One of the most interesting position groups in the 2021 draft class is the cornerback group. A lot of talent in this class from top to bottom, with multiple guys with first round talent. There are a few guys vying for the top spot in this class, depending on what you look for in a top corner the number one spot could go to a few different players. Let us take a look at who tops my list! LFG
Jaycee Horn – South Carolina
Patrick Surtain II – Alabama
Greg Newsome II – Northwestern
Ifeatu Melifonwu – Syracuse
Caleb Farley – Virginia Tech
Asante Samuel Jr. – Florida State
Aaron Robinson – UCF
Eric Stokes – Georgia
Elijah Molden – Washington
Tyson Campbell – Georgia
Paulson Adebo – Stanford
Benjamin St. Juste – Minnesota
Tay Gowan – UCF
Thomas Graham Jr. - Oregon
Keith Taylor – Washington
Rodarius Williamson – Oklahoma State
Robert Rochell – Central Arkansas
Isaiah Dunn – Oregon State
Camryn Byum – Cal
Ambry Thomas – Michigan
Jaycee Horn – South Carolina 6’0 205
Jaycee Horn is one of the most athletic players in this draft class. Horn is a feisty, tough competitive corner who competes every snap of every game. Displays outstanding awareness in man coverage, does a great job of fighting receivers for the football. Attaches to the pass catchers’ hip and does not let them break free throughout the route. Horn showed out in his pro day with a 4.39 forty-yard dash and an eye popping 41.5 vertical jump. Horn is my number one corner in this class because he is a straight dog on the field not backing down from any challenge.
Whatever team drafts Horn will have a lockdown number one corner for years to come.
PREDICTION – TOP 15 PICK
Patrick Surtain – Alabama 6’2 208
The Crimson Tide corner has elite traits will lead to him being a top 20 pick in the upcoming April draft. Surtain is a long, physical corner who has no problem mixing it up at the line of scrimmage or throughout the play. Can run vertical with pass catchers, does a good job of flipping his hips and finding the ball when it is in the air. Surtain lit up his pro day with a solid 4.46 forty time that should put to rest the thought of him being able to run with NFL guys. High football IQ from Surtain is another elite trait in his toolbox. Boundary corner is most likely the best spot for the SEC corner, who should hear his name called in the first 20 picks.
PREDICTION – TOP 20 PICK
Greg Newsome II – Northwestern 6’1 190
Newsome made a name for himself with his performance in the Big Ten title game vs Ohio State, but when you dive into the tape, he is much more then just one game. Nice-sized corner whose competitive toughness jumps off the tape, battles every single snap. High football IQ, quick to read and diagnose the route giving him the ability to make a play on the ball. Newsome is not without his faults, he will find his way into the first round because of his high upside.
PREDICTION – TOP 25 PICK
Ifeatu Melifonwu – Syracuse 6’2 212
This is probably the highest you will see Melifonwu on any cornerback list, I am a big believer in the Syracuse defensive back. Big long cornerback with big time potential that is just scratching the surface. Has good speed to run with receivers on vertical and crossing routes. Physical at the point of attack on jump balls, explodes to break up passes. Melifonwu needs to improve in his backpedal where he can sometimes not be as smooth as one would like. Teams will fall in love with his natural traits, while he is raw Melifonwu has all the tools to be a star in the league.
PREDICTION – EARLY SECOND ROUND PICK
Caleb Farley – Virginia Tech 6’2 207
The theme in this class is the long physical corner who is physical at the line of scrimmage, Farley fits that mold. Quick and fluid in his backpedal rarely gets beat over the top because of his smooth hip transition. He brings big time physicality to the position does a great job of getting his hands into the receiver and jolting them at the line. My only knock-on Farley is that he does get lost on his assignments and is undisciplined at times. I’m lower on Farley then most NFL teams will fall in love with him on the tape tho.
PREDICTION – TOP 25 PICK
LATE ROUNDS GUYS
Aaron Robinson UCF 5’11 190
Robinson is one of my favorite corners in this class. One of the best corners in the class defending the run not scared to come up and get into the mix on the perimeter. Love what he does at the line of scrimmage is not scared to get engaged with receivers and jam them at the start of their route. His football IQ jumps off the screen, great job of reading and diagnosing the action and reacting quick.
PREDICTION – ROUND 3 – 4
14. Thomas Graham Jr. Oregon 5’10 193
- Graham is going to be a project pick for teams in the league but the upside is there. Feisty corner who attaches to the hip of the receiver in and out of his breaks. Shows good ball skills and the ability to track the ball in the air and competing at the top of the route. Graham has some flaws in his game that will hurt him in the league like his average closing and long speed. Three-year starter for the Ducks, Graham will have a very good shot to make a NFL roster come August.
PREDICTION – 4-5 ROUND