Morris Claiborne*, CB, LSU
Height: 5-11. Weight: 188. 40 Time: 4.47. 10-Yd Split: 1.60. Vertical: 34.5. Broad: 9-10. Arm: 33 1/4. Projected Round (2012): Top-10. 4/25/12: Claiborne's strong showings at his pro day and the Combine helped to validate his stock. He has proven himself to be the top cornerback prospect for the 2012 draft, and right now, he is the top-rated defensive prospect in the entire draft. In Indianapolis, Claiborne showed off his excellent coverage skills in the field drills. His length and athleticism are very rare, plus he had a nice 40-yard dash time.
Claiborne revealed at his pro day that he needs surgery on his wrist from an injury sustained during his final season at LSU. The injury is not projected to impact his draft stock or rookie season in the NFL.
Claiborne had a phenomenal junior season. He recorded three tackles and a leaping interception against Arkansas. Claiborne also had a signature performance for the Tigers regular-season game against Alabama. He was rock solid in pass coverage, making three tackles, a pass broken up and an excellent interception return for 33 yards. That clutch interception set up the game-tying field goal that would eventually force overtime.
Claiborne started out slowly but finished the SEC Championship Game strong with an interception against Georgia. He was solid but quiet in the rematch against Alabama.
Claiborne had 51 tackles, six passes broken up and six interceptions in 2011. He is a game-changer who is going to bring speed and playmaking ability to the team that drafts him. Claiborne has the agility and athleticism to be an elite cover corner along with the ball skills to punish teams for throwing in his direction.
Claiborne provides excellent pass coverage in man and zone due to a special combination of speed and instincts. He also made a number of big plays returning kicks this season.
8/25/11: Morris Claiborne had an impressive debut for the Tigers in 2010. He recorded five interceptions with 37 tackles and six passes defensed. With Patrick Peterson on the other side, Claiborne held up well with a lot of passes thrown his direction. He has a plus skill set and could be in store for a big 2011 season. Claiborne was an All-SEC second-teamer and has the ability to get better and move up in the draft.
Stephon Gilmore*, CB, South Carolina
Height: 6-0. Weight: 190. 40 Time: 4.44. 10-Yd Split: 1.50. Bench: 15. Vertical: 36. Broad: 10-3. Arm: 31. Projected Round (2012): Top 20. 4/25/12: Gilmore's stock has soared in the final weeks leading up to the draft. Teams looking for cornerbacks that have the size and speed to excel as man corners are looking hard at Gilmore. Even though he was inconsistent in coverage as a junior, his potential has him skyrocketing. There is talk that he could crack the top 10.
Gilmore performed well at the Combine with a strong 40 time. He was quick and flexible in the field drills. With Gilmore's size and speed, it is not surprising that he has been a rising prospect after the Combine.
Gilmore gave up some plays in 2011, but also produced some big plays. He had 46 tackles with four interceptions, seven passes broken up and one forced fumble this season. Gilmore had a near interception and a 57-yard fumble return against Georgia. The junior flashed a lot of potential, but he needs to limit his mistakes and become more consistent with his coverage and splash plays. Gilmore may be a better fit for a zone scheme to hide his inconsistencies, but he has the elite skill set to be a man corner.
8/25/11: Stephon Gilmore proved to be a special player with a dynamic 2010 season and was a consistent source of big plays for South Carolina. He totaled three interceptions, three sacks, and six tackles for a loss while recording 79 tackles for the season. His run defense is already at a high level for the NFL. He was a AP All-American third-teamer. As a freshman starter in 2009, Gilmore had 56 tackles with eight passes defended, six tackles for a loss and three sacks. He has some punt-return ability as well. If Gilmore can match his production, he would be very good value outside of the top 10.
Dre Kirkpatrick*, CB, Alabama
Height: 6-2. Weight: 186. 40 Time: 4.46. 10-Yd Split: 1.53. Vertical: 35. Broad: 10-0. Arm: 30 5/8. Projected Round (2012): Top-20 Pick. 4/25/12: Kirkpatrick has fallen behind Gilmore as the second-rated cornerback, but he still should go in the top 20. Kirkpatrick may be a better fit as a zone corner in the NFL.
Kirkpatrick did not have that great of a Combine, and some are knocking him for it. He didn't look as smooth in the field drills compared to Claiborne or Jenkins. Kirkpatrick performed much better at his pro day.
Kirkpatrick recorded 30 tackles (24 solo) with nine passes broken up and two forced fumbles in 2011, but did not record an interception. He played well against LSU in both games. Kirkpatrick did an excellent job of virtually shutting down wide receiver Rueben Randle in each contest. On physical, textbook tackles, Kirkpatrick forced two fumbles against Penn State. He was a violent force against Arkansas.
Kirkpatrick did not play well against Florida as he was beat in man coverage for a 65-yard touchdown by speedy wide out Andre Debose. Debose did the same thing to Claiborne. Overall, Kirkpatrick was a good cover corner this season, but he was rarely tested by offenses.
Shortly after declaring for the draft in January, Kirkpatrick was arrested. However, the charges, for pot possession, were dropped. The marijuana, allegedly, was owned by a friend who was in the car with him. Having the charges dropped definitely helps Kirkpatrick, but NFL teams will still question his decision making and his off-the-field associations. He is taking a lot of pre-draft visits as teams try and vet his off-the-field issues.
8/25/11: Dre Kirkpatrick is a physical defender who also has very good speed. He has the height and leaping ability to play with any big receiver in the NFL. In his first season of significant playing time, Kirkpatrick recorded 53 tackles with three interceptions and seven passes broken up. Nick Saban has a reputation for having a defense that prepares players well for the NFL, although Wade Philips and the Texans would disagree after Kareem Jackson's rookie season. Nevertheless, Kirkpatrick looks poised to be a high first-round pick next April.
Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Height: 5-10. Weight: 193. 40 Time: 4.44. 10-Yd Split: 1.47. Vertical: 33.5. Broad: 10-1. Arm: 32. Hand: 8 1/4. Projected Round (2011): 1-2. 4/25/12: Jenkins is one of the most controversial prospects in the draft. He is considered to be like Adam 'Pacman' Jones with an elite skill set but off the field tribulations interfere with him playing football. Jenkins has denied reports that he used drugs at North Alabama. In the NFL, he has the makings to be a shutdown man corner, but the off the field concerns could push him into the second round.
After a strong Senior Bowl, Jenkins was excellent at the Combine with a strong 40 time and eye-popping mark in the 10-yard split. He was fluid and smooth in the field drills. His Combine has confirmed his first-round skill set. Jenkins biggest negative is the off-the-field concerns. His interviews with pro teams on pre-draft visits will be critical.
For those that may have forgotten about him, at the Senior Bowl, Jenkins showed why he was viewed as a top-15 pick in the 2012 draft before his arrests. All week, Jenkins had blanket coverage on receivers. He was very fast and athletic, demonstrating the ability to run with receivers in and out of their routes. Not one of the receivers at the Senior Bowl was a mismatch against him.
Jenkins returned 18 punts for 390 yards (21.7 average) with three touchdown returns and a long return of 92 yards in 2011. He also put together 53 tackles with four tackles for a loss, six passes broken up, two interceptions and a fumble returned 49 yards for a score. Obviously, Jenkins dominated the weak competition as he was supposed to. His draft stock is dependent on him staying out of legal trouble and interviewing well with teams in the months prior to the draft. There are repeated stories of his continuing to use drugs since he was kicked out of Florida.
8/25/11: Janoris Jenkins does not have great size, but he has a top-15 skill set as a cover corner. The only reason why he's ranked here is because of a few arrests for smoking pot that got him kicked out of Florida. If Jenkins had stayed out of trouble, he easily would have been a high first-round pick. He was a starter as a true freshman in 2008 when the Gators won the National Championship. Jenkins recorded three interceptions in 2010 to go along with 44 tackles and eight passes defensed. He is fast with great feet and athleticism. Jenkins can flip his hips and run with speed receivers. Even though under six-foot, he had success going against the best big receivers he saw in the SEC.
Jenkins held South Carolina's Alshon Jeffrey to six receptions for 53 yards and no scores in 2010, after Jeffrey notched six catches for 57 yards in their first battle. Georgia's A.J. Green had four catches for 42 yards and a score in their 2010 game. In three years of playing Jenkins, Green never had a 100-yard game. In his last two games against former Alabama star wide out Julio Jones, Jenkins limited him to four catches for 19 yards and two catches for 28 yards. Jones and Green are two of the best young receivers in the NFL. In Jenkins last seven games against Jones, Green and Jeffery the receivers never recorded a 100-yard game.
Jayron Hosley*, CB/PR, Virginia Tech
Height: 5-10. Weight: 178. 40 Time: 4.38. Bench: 11. Arm: 30 7/8. Projected Round (2012): 2. 4/21612: Hosley was another player who helped his stock with a strong performance at the Combine. He had a fast 40 and looked excellent in the field drills. Hosley moved well, demonstrating the flexibility to flip his hips and change direction quickly. It wouldn't be surprising if he is selected quickly on Friday night.
Hosley had 59 tackles, three interceptions, 12 passes broken up and two forced fumbles for the 2011 season. He also averaged 12 yards per punt return. In their first meeting this year, he had an excellent game against Clemson and star freshman wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Hosley also intercepted quarterback Tajh Boyd for the corner's third pick of the season.
In the rematch, for the conference championship, Hosley left the game early after getting a stinger. He ended his season well with four passes broken up and a few near-interceptions against Michigan.
Hosley did not perform well against Miami as he was beat for a touchdown and did not show up well in run defense. The early entry had his best game of the season with two interceptions, seven tackles and two passes defensed against Arkansas State. Facing Appalachian State, he returned three punts for 97 yards.
Hosley is a good athlete with great speed. He needs to add some muscle and become a more physical player.
8/25/11: Jayron Hosley is a ballhawk who is going to need to add some weight and muscle for the NFL. He led college football in interceptions in 2010 with nine picks. Hosley had three interceptions against North Carolina State and two interceptions against North Carolina. He also is a dangerous punt returner, with a touchdown return as a freshman and sophomore. Virginia Tech has been a factory for defensive backs in the NFL. Hosley is fast with excellent instincts and hands. If he can develop his body more, he could be a top notch NFL corner.
Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida
Height: 5-11. Weight: 199. 40 Time: 4.29. Bench: 17. Vertical: 38.5. Broad: 11-1. Arm: 31 1/4. Hand: 9 1/4. Projected Round (2012): 2-3. 4/25/12: The Combine star for the defensive backs was Central Florida's Josh Robinson. He ran the fastest 40-yard dashes with two unofficial times of 4.31 and 4.29. His official time was 4.33. Robinson also had the longest broad jump at 11-1, and his vertical jump of 38.5 was tied for second. Since the Combine, Robinson's stock has continued to rise and now sits in the second day of the draft.
Robinson recorded 48 tackles with 15 passes broken up and two interceptions in 2011. He played mostly man coverage in college, so that works to his favor as scouts like to see corners with experience in man. Robinson's 2010 production was similar as he logged 59 tackles with two interceptions and 13 passes broken up. The past two seasons Robinson was an All-Conference USA selection. He had six interceptions as a freshman.
Trumaine Johnson, FS/CB, Montana
Height: 6-2. Weight: 204. 40 Time: 4.50. Bench: 19. Vertical: 35.5. Broad: 10-2. Arm: 33 1/4. Projected Round (2012): 2-3. 4/25/12: Johnson held his own against Tennessee in the first game of the season with seven tackles, a pass broken up and a forced fumble. He had 54 tackles with six tackles for a loss, two interceptions and 12 passes broken up in 2011.
Johnson was a ballhawk in past seasons, but his interceptions declined this year. At the Combine, he looked a little stiff to play corner in the NFL. Johnson would be better off at safety as it didn't look like he had the quick hips to turn and run with speed receivers. Some teams will still consider Johnson at corner. He looks like a bit of a tweener. Johnson has taken a lot of pre-draft visits as teams try to vet some off the field concerns.
8/26/11: FCS standout Trumaine Johnson has an excellent combination of size and speed. He became a starter as a true freshman and recorded four interceptions. In 2009, despite missing four games, Johnson had five interceptions with 12 passes broken up and 54 tackles on the season. Last year, he had four interceptions with seven passes defensed and 44 tackles. Johnson needs to have another standout season playing against weaker competition, but his physical tools and consistent production should make him a mid-round pick.
Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt
Height: 5-11. Weight: 192. 40 Time: 4.53. 10-Yd Split: 1.52. Bench: 19. Vertical: 34. Broad: 9-11. Arm: 30 1/4. Hand: 8 7/8. Projected Round (2012): 2-3. 4/25/12: Hayward had an average week at the Senior Bowl and did better than expected at the Scouting Combine. He recorded a faster 40-yard dash than many thought he would run. Hayward has size, speed and production. He is a sleeper who has starting potential.
Hayward was a pure ballhawk to start the 2011 season, snatching four interceptions in four games. After that, he cooled off, but his coverage all season remained solid. Against Arkansas, Hayward dropped three interceptions and totaled six passes broken up. He went out on a good note with two interceptions against Cincinnati in the bowl game.
Hayward had seven interceptions, 60 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss and 10 passes broken up in 2011. He has enough size and ball skills to fit any NFL defense. Hayward also is aggressive defending the run. He could be an underrated prospect who will reward the team that drafts him.
8/25/11: Casey Hayward had a massive 2010 season where he recorded six interceptions and 17 passes defended. He was second in the nation in pass break-ups and was an All-SEC second-team selection. Hayward also is a good run defender and finished with 70 tackles on the season. As a sophomore, he had 58 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss and seven passes defensed. Hayward has quality size and the very good ball skills needed to be a starting corner in the NFL.
Brandon Boykin, CB/KR/PR, Georgia
Height: 5-9. Weight: 182. Projected 40 Time: 4.42. Arm: 31 1/2. Hand: 9 1/8. Projected Round (2012): 2-3. 4/25/12: Boykin would probably be best as a nickel/slot cornerback in the NFL. He may be a little undersized to be a starting cornerback. Boykin didn't participate in the Combine since he is still recovering from an injury he suffered at the Senior Bowl.
The senior had a productive 2011 season with 55 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, nine passes broken up, three interceptions, two forced fumbles, and three touchdowns on offense (two receiving, one rushing). Boykin averaged 22 yards per kick return and 13 yards per punt return. Georgia got him involved in the offense with five receptions for 71 yards and seven carries for 107 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown run against Boise State.
Boykin had some coverage lapses at times this season and was burned for some big receptions. He had a mixed outing against LSU in the SEC Championship. Boykin had a monster Outback Bowl against Michigan State with a punt returned 92 yards for a touchdown and a touchdown catch. He also scored a safety for the Bulldogs. Boykin had a strong week at the Senior Bowl. He is well put together and scrappily fought with receivers while providing tight coverage.
8/25/11: Brandon Boykin is one of the top kick returners in college football and is an underrated cornerback. In three seasons, he has averaged 25 yards per kick return with four touchdowns. On defense last season, he had 44 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss and three interceptions. He has six career picks. Boykin's kick return prowess is diminished by the NFL's terrible new kickoff rule, but he still projects as a quality cornerback to look at after the first round.
Josh Norman, CB, Coastal Carolina
Height: 6-0. Weight: 197. 40 Time: 4.56. Bench: 14. Vertical: 33. Broad: 10-4. Arm: 32 3/4. Hand: 9 1/4. Projected Round (2012): 3. 4/25/12: Norman was solid, but unspectacular at the Combine. Earlier in January, he was the star of the East-West Shrine. Norman was dominant in practices all week. At the Tuesday practice, he made an acrobatic interception, reaching behind his head while leaping into the air. The next day's practice saw him record two diving interceptions. Norman had good coverage all week and did not allow separation. That impressive performance made him a late add to the Senior Bowl.
In his collegiate career, Norman totaled 13 interceptions with 35 passes broken up, four forced fumbles, four blocked kicks and 196 tackles. He broke out with eight interceptions as a sophomore in 2009. Norman has the physical skill set to potentially be a starter in the NFL.
Dwight Bentley, CB, Louisiana-Lafayette
Height: 5-10. Weight: 182. 40 Time: 4.37. 10-Yd Split: 1.56. Bench: 13. Vertical: 31.5. Broad: 9-6. Arm: 30 1/4. Hand: 7 7/8. Projected Round (2012): 3-4. 4/25/12: To keep the momentum going, Bentley had an excellent Combine with a fast 40 time and impressive movement skills in the field work. He opened numerous eyes with his quality performance at the Senior Bowl. Even though Bentley is undersized, he scraps and plays bigger than his measurements. He also has good quickness and agility.
To start the season, Bentley struggled against Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon, as one might expect. Bentley totaled 71 tackles with three interceptions and six passes broken up as a senior. He had seven career interceptions. Bentley projects to be a nickel corner who can line up and cover slot receivers.
Leonard Johnson, CB, Iowa State
Height: 5-10. Weight: 196. 40 Time: 4.65. Bench: 15. Vertical: 32. Broad: 10-0. Arm: 28 3/4. Hand: 8. Projected Round (2012): 3-4. 4/25/12: Johnson had a disappointing Combine with a slow time in the 40-yard dash and a less than impressive performance in the field drills. That definitely hurt his stock, but he rebounded at his pro day. Johnson's 40 was reportedly in the 4.5 range, and he looked better in the field drills. Johnson should be a solid second-day prospect.
Johnson had a nice senior season and followed that up with a decent performance at the Senior Bowl. He totaled 72 tackles, eight passes broken up and one interception in 2011. Johnson came up with a big game in Iowa State's upset win over Oklahoma State. He has the ability to play man coverage, but is an option for zone scheme as well.
8/25/11: Leonard Johnson enters his fourth season as a starter. Last year, he was named as an All-Big XII second-team member as well as recording seven passes broken up with one interception, 64 tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss. Johnson had teams throwing away from him last season, and he will need to have a strong senior season to help keep him towards the middle of the draft.
Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma
Height: 5-11. Weight: 206. 40 Time: 4.43. 10-Yd Split: 1.57. Bench: 23. Vertical: 34. Broad: 10-5. Arm: 31 1/4. Hand: 9 1/2. Projected Round (2012): 3-4. 4/25/12: Fleming's stock has risen after an impressive performance at the Combine. He showed a nice combination of size, speed, strength and overall athletic ability.
Overall, Fleming had a decent season and improved his draft stock. He had 60 tackles with 10 passes defensed, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and fumble returned 56 yards for a score. Fleming was respectable in pass coverage throughout the season. He had a big game against Texas A&M with six tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and two passes broken up. Fleming did not perform as well against Baylor and Oklahoma State. Those games hurt his cause to be a second-day pick.
8/25/11: Jamell Fleming looked to be on his way to being a potential second or third-round pick after the 2010 season. He logged five interceptions last year with 71 tackles and 14 passes broken up and was an All-Big XII performer. This spring, Fleming left school because of personal issues and was reportedly suspended for the spring and summer semesters due to academic cheating. He was reinstated to the team in July. Fleming could help his stock with a strong senior season, but teams are going to knock him for his off-the-field issues.
Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Height: 5-10. Weight: 204. 40 Time: 4.51. 10-Yd Split: 1.52. Vertical: 37. Broad: 10-1. Arm: 30. Hand: 9 1/4. Projected Round (2012): 3-5. 4/25/12: Dennard did about the worst thing a prospect could do in the final days before the draft. Dennard was arrested for assaulting a police officer roughly a week before draft day. Unless he is quickly exonerated, that should send his stock plummeting. It shows bad decision-making to get himself in that kind of situation to begin with. With the arrest it is hard to predict how far Dennard will fall before a team takes a chance on him.
At the Combine, Dennard ran faster than expected, and he did decently in the field drills. It wasn't enough to send his stock back up toward the first round.
Dennard had a rough Senior Bowl. He started out slowly and improved some before ending the week early with a hip injury. In Mobile, Dennard did not look good at turning his hips and running with receivers downfield, so perhaps the injury was bothering him before he stopped playing. Dennard had new coverage responsibilities in Mobile. In college, he always in press coverage, but in Mobile, he was lining up nine yards off the line of scrimmage.
To make matters worse, Dennard finished his collegiate career poorly by allowing some big plays at the Capital One Bowl to South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. In the third quarter, Dennard got in a fist fight with Jeffery and both got ejected from their final collegiate contest.
Overall, 2011 was an excellent season for Dennard as he had tight coverage throughout the year, although teams generally avoided throwing at him. Dennard missed the first three games of the season with a leg injury. After returning, he played very well and had an excellent senior year. Dennard completely shut out Michigan State receiver B.J. Cunningham in a dominant performance. Dennard had a great game against Iowa's Marvin McNutt, holding him to four catches for 29 yards.
Even though Dennard is undersized, he is solidly built and is dependable in press coverage. He jams receivers well at the line of scrimmage and his rerouting skills are very advanced. Dennard also excels in zone coverage, and that type of scheme may be his best fit in the NFL. He is smart and doesn't have mental mistakes that get him caught out of position. Dennard had 31 tackles in 2011 with six passes broken up.
8/25/11: Alfonzo Dennard recorded 30 tackles with four interceptions, seven passes broken up and one forced fumble. He was named as an All-Big XII second-team selection. Last year, Dennard was targeted and tested as teams stayed away from teammate Prince Amukamara. He has good cover skills to be a man or zone corner at the next level. Dennard is also a quality run defender. He looks like a safe first-round pick.
Ron Brooks, CB, LSU
Height: 5-10. Weight: 190. 40 Time: 4.35. Bench: 12. Vertical: 33. Broad: 10-4. Arm: 31 3/4. Projected Round (2012): 3-5. 4/25/12: Brooks had a solid senior season although he was overshadowed by the rest of a talented secondary. He had 30 tackles with 3.5 sacks, two interceptions, six passes broken up and two forced fumbles. Brooks had one interception during his previous three seasons at LSU and was a rotational player. He had a super fast 40-time (4.35) at the Combine. Brooks has received a ton of interest in the form of pre-draft visits across the NFL.
Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia
Height: 5-10. Weight: 183. Projected 40 Time: 4.46. Bench: 7. Arm: 31 1/2. Projected Round (2012): 3-5. 4/25/12: The impression from his pro day was not good since Minnifield was said to be still recovering from his knee injury. He didn't participate in the drills at the Combine for the same reason. Minnifield did weigh in however, and he was much shorter than his college listed height of 6-foot. That is a significance difference. With the knee injury slowly progressing, his stock is falling.
Teams threw away from Minnifield throughout 2011. He had three interceptions with 50 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks and eight passes broken up. Minnifield missed Virginia's bowl game because of his minor knee surgery. That also kept him from playing in any All-Star games. He had good coverage overall this season. Minnifield plays well in man coverage and zone coverage. He possesses a nice skill set for the next level.
8/25/11: Chase Minnifield could easily go in the first round, and higher than former teammate cornerback Ras-I Dowling who went with the 33rd overall pick last April. After notching two interceptions a season as a freshman and sophomore, Minnifield broke out with six picks last season. He also had 48 tackles with one sack and four passes broken up. Minnifield can contribute as a punt returner as well. Don't be surprised if his numbers decline as a senior as most teams will probably throw away from him. Minnifield's father Frank was a Pro Bowler with the Browns in the 80s and 90s.
DeQuan Menzie, CB, Alabama
Height: 5-11. Weight: 202. 40 Time: 4.63. Vertical: 33. Broad: 9-8. Arm: 30. Hand: 8 1/2. Projected Round (2012): 3-5. 4/25/12: Menzie did not perform very well at the Combine, putting up a slow 40 time and not looking fluid in the field work. He came back to perform well at his pro day. Menzie improved his 40 time into the 4.5s and was said to be impressive in the field drills. Previously, he was solid at the Senior Bowl.
Menzie had a strong season which has raised his draft stock. In 2011, he recorded 41 tackles with four tackles for a loss, 11 passes broken up and one interception returned 25 yards for a score. Menzie had tight coverage all year, even with teams challenging him to avoid throwing at Dre Kirkpatrick. Menzie is an underrated prospect, and he could play in a man or zone scheme in the NFL.
8/25/11: DeQuan Menzie is an interesting sleeper prospect for the 2011 season. The junior college transfer made a quick comeback from a torn achilles tendon to play last season. He started seven games and recorded 33 tackles with five tackles for a loss, two sacks and four passes broken up. Menzie could be much improved in 2011, as he is more than a year removed from his surgery. With standout teamamtes Dre Kirkpatrick, Mark Barron and Robert Lester also in the secondary, Menzie figures to get tested and targeted often this season.
Coryell Judie, CB, Texas A&M
Height: 6-0. Weight: 194. 40 Time: 4.44. 10-Yd Split: 1.51. Vertical: 37. Broad: 10-6. Arm: 30 1/4. Projected Round (2012): 4-5. 4/25/12: A player who needed a solid showing at the Combine and got it was Judie. He ran well in the 40-yard dash and checked in bigger than expected. If Judie's physicals and interviews went well, then the Combine really helped his stock. He sat on his Combine numbers at his pro day.
Judie missed six games this season, including those against Oklahoma State, and the chance to show his coverage ability against star receiver Justin Blackmon; and Oklahoma with its receivers Ryan Broyles, Kenny Stills and Jaz Reynolds. In the other games, Judie had mixed performances. He did not fare well against Baylor and its dynamic passing attack.
Judie had 22 tackles with a sack and five passes broken up in 2011. This season hurt his stock.
8/25/11: Coryell Judie has good speed with some size. He recorded four interceptions with 57 tackles and four passes broken up last season. Judie is a solid player who played well against Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles. He was an All-Big XII second-team selection for the season. If Judie can maintain his production in 2011, he should be a solid second or third-round pick.
Omar Bolden, CB, Arizona State
Height: 5-10. Weight: 202. 40 Time: 4.59. Bench: 25. Arm: 31 1/2. Projected Round (2012): 4-5. 4/25/12: Bolden was said to do well at his pro day. He either wasn't able to, or simply decided not to, run at the Combine. He did lead all cornerbacks with an impressive total on the bench press of 25 reps. Bolden showed that at least he has been working hard in the weight room while missing the 2011 season.
Bolden could be worth a gamble and may be a big reward as he had second-day ability before his knee injury. At his pro day, Bolden ran a solid 40 just under 4.6. Considering he still is building back up to playing again, it was a fairly impressive time. Bolden is taking a number of pre-draft visits.
8/25/11: After the 2010 season, Omar Bolden looked like he was candidate to be a first-round pick in the 2012 draft. He tore his ACL in spring practice and is probably going to miss the entire 2011 season. It is the second, significant knee injury for him, after missing most of 2009 because of an injured knee. Last year, Bolden had three interceptions with seven passes broken up, 52 tackles, and averaged 29.2 yards per kick return with a touchdown. He is known as a leader and high-character individual. Bolden could enter the 2012 draft and probably go in the mid-rounds, or he could possibly play the 2012 season at Arizona State and enter the 2013 NFL Draft.
Ryan Steed, CB, Furman
Height: 5-10. Weight: 195. 40 Time: 4.69. Bench: 12. Vertical: 34. Broad: 10-1. Arm: 32 5/8. Hand: 9. Projected Round (2012): 4-5. 4/25/12: Steed did not have a very good Combine performance, seeming slow in the 40. Plus, it looked like he is going to need some work with NFL coaches to get better technique in the open field. Steed looked a little stiff and it seems that he takes some extra steps when changing direction.
Steed held his own in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl. He showed some coverage skills and was ready for the better competition. Steed totaled 46 tackles with four interceptions and four passes broken up as a senior. He had 14 career interceptions, with four picks in each of the last three seasons.
Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa
Height: 5-10. Weight: 190. Projected 40 Time: 4.47. Bench: 14. Arm: 30 3/4. Hand: 8 1/2. Projected Round (2012): 4-5. 4/25/12: Prater performed better than expected a the Combine, running a quick 40 time. He did moderately well in the field drills as well. Prater continued the trend with a quality showing at his pro day.
Prater started the season strong with an interception returned 89 yards for a touchdown, but that was his only interception all year. He had 51 tackles with four forced fumbles in addition to his interception. Prater had a somewhat mixed outing against Pittsburgh. He was beaten for a score, but forced two fumbles.
In the NFL, Prater would be best in a zone-based scheme. He had a solid week of practice at the East-West Shrine.
8/25/11: Shaun Prater had a very good junior season. He was an All-Big Ten first-teamer in 2010. Prater had four interceptions with 68 tackles and six passes broken up. He considered coming out early, but decided to return for his senior season. If Prater has another good season, he could push his stock into the second or third round.
Asa Jackson, CB, Cal Poly
Height: 5-10. Weight: 191. 40 Time: 4.50. Bench: 19. Vertical: 34.5. Broad: 9-10. Arm: 29 1/8. Hand: 8 3/4. Projected Round (2012): 4-6. 4/25/12: Jackson ran well at the Combine and that should help his stock. He is a quick corner who looks like a nickel candidate for the NFL. His size could hurt him when lining up against bigger receivers. Jackson improved his 40 slightly at this pro day into the high 4.4s.
At the Senior Bowl, Jackson did well enough to help his stock. He totaled 54 tackles with two interceptions and seven passes broken up as a senior. Jackson had eight career picks. At very least, he could be a special teams contributor.
Donnie Fletcher, CB, Boston College
Height: 6-0. Weight: 201. Projected 40 Time: 4.55. Arm: 30. Hand: 8 7/8. Projected Round (2012): 4-6. 4/25/12: Fletcher missed the first game of the season, against Northwestern. He had 35 tackles with two interceptions and five passes broken up in 2011. Fletcher quietly had a solid year, but he had some struggles at the Senior Bowl.
Fletcher has a nice skill set with a combination of ideal size and quality speed, but he seemed stiff in the hips and that allowed receivers to get separation. Fletcher would be better off in a zone scheme. It hurts his stock that he did not receive an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine.
8/25/11: Donnie Fletcher earned a starting spot as a junior and turned in a quality season. He recorded five interceptions with 58 tackles and three passes defensed. Fletcher looks like he would be best for a Cover-2 system. As a backup, Fletcher had four interceptions in his first two collegiate seasons.
Keith Tandy, CB, West Virginia
Height: 5-10. Weight: 202. 40 Time: 4.51. Arm: 31 3/4. Hand: 8 3/4. Projected Round (2012): 4-6. 4/25/12: Tandy had 64 tackles (50 solo) with two tackles for a loss, four interceptions and nine passes broken up this season. He is a gritty player who scraps and fights. Tandy produced a good game against LSU with an impressive pass break up and a near interception. He also played well against Cincinnati.
Tandy had a solid week at the East-West Shrine, but he did not receive an invitation to the Combine. It looked like a bad snub as Tandy had a good pro day performance. He has generated a lot of interest and is taking a lot of pre-draft visits. Don't be surprised if Tandy goes higher than expected on draft day.
8/25/11: Keith Tandy tied to be in the top 10 in the nation in interceptions last season with six. He also had 11 passes broken up with 57 tackles. Tandy was a first-team All-Big East selection. He broke into the starting lineup as a sophomore and recorded three interceptions with seven passes broken up. If Tandy can match or improve his numbers, he could push his stock into the second round.
Trevin Wade, CB, Arizona
Height: 5-10. Weight: 192. 40 Time: 4.53. Bench: 18. Vertical: 34.5. Broad: 9-8. Arm: 30 3/4. Hand: 8 1/2. Projected Round (2012): 4-6. 4/25/12: Wade had a rough game this season against Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon, but rebounded to play very well against Stanford, quarterback Andrew Luck and wide receiver Chris Owusu. The Arizona defense was awful, and Wade did not get a lot of help, but he stood out above his teammates.
Wade had 52 tackles with 13 passes broken up and two interceptions in 2011. He did not stand out at the East-West Shrine. Although Wade was solid at the Combine, he didn't perform well enough to give his stock a boost. Wade sat on his Combine numbers at his pro day.
8/25/11: Trevin Wade had a drop in production as a junior after a strong sophomore season. Wade recorded 47 tackles with an interception and three passes broken up last season. As a sophomore, he had nine passes broken up and five interceptions. Wade needs to improve his production as a senior to keep his grade in the late-round range.
Coty Sensabaugh, CB, Clemson
Height: 5-11. Weight: 189. 40 Time: 4.37. Bench: 15. Vertical: 37. Broad: 10-2. Arm: 31. Projected Round (2012): 5-6. 4/25/12: Sensabaugh had a quality senior season with 48 tackles, one tackle for a loss, one interception and 13 passes defensed. He had an excellent game versus Auburn and played well against Virginia Tech and North Carolina. He is a sleeper prospect who could be worth a late-round pick.
Brandon Hardin, CB/S, Oregon State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 216. Projected 40 Time: 4.58. Projected Round (2012): 5-6. 4/25/12: Hardin missed his senior season with a broken shoulder. He had a strong junior season with 63 tackles, one sack and three forced fumbles. As a sophomore in 2009, Hardin had 29 tackles with an interception. He has big size with some athleticism. A lot of teams have shown interest and brought him in on pre-draft visits. Hardin may be better off moving to safety in the NFL.
Cliff Harris*, CB/PR, Oregon
Height: 5-11. Weight: 175. 40 Time: 4.59. Bench: 14. Vertical: 36. Broad: 9-10. Arm: 30 1/8. Projected Round (2012): 5-7. 4/25/12: Harris was rather average at the Combine, and did not have the impressive performance that he needed. At his pro day, Harris ran slower than at the Combine with a 40 time at 4.65. Though he grades out as worthy of a draft pick, his off-the-field issues could cause him to go undrafted.
Before the start of this season, Harris was suspended from the Ducks after getting stopped by a cop for driving 118 mph with a suspended license. He was suspended again midway through the season after being cited for driving with a suspended license, driving while uninsured, and failure to use a seatbelt. His family insisted that Harris had a license and was insured, so they decided to fight the charges.
Weeks later, the junior was cited for pot possession and was kicked off of Oregon's football team.
Harris had nine tackles and five pass breakups in 2011. Against Arizona State, he recorded his only interception of the season, returning it 50 yards. Harris also had a 23-yard punt return versus the Sun Devils. He is a very good, man-cover corner who plays the ball well. Harris could be a boom pick if he has learned from his troubles and lands with a team that can get the most out of him.
8/25/11: Cliff Harris was an electric playmaker for Oregon last season. He totaled six interceptions, 33 tackles and 17 passes defensed in 2010. He also is a dynamic punt returner with four punts brought back for touchdowns. Harris needs to add some bulk to his frame for the NFL, but entering his junior season, has plenty of time to do that. He is very fast and agile.
Isaiah Frey, CB, Nevada
Height: 6-0. Weight: 190. Projected 40 Time: 4.51. Projected Round (2012): 5-7. 4/25/12: Frey had a good senior season. He totaled five interceptions, 37 tackles and 16 passes broken up. Frey is a quality sleeper prospect who could be developed at the NFL level for a year or two. He did not receive an invite to the Combine.
8/25/11: Isaiah Frey is entering his third season as a starter. He had 52 tackles with 14 passes broken up and an interception last season. Frey has to improve his ball skills to get drafted.
Emanuel Davis, CB, East Carolina
Height: 5-11. Weight: 190. Projected 40 Time: 4.53. Projected Round (2012): 6-7. 4/25/12: Davis did not play in the season opener against South Carolina and missed the chance to defend against Alshon Jeffery. Davis totaled 62 tackles with one interception, four tackles for a loss, seven passes broken up and one forced fumble this year.
8/25/11: Emanuel Davis is a good cover corner who has recorded two interceptions in each of the past two seasons. He also broke up nine passes last year to earn a second-team All-Conference USA selection. Davis has a nice skill set, but needs to improve his ball skills to solidify his draft status.
Cameron Chism, CB, Maryland
Height: 5-10. Weight: 190. Projected 40 Time: 4.52. Projected Round (2012): 6-7. 4/25/12: Chism started out the season with a huge game against Miami. He was all over the field, racking up six tackles, one interception, one forced fumble and one tackle for a loss. Chism had 47 tackles with two tackles for a loss, three interceptions, one forced fumble, and four passes broken up this year. He missed the final two games.
8/25/11: Cameron Chism had a strong sophomore season with 65 tackles, four interceptions and four passes broken up. Chism did not play as well as a junior when he recorded 70 tackles with eight passes broken up and zero interceptions. Chism will have to improve his production as a senior to make sure he gets drafted.
Justin Bethel, CB, Presbyterian College
Height: 6-0. Weight: 200. 40 Time: 4.53. 10-Yd Split: 1.56. Bench: 19. Vertical: 39.5. Broad: 10-11. Arm: 32 3/8. Hand: 9 1/2. Projected Round (2012): 6-7. 4/25/12: Bethel ran pretty well at the Combine, but looked a little stiff in the field drills. He has some tools to work with, but will require some developmental time. Bethel held his own at the East-West Shrine against better competition. He led his team in tackles with 88 and also recorded four interceptions with six passes broken up this season. Bethel could be worth a late-round pick.
D'Anton Lynn, CB, Penn State
Height: 6-0. Weight: 206. 40 Time: 4.72. 10-Yd Split: 1.63. Bench: 17. Vertical: 31.5. Broad: 9-3. Arm: 29 3/4. Hand: 8 3/8. Projected Round (2012): 6-FA. 4/25/12: One of the worst 40 times from a cornerback came from Lynn. That will definitely give scouts concern about his ability to run with pro receivers. Lynn had 49 tackles on the season with eight passes defended and one interception in 2011. He had neither a bad season nor a standout year, just a rather average one. Lynn has nice height and length.
8/25/11: D'Anton Lynn is entering his third season as a starter. He recorded three interceptions with four passes broken up. Lynn has good size and is a strong run defender. He recorded 75 tackles last season. In his sophomore season, Lynn had 35 tackles with five passes broken up and zero interceptions. He needs to improve his ball skills to improve his draft stock. Lynn's father is the Jets running backs coach.
Robert Blanton, CB, Notre Dame
Height: 6-1. Weight: 208. 40 Time: 4.66. Bench: 12 Vertical: 34. Broad: 9-8. Arm: 31 1/4. Hand: 9 1/8. Projected Round (2012): 7-FA. 4/25/12: Blanton didn't impress at the Combine and probably should move to safety for the NFL. He recorded 70 tackles with two interceptions and six passes broken up this year. Blanton also did not standout at the East-West Shrine. He also had two interceptions in his junior, sophomore and freshman seasons.
Charles Brown, CB, North Carolina
Height: 5-9. Weight: 202. 40 Time: 4.50. Bench: 18. Vertical: 35.5. Broad: 9-6. Arm: 28 7/8. Hand: 8 3/4. Projected Round (2012): 7-FA. 4/25/12: Brown ran well at the Combine, but he did not look good in the field drills. Brown is short and well-built, but his flexibility is not where it needs to be. He had a decent week at the East-West Shrine. Brown ran slightly better at his pro day.
The senior did not have a very impressive season with two interceptions and seven passes broken up. He gave up some big plays downfield.
Tashaun Gipson, CB, Wyoming
Height: 6-0. Weight: 195. Projected 40 Time: 4.59. Projected Round (2012): FA. 4/25/12: Gipson had 95 tackles with 2.5 tackles for a loss, five passes broken up, one forced fumble and three interceptions in 2011. He had a good game against Nebraska with five tackles, a tackle for a loss and a forced fumble.
8/25/11: Tashaun Gipson enters his third season starting for the Cowboys. He recorded three interceptions with nine passes broken up, 3.5 tackles for a loss, and 40 tackles. He was an All-Mountain West honorable mention. During his sophomore season, Gipson had 59 tackles with three picks and six passes broken up. He has quality size and could be a quality sleeper prospect to keep an eye on.
Greg McCoy, CB/KR, TCU
Height: 5-10. Weight: 182. Projected 40 Time: 4.44. Projected Round (2012): FA. 4/25/12: McCoy and the rest of the TCU defense were torched in the first game of the season by Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. This season, McCoy played better on special teams than he did on defense and was a quality kick returner for the Horned Frogs. The senior played well in the Bowl game against Louisiana-Lafayette. McCoy had 32 tackles, two interceptions and seven passes broken up in 2011.
8/25/11: Greg McCoy had a quality season in his first year as a starter in 2011. McCoy had 40 tackles with two interceptions and six passes broken up. He averaged 33.4 yards on kick returns after averaging 35.9 yards per return during his sophomore season. McCoy is extremely fast and he could raise his stock by improving his coverage and ball skills as a senior.
Gary Gray, CB, Notre Dame
Height: 5-11. Weight: 195. Projected 40 Time: 4.52. Projected Round (2012): FA. 4/25/12: Gray had 67 tackles with five passes broken up and two interceptions this season. He had some good games and bad games. Gray needed to be more consistent and productive.
8/25/11: The Fighting Irish, fifth-year senior had 66 tackles with five tackles for a loss, seven passes broken up, and one interception in 2010. Gray needs to improve his interception total and splash plays in 2011 to get drafted.
McDowell is a great pick by the Seahawks. He has tons of talent and upside. McDowell is very fast, naturally strong, and extremely athletic. If Pete Carroll can get the best out of him then Seattle could have a massive steal.