical corner who will bring an edge to the Eagles. I would not mind him at pick 30, despite the fact he would be sitting unless Slay/Bradberry gets injured. He has had some injuries which have harmed his development and it could cost him to fall to 30.

4. Joey Porter Jr

Joey Porter Jr is a really fun player to watch. He is an ultra-competitive corner with excellent length who loves the fight at the LOS. He has areas to work on, as he can be a little too physical and grabby, but he has the long athletic traits that you want out of a starting outside cornerback. His film is not as good as the traits suggest at this point, but a coach is going to fall in love with his size and upside.

Eagles Thoughts: Based on the Eagles' needs, I don’t think Porter makes sense at 10 and I highly doubt he is there at 30, so I doubt the Eagles have interest in Porter unless they trade back. He’s a fun player though and I think he could learn a lot behind Slay/Bradberry. He makes sense at the end of the 1st round.

5. Emmanuel Forbes

Forbes has one of the weirdest profiles I have seen at around 6’1 and 166 pounds. He is rail thin. The question is can his technique, length, ball skills, and instincts overcome a clear issue with his weight? Despite his weight, the length and speed show he is an outside CB. He doesn’t play small, but you just ignore the size. However, I think he might be an exception to the rule and be a really good starting outside CB, despite the obvious limitations.

Eagles Thoughts: I really like Forbes’ game and I think the film is good enough to be a 1st round pick, so 30 is not out of the question. I would love it if the Eagles could pick him up in the early 2nd round somehow and whilst 30 feels early, it wouldn’t be a disaster. He is going to be a fascinating player to follow.

Tier 3

6. Kelee Ringo

Ringo is one of the most athletic and jacked corners to have come out in a while. He looks like a linebacker at times and is extremely physical at the LOS with his hands. He has all the traits you look for as a tall, athletic, rangy, outside corner. However, he also gives up a few too many plays and doesn’t play as quickly as his 40 time suggests at this point. He has work to do but the upside is high.

Eagles Thoughts: 30 is probably a little too early for Ringo based on the film, but I wouldn’t mind at all if the Eagles took a chance on him. He could sit behind Slay and Bradberry and if he hits his ceiling, he could be an outstanding corner in a year or two. The upside is worth a shot based on the Eagles' current roster.

Georgia v Mississippi State Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

7. Cam Smith

Cam Smith looks like a very solid outside cornerback. He had a good combine, has experience playing multiple positions, and has fantastic click-and-close speed. He has good ball skills and physicality too and plays with the confidence that you need. However, he is a little thin and does have some issues when changing direction, and can be over-aggressive in coverage which has led to too many penalties.

Eagles Thoughts: I’m not sure I see Smith as a 1st round prospect as I have seen elsewhere, but I think he’s a solid cornerback who would make sense for the Eagles if he is there in the back end of the 2nd round or the 3rd round. I think he would provide some versatility and could play the slot too if needed.

Tier 4

8. Clark Phillips III

Phillips is one of those players where the tape is good, but the size is a concern. He’s sort of the opposite to DJ Turner, I preferred Clark Phillips’ film a lot more but the numbers are scary. His ball skills are tremendous and he’s a smart, instinctive player who should be a starting slot corner at the next level. The arm length is a problem and I doubt he can play outside consistently at the next level. The missed tackles are a problem and because of his size, it feels like he does everything aggressively. Which is good, but comes at a cost.

Eagles Thoughts: I would like the Eagles to add a nickel corner this year, and Phillips profiles as someone who has the athletic profile to succeed. I would like him in the 3rd round, but I wouldn’t be mad if he was taken in the 2nd. The film is good, but the measurables are not.

9. DJ Turner

DJ Turner has one of the highest upsides in this class due to some ridiculous numbers at the combine, especially the 4.26 40. He can run. His 20-yard split was absurd too. He doesn’t have the instincts of a good cornerback yet though, the film isn’t brilliant and he needs a lot of work.

Eagles Thoughts: I like the upside of DJ Turner, and the Eagles are in a good position where he would not have to start. He could sit for a year or two and back up Bradberry and Slay. The upside makes him worth a shot in the 3rd but I bet he goes earlier due to his combine. Someone is going to chance on the upside, which he certainly has.

10. Tyrique Stevenson

The weakness list looks long when I finished watching Stevenson and he has a lot to work on, but he has the size, length, and physicality that you look for at CB. He’s a ‘traits’ prospect rather than a clean prospect who has a lot of stuff to clean up. The athletic profile will have teams excited though and I don’t blame them, he has a lot of upside. He has the upside of a really good starting outside cornerback who can jam receivers at the line of scrimmage.

Eagles Thoughts: I’m not sure the film represents a round 2 player, but the athletic profile and size are outstanding. I like Stevenson as a high-upside pick in the back end of the 2nd or early 3rd where he can sit behind Slay/Bradberry and continue to develop.

11. Julius Brents

Brents is a really interesting player as the traits and size are off the charts but the film doesn’t match just yet. He has one of the most ridiculous wingspans you will ever see and the athletic testing was fantastic too. The potential is huge. The 40-yard dash was concerning and he doesn’t play as fast as he needs to. He could be a bit more physical too, in run defense and at the LOS.

Eagles Thoughts: I think the film shows a late day 2/day 3 player, but it wouldn’t be shocking if a team falls in love and drafts him on day 2. Cornerback is a position where you want to see the traits and Brents has them. I think getting him in the 4th where he can sit for a couple of years would be fantastic for the Eagles but I think the 3rd round is more realistic. Someone will fall in love with his potential.

12. Garrett Williams

Williams is a really fluid athlete who almost glides around the field at times. His change of direction is outstanding and he excels in off-coverage, where he can explode toward the football. His long speed was a concern to me and without any athletic testing due to a torn ACL in October, this feels like a slight risk.

Eagles Thoughts: I think Williams’ film is excellent but I think he could slip due to a strong CB class and the torn ACL which means he couldn’t test at the combine. Williams will start the season on IR I imagine, but he will play next year and he makes a lot of sense in the 3rd/4th round if he falls. He could develop into a good-quality starting corner. I think the film is better than a lot of cornerbacks above him on this list but he doesn’t have the upside.

13. Darius Rush

The more I read about Rush, the more I like the profile. He seems like a hard worker who will do whatever is asked of him. However, he also has the athletic profile that makes you think the upside is actually quite high. He is a former WR which shows in a lot of ways. He doesn’t have natural instincts and can give up some easy completions and struggles in run defense, but he also attacks the ball in the air and is a really fluid mover.

Eagles Thoughts: Rush is the kind of player I would love to sit behind Slay/Bradberry and develop further. I see him around rounds 3-4 and I think he does have some upside, but he still has a lot to learn as a cornerback.


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