Ok, so I am posting this a little bit late, but I finally got around to it. Tuesday was the day I think that we al were waiting for truthfully. Especially after Rob Ryan's comments about looking for nothing but DBs. I expected this to be probably the best and deepest class and I could say that they did not disappoint. As always, it is debatable which position group is the deepest in each draft, however this one is pretty good this year. A very good thing since it just happens to be the position we need the most fortification of. So follow me after the break and I will tell you my thoughts on the players that we will likely have a chance at. Yes that means I have excluded my thoughts and such on Morris Claiborne...Stephon Gilmore - CB - South Carolina
Stephon Gilmore I think shows much more on tape than he ever was going to at the combine. His reputation is that of a physical guy and a sound tackler. I heard a lot about him having some good ball skills, however I saw him dropping some balls in the field drills. He dropped two in the drill where they actually break the group into two teams and they compete against each other for most catches. I don't read into too much stuff at the combine, as the game tape speaks much louder than the "underwear olympics", as Mike Mayock puts it, ever will. This guy came away possibly asking for some more homework to be done on him.
Casey Hayward - CB - Vandy
Casey Hayward is not the biggest corner in the draft, but he does make up for it with his play on the field. The guy is pretty good and picking off passes and just being a good defender. However, I would see this guy as anything more than a slot guy at the next level. If I am not mistaken, that is exactly what he played for the most part in college anyway. I was impressed that the guy was able to take 225lbs and put it up 19 times. Not bad for a cornerback, much less a 5' 11" 185 lbs man.
Jayron Hosley - CB - VTech
Now this is my boy right here. I have liked this guy for a long time, so it was even more enjoyable to see him light up the combine in the field drills.. He was one of the fastest corners out there posting a time of 4.47, although it is surprising to see that a time that is just under a 4.5 forty is one of the fastest times, meaning there isn't a lot of speed coming in at the cornerback position this year. I call this guy the backfield bandit, because that is exactly what he is. I was disappointed that he only did bench and the forty, because i would have liked to see how he stacked up in the others. On sport science he was measured at 37" vertical. I say that if we are looking for a corner in round two, this is the guy we want. Plus he can just keep is number 20 from college as I don't believe Alan Ball will be needing it anymore. He may not be very big, but he plays big and if you need interceptions/turnovers, there aren't too many better than Jayron Hosley.
Janoris Jenkins - CB - Northern Alabama (via Florida)
Ah yes, (sigh) controversy. Talk about the off the field issues all you want, but when the question comes up if this dude can play, the answer is defintely yes. He may be only 5' 10" (which is up from his college height of 5' 9" that I kept hearing). But he is 193 lbs and has 32" arms. To put that in perspective Calvin Johnson has 33 3/8" arms and stands 7 inches taller than Jenkins. I would say those are pretty long arms for a 5' 10" cornerback. He can use those to make up for his lack of vertical jumping ability though as he only hit 33.5" there. He was pretty outstanding when asked to catch balls in the drills too. All in all, you can see that with soe many off the field concerns, why he is so widely discussed. He is an intriguing prospect and I have heard some say that if not for his off the field issues, he would be right up there with Morris Claiborne battling for the title of best corner in this draft. Is he worth that gamble, I guess we will see all in due time.
Trumaine Johnson - CB - Montana
I think it is pretty common knowledge by now how much I like this guy. He has great size and good arm length, and on game tape when he goes up to make a play, it is a pretty impressive sight. I have always heard about this guys ball skills and even saw them myself on some game tape, however, I didn't always see the same stuff in the so called "underwear olympics". What I didn't like was seeing him drop balls, and the biggest red flag to me was when he missed a ball during the drills and then looked disappointed that the QB messed up and threw the ball high instead of right to him. I think a little bit of that diva attitude came out in the drills and stuff that we have heard about, so it raises some caution with him. I still like the kid though for his athletic abaility and the way he can cover. I believe he is better than he will be drafted, and that is a direct effect of him playing in the smaller Big Sky conference.
Dre Kirkpatrick - CB - Alabama
Swag, that is his nickname amongst his peers at Alabama. How can you not like a guy with the nickname "SWAG". He is tall, has good arm length, rand a 4.51 forty and is known as more of a physical corner and probably the most sound tackler amongst corners in this draft. My only reservation with this kid though is if he can catch some interceptions and how his ball skills are. He seemed to catch it alright at the combine, but we want to see if he can do it in a game wearing pads. I didn't see too many inerceptions in his career at Alabama, but we will see what some NFL coaching can do for him. I love the kids tape though.
Josh Norman - CB - Coastal Carolina
Well this guy has basically come out of nowhere lately. Ever since the East-West Shrine Game I have continually heard this guys name come up in conversations about the cornerbacks in this years draft.. Let me just list his measurables for you really quick. 6' tall, 197 lbs, 32.75" arms, 9.25" hands. That is a really good sized corner and his tape speaks volumes as well for him as he had 13 interceptions in college according to Mike Mayock during the combine when they were talking about him. He has also been compared to Brandon Carr, the same guy that is apparently rumored to be Dallas bound via free agency this year. If we are looking for a corner in the middle rounds, then this is the guy that I think we need to grab. I like what I see out him.
Josh Robinson - CB - UCF
This is the face of the fastest man in the NFL Scouting Combine this year with a 4.33 forty. Actually this kid measured very well all the way across the board. He has good ball skills and athletic ability. He isn't so good in man coverage but that might be able to be coached into him over time. I saw him dropping some balls in drills so that worries me a little bit as I want a guy that is going to get interceptions. He is another guy to keep an eye out for in the middle rounds. I think he looked a little better than I expected in his footwork in the drills but not great.
Harrison Smith - S - Notre Dame
This kid was extremely impressive. Deion Sanders stated that when he was watching this kid in the field workouts and drills, he couldn't tell from looking at him that he was a safety or a corner. That is how good his footwork is. Not only that but he had 7 interceptions as a junior and seems to always be in position to make a play. He is just always around the ball. Also, Mike Mayock stated that he watched 4 games from his senior season and he only had one missed tackle in those games. This kid might not measure up athletically as well as others at his position, but he can just flat out ball.