Draft Prospects: Cornerback Edition

Before I start I'm writing this while watching the Braves game so don't be surprised if there is misspelling and random "Go Braves" or "Gattis is a champion". But anyways, cornerback is a glaring need in the Falcons defense after the release of Dunta Robinson and the Falcons not resigning Brent Grimes who took his talents to South Beach. As we all know good cornerback play is a key part of getting a good pass rush, and Asante Samuel let us know when he contributed by screaming "coverage sack" at camp last year. This is going to be a vital part of the Falcons getting not only sacks but of course limiting passing yards too. Some of you want the Falcons to trade for Revis, keep dreaming. Its not worth having a year of Revis for a 1st round pick and then not be able to keep the solid team the Falcons already have intact. Now, this list will not include guys that will go in the 4th-7th rounds because I personally believe the Falcons will settle this issue in the first 2 rounds although you should look up Rod Sweeting from Georgia Tech as a late round pick up. I will include the likes of Dee Millner from Alabama because D. Orlando Ledbetter thinks we might pull a Julio-esque trade to move up and get the cornerback. Don't bank on it, Millner isn't the talent Julio was in college and this draft is very deep, but just for kicks and giggles I will include him in this list.

Dee Millner: Alabama

Height: 6'0

Weight: 201 lbs

Arm Length: 32 inches

Hands: 8 3/4 inches

40 Yard Dash: 4.37 seconds

Bench Press: Did Not Participate

Vertical: 36 inches

NFL Comparison: Carlos Rogers

Skill Set: Does a solid job with the press at the line of scrimmage, and has the speed to catch up to the reciever if they burn him off the ball. Has good hips breaking in and out of cuts. On double moves, has the agility and foot quickness to not be burnt on the double move. Does a good job staying physical down field and has the strong hands to win the jump balls against all recievers. In run defense, gets good outside leverage forcing the run inside. Can bring down most backs but sometimes has trouble with bruisers. Caught trying to dive at the legs of ballcarriers and is used against him. Breaks down and lines up the hit on recievers. He needs to work on his back pedaling because Alabama's defense has historically not back pedaled much under Saban.

Analysis: Don't get too excited about this guy, for one the Falcons most likely won't trade up to get him and two he played on a LOADED Alabama defense. Saban has produced alot of NFL stars recently and has a pro style team but that doesn't make Millner can't miss. Julio was can't miss. Millner still has to get stronger and work on his back pedaling for the NFL but will be a solid NFL player. I would love to have him but not for the price it would be to move up to get him. The draft is deep this year.

Highlights: Dee Millner

Xavier Rhodes: Florida State

Height: 6'2

Weight: 210 lbs

Arm Length: 33 3/4 inches

Hands: 9 inches

40 Yard Dash: 4.43 seconds

Bench Press: 14 reps

Vertical: 40.5 inches

NFL Comparison: Brandon Browner

Skill Set: Rhodes is a bigger corner that wants to jam the reciever every play, play drops off slightly in zone coverage. Posseses a strong jam at the line and his arm length and strength allow him to get good leverage. Can go up and get the jump balls and wins the 50/50 balls. Is a hard hitter when he can line up a hit and can throw off blockers to get to ballcarriers. Sometimes struggles bringing down faster ballcarriers in the flat and in the open field.

Analysis: If the Falcons were going to trade up, I think it would be for this guy at the 15-20 range. He is the bruising corner that comes out of a Richard Sherman/Brandon Browner role and would be a bully on the defense. His skill set matches up well with Asante who wants to play more man than zone. Has't had much experience covering the slot but having him could allow Robert McClain to stay at nickel. This guy if he slips to the 30th pick the Falcons have somebody waiting at the podium to hand Goodell the pick.

Highlights: Xavier Rhodes

Desmond Trufant: Washington

Height: 6'0

Weight: 190 lbs

Arm Length: 30 5/8 inches

Hands: 8 1/4 inches

40 Yard Dash: 4.38 seconds

Bench Press: 16 reps

Vertical: 37.5 inches

NFL Comparison: Antoine Cason

Skill Set: He is another guy with good press moves. He does more of a press and bail ut his speed and length allows him to do so. He sometimes opens his hips too early and recievers beat him with an inside cut. Does not do a good job tackling and is caught lunging alot. Regularly competes for the ball and isn't scared to get physical with any reciever. He sometimes is caught sleeping and gets burnt.

Analysis: This is the new popular pick for the Falcons at 30 in almost all mocks. Ever since Tony got resigned he is the guy. I think it would be a solid pick. He is another guy who does better in man coverage than zone coverage and would pair well with Asante. I'd be happy taking him as long as Ogletree/Brown/Eifert aren't there but that may just be me.

Highlights: Desmond Trufant

Johnthan Banks: Mississippi State

Height: 6'2

Weight: 185 lbs

Arm Length: 33 7/8 inches

Hands: 9 1/4 inches

40 Yard Dash: 4.61 seconds

Bench Press: 10 reps

Vertical: 34 inches

NFL Comparison: Aqib Talib

Skill Set: Banks is another guy that could be a Falcon at the end of the first round, and if they trade bak in the second. He is a former safety so he isn't afraid to come up and lay the lumber and has good ball hawking skills. He does a good job of getting the ball at its height and knocking the ball out from behind. He has fluid hips in and out of cuts. He is also great as run support as a cornerback, and does a good job blitzing. More of a man player but can play zone well too. Quick press move. His weaknesses include his strength and speed. Faster receivers can burn him if he loses a step. Opens hips early to not get beat downfield exposing the inside cut.

Analysis: Banks is the guy I see the Falcons getting if they trade back to the second round, if Trufant isn't there at 30. I like his skill set and he is a good backup option, he overshadows his teammate in college profiled later but doesn't have the same value as him. I think if Trufant isn't there the Falcons pass up Banks and go after another CB late second.

Highlights: Johnthan Banks which is one of my favorites by the way

Jamar Taylor: Boise State

Height: 5'11

Weight: 192 lbs

Arm Length: 30 3/4 inches

Hands: 9 1/8 inches

40 Yard Dash: 4.39 seconds

Bench Press: 22 reps

Vertical: 35 inches

NFL Comparison: Drayton Florence

Skill Set: Good straight line speed, and strong hands. He plays press and bail coverage and does a good job of getting his man off of his route. Has the athleticism to contest any throw. Comes up well in the run game, but isn't a reliable tackler. Fooled on the play action regularly. Recovery speed is a problem despite his speed. Should have more interceptions than he did.

Analysis: Jamar Taylor is good don't get me wrong, but he is not the type of player worth a 1st round pick like so many people seem to think. He may eventually become a good player, but there is more value in the other guys in the list than Taylor. I don't see a top flight CB and would be shocked to see the Falcons take him in the 1st. If they do then TD must see a different player than I do, I'd be happy with him in the 2nd.

Highlights: Jamar Taylor

Darius Slay: Mississippi State

Height: 6'0

Weight: 192 lbs

Arm Length: 32 1/4 inches

Hands: 9 3/8 inches

40 Yard Dash: 4.36 seconds

Bench Press: 14 reps

Vertical: 35.5 inches

NFL Comparison: Antoine Cason

Skill Set: Darius Slay is a good man corner that forces alot of drops. He uses his length and speed wisely and has good anticipation. He has good technique against blockers although he gets locked up sometimes. Creates good seperation and can make all the plays on the ball. Hard hitting for a corner. He is a good special teamer and multiple sources say he is a HARD WORKER.

Analysis: I am a huge Darius Slay fan, he has the best value out of any of these guys I think other than Xavier Rhodes. A hard worker with good technique can be snagged in the LATE SECOND. I love it, if he makes it to the Falcons in the second I'm jumping up and down unless they snag Rhodes in the 1st. This pick also could give them the chance to shore up the defensive end and linebacker needs or even take that tight end I'd love for them to snag.

Highlights: Darius Slay

David Amerson: NC State

Height: 6'1

Weight: 205 lbs

Arm Length: 32 5/8 inches

Hands: 10 1/2 inches

40 Yard Dash: 4.44 seconds

Bench Press: 15 reps

Vertical: 35.5 inches

NFL Comparison: Sean Smith

Skill Set: Has all the tools to be a good corner in the NFL. Very aggressive and confident. He does a nice job dislodging the ball in the recievers hands. Jumps routes and defends the run well and aggresively. Good closing speed. Slow in and out of cuts. May turn out to be more of a safety than corner. Needs to work on his hips and breaking in and out of cuts.

Analysis: Amerson would be a good backup option to Slay in the second round but may not turn out to fit the Falcons scheme. I like the aggresiveness but he needs to work on some of his techniques. I would be happy with this pick if Slay is gone in the second, but he will be somewhat raw. Good back up option.

Highlights: David Amerson, another very good highlight tape.

What do you think of the cornerbacks, and who is your favorite for VALUE? Help me out with what position you want to see next. Should have a mock draft for the Falcons coming soon.

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>

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