I present to you my revised rankings for the cornerback position. You will notice some changes from my January top ten.
Here are my top ten cornerbacks:
1. Dee Milliner 6'1" 201 lbs, Alabama Stock: Steady Projection: Top 5
2. Xavier Rhodes 6'2" 210 lbs, Florida State Stock: Steady Projection: Top 15
3. Desmond Trufant 6'0" 190 lbs, Washington Stock: Rising Projection: Round 1-2
4. Jamar Taylor 5'11" 192 lbs, Boise State Stock: Rising Projection: Round 1-2
5. David Amerson 6'1" 205 lbs, NC State Stock: Steady Projection: Round 2
6. Johnathan Banks, 6'2" 185 lbs, Mississippi State Stock: Falling Projection: Round 2
7. D.J. Hayden 5'11" 191 lbs, Houston Stock: Rising Projection: Round 2-3
8. Tyrann Mathieu 5'9" 186 lbs, LSU Stock: Rising Projection: Late Round 2
9. Jordan Poyer 6'0" 190 lbs, Oregon State Stock: Falling Projection: Round 2-3
10. Darius Slay 6'0" 192 lbs, Mississippi State Stock: Rising Projection: Round 2-3
A riser on the list is Desmond Trufant, and deservedly so. After a good senior year, Trufant's stock really ascended when the offseason evaluation process began. During Senior Bowl practices, Trufant showed that he could compete with the best wideouts in the country and shut them down. Although he is known more so for his stellar zone coverage, Trufant exhibited during practice an ability to play press coverage as well, where he seemed to get under the skin of receivers at times. Then the combine rolled around and Trufant was a standout in the position drills while running an impressive 4.38 forty. He could be selected in the low twenties, or may fall into the early second round. Check out Trufant's prospect profile here.
Right behind Trufant is Boise State cornerback Jamar Taylor at No. 4. After watching more film of Taylor, I feel he can be a shutdown corner in the NFL. He put up one of the better bench rep performances at the combine with an impressive 22 reps of 225 lbs. Check out Taylor's prospect profile here.
D.J. Hayden makes the list in this edition at No. 7. Hayden suffered a torn inferior vena cava (torn vein) during a November practice when he collided with a teammate, leading to a knee hitting Hayden's chest. This injury is fatal 95% of the time, so he is very lucky to be alive. Hayden was having a good season before the injury, snagging four interceptions and returning two of those for touchdowns. ESPN draft analyst Kevin Weidl believes Hayden could be one of the best-kept secrets in the draft. He has fully recovered from injury and was able to post a superb 4.33 forty at his Pro Day. Hayden could wind up being a steal in round two or three.
Tyrann Mathieu makes the list at No. 8. Before the combine, there were a lot of doubts surrounding Mathieu. "Is he rusty? Is he in shape? Is he mentally focused?" Mathieu answered all of these questions with his combine performance, which is why he is now on the list he should have belonged on in the first place. Mathieu looked sharp in all of the drills and posted a better-than-expected 4.5 forty time. Before being kicked off the LSU football team, Mathieu did it all for the Tigers. Mathieu can force fumbles, blitz, return punts, cover, tackle and get interceptions. He has a lot of ability in many facets of the game. Check out Mathieu's prospect profile here.
Sliding down a bit is Jordan Poyer. Poyer had a less than stellar showing at the combine, looking very ordinary in some of the position drills. While I still like Poyer, some other prospects have jumped ahead of him this offseason due to their draft season showings. Somebody has to fall, and Poyer is one of the prospects who suffers. Check out my prospect profile on Poyer here.
Darius Slay just makes it here at No. 10. Slay could turn out to be a better NFL player than his teammate Johnathan Banks. Slay posted a 4.36 forty at the combine, which topped this year's group of defensive backs. Slay had five interceptions last season, returning two for touchdowns.