NFL Draft Cornerback Rankings 2021: From The College Perspective

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft Cornerback Rankings 2021: From The College Perspective

2021 NFL Draft

NFL Draft Cornerback Rankings 2021: From The College Perspective

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2021 NFL Draft Cornerback Rankings Top Ten

10. Eric Stokes, Georgia

Size: 6-1, 194

The Good: 4.25. He’s otherworldly fast with the size and length to at least mirror every receiver in the NFL – you’re going to throw against a coverage guy when you go at Stokes. He broke up 18 passes in his first two seasons and finally came up with picks last year, intercepting four and taking two for touchdowns.

The Not-So-Good: He doesn’t get physical. He might be able to run with anyone, but he’ll get shoved out of the way and have a big problem with 50/50 balls thrown in his direction. The tackle stats will be there when need be, but there’s no intimidation factor whatsoever against the run.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: Take the speed, don’t worry about the rest. He was a productive part of the Georgia puzzle for the last three seasons with the raw skills to grow into a terrific playmaker. He might be just getting started.

Projected Round: Third


9. Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State

Size: 5-10, 180

The Good: The guy knows how to break up passes. A star recruit for FSU, he was a PBU machine right out of the box, finishing his career with 29 to go along with 98 tackles and four interceptions – three of them last season in a lost eight game season. He’s fast enough, feisty with a No. 1 corner attitude, and he’ll own most 50/50 passes.

The Not-So-Good: He gives up a whole lot of receptions. He’ll come up with the stop, but he’ll also lose his share of battles trying to make something big happen. There are more than enough tools in the box to be good, but he’s missing one big thing at an NFL level that makes him stand out.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: The pressure was on with the name he has, and he was a solid college player who deserved to be on better teams. No, he might not have the elite tools some might like, but he’s strong, he’ll battle, and he’ll bounce back fast from a bad play and make a good one.

Projected Round: Third


8. Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse (S)

Size: 6-3. 205

The Good: A wonderful mix of size, speed and skills, he’s 6-3 with sub-4,5 wheels, his future is probably as a safety but he’ll be tried out at corner. He can tackle – he made 88 career tackles with 54 coming last year – with three picks and 19 broken up passes, and now he’ll be a matchup nightmare at the next level.

The Not-So-Good: He wasn’t quite right early in his career. He managed to stay healthy last year, but he was banged up a bit too much playing 13 games in his first two seasons. He was still productive, but he only put together one full strong season. There’s also the tweener factor – he’s probably not going to be an NFL corner for that long, but …

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: He’s a corner, and he’ll be a good one. He’s got the punch to be a good tackler and could be a killer if allowed to roam free to make plays, but as is with his combination of skills he’s going to start at one corner spots and engulf just about anyone he covers.

Projected Round: Second


7. Paulson Adebo, Stanford

Size: 6-1, 198

The Good: It’s ALL there. He’s got great length, the right frame, and he’s a 4.4 runner who can tackle in volume and attack the ball when it’s in the air. He only played 22 games for the Cardinal, but he cranked up 97 tackles with eight interceptions and a ridiculous 27 broken up passes in his time. The stats are going to be there, but …

The Not-So-Good: He missed a whole lot of plays to go along with those numbers. To be fair, he only played for two seasons and he won more battles than he lost, but there were a few injury problems and he opted out of last season. There’s still some work to do on his overall game, but …

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: It looked last year at this time like he might be a sure-thing first rounder and could’ve used one more year just to show that he’s got the finer points down. He’s the ultimate DON’T OVERTHINK THIS guy. He’s Stanford-smart, has the size, has the speed, and he knows how to make a ton of big plays. Take him and figure out the other stuff.

Projected Round: Third


6. Elijah Molden, Washington (S)

Size: 5-10, 192

The Good: Where do you want to play him? He’s quick enough to be a solid cover corner – he broke up 12 passes and picked off four as a junior – he’s tough enough to tackle as a safety with 79 stops in 2019, and he’s smart enough and experienced enough to be the leader and quarterback of the secondary no matter where he plays.

The Not-So-Good: A true tweener, he’s not really build like a safety, and he doesn’t have the No. 1 NFL corner wheels. Everything about his game worked on the college level, but with things getting faster he might be a wee step out of place tools-wise. However …

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: Draft him, draft him, draft him. Every coach is going to love him – he might actually be a coach someday – he’ll be the leader among leaders on the team the moment he gets there, and he’ll make up for any shortcomings by being one step ahead in preparation and instincts. Ignore any tools issue you might have and, again, draft him.

Projected Round: Second

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NEXT: 2021 NFL Draft Cornerback Rankings No. 5

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