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NFL Draft

2024 Draft Preview - Corners

Jon Cooper
01/02/2024 7:49PM ET

1. McKinstry, Kool-Aid*

Alabama  6010  185 

Three year starter, Birmingham, AL. First team All-SEC and PFF first team All-America in 2022. Ideal size and athletic skill for a corner. Has experience in multiple coverage while excelling as a press corner. Fluid easy movement allows him to mirror route breaks and quickly plant and close with the ball in the air.  Can be physical at the line with an off-hand jam while ignoring first move away from leverage. As a zone defender has a feel for spacing and balancing routes in overlapping zones. Has the speed to stay in phase on vertical routes.  Excels as a hard corner getting under deep throws and breaking on balls in the flat. Gets to a lot of balls with a knack for undercutting a route and getting a hand to the catch point. Has been extremely productive breaking up passes. Can let a receiver get up on his toes in off coverage at times and shows occasional hesitation on turn and run creating separation. Outstanding recovery speed usually compensates. As a bonus he has been one of the best punt returners in the country.

 

2. Newton, Josh

TCU  5107  189

Two year starter, Monroe, LA. Transferred from Louisiana Monroe where he started for three seasons. First team All-Big 12 in 2022. Has the desired attributes of a number one corner. Has experience in zone and man schemes including hard corner and deep outside concepts. Solid mirror ability in both press and off-man. His fluid hips allow him adjust to receiver’s tempo and easily turn and run. Rarely gives up leverage off the line with excellent mirror ability. Used often as a press corner he can stick a release with an off-hand jam. Has the speed to stay in phase on vertical routes and can locate the ball.  He will show an occasional whiff on the ball in phase but wins most battles for the ball. Shows a quick break and drive with the ball in the air and has been extremely productive getting his hands to the catch point. Not the most physical tackler. Will stop on contact and rely on wrapping and holding on. Has had some misses in space. Overall a productive cover corner.

 

3. DeJean, Cooper*

Iowa  6010  207

Two year starter, Odebolt, IA. Second team All-Big 10 in 2022. Broke out in 2022 with five interceptions, three returned for touchdowns. Versatile player with experience at safety and nickel. Has desirable size for a corner or safety. Experienced in multiple coverage schemes. At his best in off coverage but also has been effective in press and press and bail concepts. He shows a deliberate pedal and usually maintains cushion and times transitioning to lateral and turn and run. In press he flashes an off-hand jam to disrupt release. Solid short area agility he shows excellent instincts in zone coverage. Adept at hard corner technique. Balances multiple receivers in overlapping zones and is sudden to break with the ball in the air. Remarkable ball skills he anticipates the throw with vision to read the delivery key and ability to high point the ball. Gets to the catch point and wins most 50/50 battles. Somewhat segmented pedal causes him to be late in transition at times. As a result he will give up leverage putting him in recovery mode. Will be scheme dependant and could project to safety. Return skill a plus.

 

4. Burke, Denzel*

Ohio State  6010  190

Three year starter, Phoenix, AZ. Freshman All-America in 2021. Has been a starter since his first game as a freshman in 2021. Battled through injuries in 2022 while starting eleven games. Has ideal size, speed and a physical presence on the field. Experienced in multiple coverage he is equally skilled in man and zone concepts. As a zone defender, balances multiple routes and closes voids quickly in overlapping zones. Sees the quarterback and route progressions and is sudden to break with the ball in the air. As a man defender keeps his focus on the receiver and shows fluid movements reacting to route breaks. Easy turn and run he times transitions to stay in phase up the field. Usually plays a soft press in man coverage and has solid mirror skill. Can get a little grabby at times if beaten. Solid in run support he can take on stalk blocks and rarely misses tackles. Has had some trouble locating the ball in phase and ball production has been lacking. That said, he’s shown improvement in playing the ball in the early going in 2023.

 

5. King, Kalen*

Penn State 5110 185

Two year starter, Detroit, MI. Third team All-Big 10 in 2022. Highly productive corner with excellent ball skills. Has been primarily a field corner with experience in multiple coverage. Has been a dominant player at times. In press he rarely gives up leverage and shows eye discipline keeping his focus on the receiver. Smooth movement with solid footwork in most transitions. In off coverage he often plays with a big cushion but is sudden reacting with the ball in the air. Solid zone defender showing ability to balance multiple routes and close voids in zones. Has a knack for reading the delivery key and breaking on the ball. Led the Big 10 in pass breaks with 21 in 2022. Consistent to get to the catch point. Excellent in run support he can defeat stalk blocks and gathers and drives through tackles. Takes solid pursuit angles and rarely misses a tackle. Can get a little tall in his pedal at times causing a slight stall in his reactions. Has had some trouble with elite receiver speed in press man.Prone to holding and interference calls.

 

6. Wiggins, Nate*

Clemson  6020  185

 

7. Terrion, Arnold*

Alabama  6000  196

 

8. James, DJ

Auburn 6000  185 

 

9. Carson, Caelen

Wake Forest  6000  185

 

10. Tampa, TJ

Iowa State  6010  198

 

11. Marshall Jr, Jason

Florida  6010  203

 

12.  Mitchell, Quinyon

Toledo  6000  199

 

13. Jackson, Khyree

Oregon  6030 195

 

14. Lassiter, Kamari

Georgia  6000  180

 

15. Richardson, Decamerion

Mississippi State  6022  193

 

16. Pritchett, Nehemiah

Auburn  6010  183

 

17.  Melton, Max

Rutgers  6000  190


18.  Phillips, Andru

Kentucky  5105  183

 

19. Hart, Cam

Notre Dame  6025  198


20. Vaughn Zemaiah

Utah  6021  175

 

21. Torrence, Ro

Arizona State  6031 195

 

22. Scott, Keionte

Auburn  5103  186

 

23. Abrams-Draine, Kris*

Missouri  5103  176

 

24. Alexander, Zy

LSU  6010  185

 

25. Prince, Deantre 

Mississippi   6001  187

 

26. Brownlee, Jarvis

Louisville  5110  175

 

27. Devonshire, MJ

Pittsburgh  5111  179

 

28. Cypress ll, Fentrell

Florida State  5115  181

 

29. Sainstril, Mike

Michigan  5091  181

 

30. Dial, Marcellas

South Carolina  5116  195

 

31.   McGlothern, Dwight

Arkansas  6015

 

32. Dixon, John

Penn State  5113  195


33. Hadden, Kamal

Tennessee   6011  195

 

34. Still, Tarheeb

Maryland  5117  190

 

35. DeBerry, Josh

Texas A&M  5110  181

 

36. Hill, Jaydon

Florida  5117  188

 

*Denotes Underclassman