Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah is commonly seen as the top cornerback prospect, but it is unlikely that he falls to the 17th overall pick.
Who then is the second best corner in the NFL Draft?
It depends on who you ask, and for that reason one of these three players could definitely be available for the Cowboys top pick with the 17th overall selection.
Florida’s CJ Henderson
He is a smooth, hippy player. The Gators use him in a variety of ways.
He is primarily an outside corner, but he also lines up in the slot and they even blitz him from that position.
In this clip, Henderson is initially beat by LSU’s Jamar Chase, but he has great make-up speed and he doesn’t quit on the play. As a result, he is able to make the touchdown-saving deflection.
With Henderson’s speed, he is never out of the play, even when matched up against one of the nation’s top wide receivers.
TCU’s Jeff Gladney
Gladney is a physical press corner. He has excellent footwork and great burst. The only knock on him is his height, but the 5-10 cornerback knows how to compete even when faced with a size disadvantage.
Here, Gladney is matched up with 6’6” Texas wide receiver Collin Johnson in the red zone. As the receiver stems to the inside, Gladney brings his outside hand, but he quickly flips his hips as Johnson releases vertically to the outside. Johnson uses his length to gain separation from Gladney, but the TCU cornerback keeps fighting.
The quarterback puts the ball high and to the outside, where the receiver is presumably the only one who can make a play on it, but as we zoom in you can see that Gladney is indeed able to get his hand in and knock the ball away.
LSU’s Kristian Fulton
Here is another excellent press cornerback that could make be a great fit in Dallas. Fulton is a good, but not an elite athlete, which could hurt his draft stock, but he plays with excellent technique and matches up well against some of the best receivers in college football.
Here he is defending Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs, a projected first-round pick.
As Ruggs runs the slant, Fulton is in perfect position right on his hip.
When the throw is made, Fulton is able to play the ball with his left hand, while securing the tackle with his right. This is a great play, and perfect technique by Fulton.
Each of these three cornerbacks could be an excellent fit for the Cowboys in round one of the draft.
While Henderson is the more highly-regarded prospect, Gladney and Fulton could be great scheme fits as excellent press-man corners.