Friday, April 22, 2011

Scouting The NFL Draft - The Cornerbacks

It is really tough to scout cornerbacks using the television film that we use to make all of our judgments on everything related to football. It's so tough, because unless the receiver is running a very short route, the cornerbacks aren't actually on the screen. I touched on Patrick Peterson many months ago, and nothing has changed; he is awesome. But here are three other cornerbacks to know about before the draft begins.

Prince Amukamara - I have been down on Prince since before the season started as I thought it was ludicrous that people saw him as a Top-5 pick. It's still ludicrous, but many more people have jumped on that bandwagon. In his game against Oklahoma State, he got dominated by a great receiver in Justin Blackmon. I don't really hold this against him as just about anybody is going to have some struggles when trying to cover a receiver of that caliber. Prince will never be Darrelle Revis, but that doesn't mean that he can't be good. Amukamara is a guy who takes chances, and that is why he consistently lets receivers behind him. If he is left on an island, bad things are going to happen. But if you run a defense like the Bears ran this year where they actually mixed a lot of man coverage into their basic Cover-2 scheme, I think he could be pretty successful. He's got good ball instincts, and if he's going to have a safety over the top for the most part, it will give him an opportunity to take chances where he could become an impact player. If he is drafted into the right scheme, I think he has the ability to be a very good corner in the NFL. I think he's worthy of going into the middle of the first round.

Brandon Harris - Harris is a smaller corner who can get exploited by bigger receivers as shown in his tape against Notre Dame. Most people thought this was his worst game, and I think a lot of that had to do with a lot of slips throughout the game. He's a guy who will depend on his speed and quickness, and without footing, he isn't going to look very good. I don't think you'll see many people burn by him, but he could struggle in jump ball situations down the field. I would not draft him ahead of the next guy on my list.

Jimmy Smith - Smith is a cornerback out of Colorado who is dropping on most people's boards because of character concerns. He's a big cornerback and has good speed, so the upside is there. He looked excellent against Oklahoma in shutting down his receiver and also making some nice tackles when helping in the run game. I think him on the Ravens is the absolute most perfect fit of any player and team in this entire draft. The Ravens need a big corner, and I don't know if anybody has the balls to have character or work ethic problems with Ray Lewis around. I really hope this happens.


P.S. Here's Jose Canseco's introductory press conference with the Yuma Scorpions:

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