By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: The 2020 cornerback class is not as deep as last year’s class, but there are a ton of talented corners coming out this year. There’s a mix of high cover skill corners to hard hitting corners and we should see cornerbacks taken evenly throughout the 3 dayd/7 round draft process. Here’s my top 10 cornerbacks for the 2020 NFL draft.
- Jeffrey Okudah (Ohio State) 6’1/200: Okudah has good size and runs well enough to cover most wide receivers. Ohio State doesn’t employ much man to man coverage schemes, so Okudah hasn’t truly been tested in isolation. NFL scouts like Okudah overall game and attitude; which should improve as the season progresses.
- Kristian Fulton (LSU) 6’0/192: Fulton has impressive coverage skills; which didn’t translate on the stat sheet. Fulton has the ability to stay with his receiver and avoids separation well. Fulton needs to be more consistent with each game to improve his draft stock.
- Trevon Diggs (Alabama) 6’2/195: Diggs has excellent speed and athleticism and can blanket most wide receivers in man to man coverage. Diggs needs a little refinement with his technique; but has all the intangibles to be a solid cornerback in the NFL.
- C.J Henderson (Florida) 6’1/186: Henderson has elite speed and can stay with receivers and avoid separation. Some NFL scouts have concerns with Henderson’s poor tackling technique; which results in miss tackles or not failure to take down a defender on first contact. On the flip side, Henderson excels in coverage; which help him in the draft.
- Cameron Dantzler (Mississippi State) 6’2/185: Dantzler operates best on the outside and has excellent cover skills. Dantzler is very active and plays aggressive as a ball hawk. Dantzler needs to get stronger and stay discipline in zone coverage.
- Bryce Hall (Virginia) 6’1/200: Hall led the nation in passes broken up with 24 in 2018 and is looking to improve in 2019. Expect opposing teams to not throw so much in Halls direction in 2019, so his totals could reflect that at seasons end. Hall plays hard, smart and always seems to be around the ball.
- A.J Terrell (Clemson) 6’2/190: Terrell has a solid skill set and matches up well against opposing wide receivers. Terrell looks much leaner than his measurements as many scout’s project Terrell could transition into a safety with added size.
- Paulson Adebo (Stanford) 6’1/190: Adebo is a big cornerback who has coverage skills and is a ball hawk. Adebo also displays great instinct, technique and the speed to cover most wide receivers. Adebo needs to have a solid season to improve his draft value.
- Jaylon Johnson (Utah) 6’0/190: Johnson had four interceptions in 2018 and is looking to improvement his overall game in 2019. Johnson has good size and excellent ball skills to take it to the next level. Scouts like Johnson’s mental approach to the game and his commitment to the game.
- Jeff Gladney (TCU) 6’0/185: Gladney has superb skills and technique at the point of the catch. Gladney excels more in zone coverage than in man to man. Gladney needs to work on his footwork and should be a reliable corner in the NFL.
Final Thoughts: The number of cornerbacks projected to be selected in the 2020 draft should be 22-27; which shows the depth, but not as deep as the 2019 class that produced 32 drafted. The Giants could be in the market for a corner during the draft; as GM Dave Gettleman could also address the cornerback position in free agency as well.