DeMarcus Milliner*, CB, Alabama
Height: 6-0. Weight: 201. 40 Time: 4.37. Projected Round (2013): Top-16 Pick. 4/24/13: There were recently reports that Milliner's stock was inflated and he could fall out of the top 10. Regardless, Milliner is still the consensus top cornerback prospect in the 2013 NFL Draft. There are also rumors of playoff teams trading up to get him, so his selection projection is very fluid.
Milliner used the Combine to confirm his high grade with a great time in the 40-yard dash. Speed was the only concern about him for the NFL, and he put that resoundingly to bed. Milliner's stock was on the rise in January after a strong showing against the Fighting Irish to close out the season. He is clearly the top corner in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Milliner is fast and agile to be able to play on an island in man coverage. His shutdown ability is unique as he is fast enough to turn and run with receivers, but also has the size to defend big receivers. Milliner has great length and quarterbacks struggle to get passes by him.
Notre Dame went after Milliner in the National Championship Game, but he held up well. The junior had excellent coverage on numerous passes and started an interception with a pass breakup on a deep ball. Milliner also showed that he could be effective against a good receiving tight end in Tyler Eifert, the Fighting Irish's best receiver.
Milliner accounted for four tackles and two passes broken up against Georgia in the SEC Championship. He came close to a diving interception, but the pick was overturned after replays showed that he had trapped the ball.
Milliner had 10 tackles and a pass broken up against Texas A&M, but he had some ugly plays, too. One was when Milliner was burned for a 24-yard touchdown on a corner post route. He didn't play well against Mississippi State and LSU either. Milliner allowed a number of receptions, was called for penalties and missed some tackles. However, those games weren't a complete failure as he wasn't burned for any scores and had a blocked kick with some good tackles.
Milliner had a great game against Ole Miss with an interception, half of a sack and four passes broken up. He collected two tackles and a pass broken up versus Arkansas a couple weeks earlier. The junior almost had an interception with a long return, but it was ruled that he had trapped the ball.
Milliner was dominant against Michigan in Week 1. He broke up four passes, made five tackles and returned an interception 35 yards. Milliner's one mistake came when he lost his footing and fell down in man coverage. That allowed his receiver to get wide open for a score.
Milliner tied for first in the nation with total passes defensed with 22. He also amassed 54 tackles, two interceptions and 20 passes broken up. Milliner is the best man-to-man cover corner prospect for the 2013 NFL Draft, and, as a result, he is rated at the top of his position.
9/1/12: Milliner really played well in 2011 and did a good job as teams threw his direction more to avoid cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. With Kirkpatrick and DeQuan Menzie in the NFL, Milliner will take on a bigger role in 2012 as a full-time starter. He had 27 tackles with three interceptions and nine pases broken up in 2011. Milliner led the Crimson Tide defense in interceptions, and he played extremely well overall as the nickelback.
Milliner had 55 tackles with four tackles for a loss, seven passes broken up, one forced fumble and one interception as a freshman. He has good size and speed like all of the recent Alabama defensive backs. Milliner could have a breakout season in college football and rise high in the cornerback rankings.
Xavier Rhodes*, CB, Florida State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 210. Projected 40 Time: 4.44. Projected Round (2013): 1. 4/24/13: It is possible that Rhodes will fall to the back half of the first round.
Rhodes needed a good performance at the NFL Scouting Combine to be a first-round pick and came through with one. He ran better than expected in the 40-yard dash and did well in the field drills. Rhodes followed it up with a quality performance at his pro day. Many believe that he will be the second cornerback selected.
2012 was a good, but not great, season for Rhodes. He didn't play well against Florida and had a mixed game against Georgia Tech prior to a quality bowl performance against Northern Illinois.
Rhodes passed his biggest test of the season against Clemson. The redshirt junior didn't play a lights-out game in coverage against the Tigers' dynamic duo, Watkins and Hopkins, but he was solid and kept either of them from big plays when he went against them in man coverage.
Florida State mixed in zone and man assignments, so Rhodes did not have to go against Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins exclusively in man coverage. Hopkins had 88 yards on five receptions, but 60 came on one touchdown reception against zone coverage where the safety failed to pick him up running down the field. Watkins had 24 yards on six receptions. Rhodes finished with three tackles and a pass breakup against Clemson.
The redshirt junior totaled 39 tackles, seven passes broken up and three interceptions in 2012, but teams mostly avoided him.
9/1/12: Rhodes was consistent as a cover corner last year, so teams threw away from him. The sophomore had 43 tackles with an interception and four passes broken up.
Rhodes had an interesting conclusion to 2011. He was matched up against Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd and put together a phenomenal tape for NFL evaluators.
While providing blanket coverage against Floyd, one of the best receivers in the nation, Rhodes went down in a multi-player collision in the second half. He sustained a knee strain and was held out of the end of the game. Prior to Rhodes' injury, Floyd had only three catches for 22 yards.
Rhodes made an immediate impact for Florida State breaking into the lineup as a redshirt freshman. He recorded 58 tackles, four interceptions and 12 passes broken up, along with being named the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Rhodes is a big cornerback who is very physical with receivers. He does a good job in press man coverage. Off the snap, Rhodes limits the release with a strong jam and rerouting skills. He has the speed and athletic ability to run with receivers after the jam.
Against Floyd, Rhodes showed the ability to match up with an elite receiver. Floyd couldn't beat Rhodes with speed or size. He is a good run defender who is capable of putting on some nice hits on ball-carriers.
Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Height: 5-11. Weight: 190. Arm: 30 5/8. Hand: 8 1/4. 40 Time: 4.38. Projected Round (2013): 1. 4/24/13: Trufant looks to be a solid pick in the back half of the first round. His stock went on the upswing after a fantastic week at the Senior Bowl followed by a great performance at the Combine. He put up one of the best 40 times (4.38 seconds) in Indianapolis. Trufant also did well in the field drills with some good strength in the bench press. He was said to have performed well at his pro day as well.
Trufant showed serious man-coverage ability to win one-on-ones with wide receivers in Mobile. He has size, length, speed and can recover. Trufant also was very gritty and physical with receivers. It was clear that he is very confident with a tenacious attitude and the mentality of a man-cover corner.
Trufant had 36 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, one interception, five passes broken up and a sack in 2012. LSU left him alone this season and attacked the Huskies other cornerbacks. Trufant later had a clutch game to help his team pull off the upset over Stanford. He was on an island in man coverage all night and had lock-down coverage. Trufant also made a leaping interception against a 6-foot-8 tight end to clinch the game for Washington.
9/1/12: Trufant played very well in 2011. The junior had two interceptions, 14 passes broken up, two forced fumbles, and 64 tackles. He was one of the few Washington defenders to hold his own against Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin, wide receiver Kendall Wright and Terrance Williams in the Bowl game.
Trufant has some skills as a cover corner. He has natural skills as a man corner as well as the speed to turn and run with receivers. Trufant had a quality sophomore season with 48 tackles, one interception and four passes broken up. The senior needs to become more consistent this year and improve his ball skills. He is the younger brother of Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant.
Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State
Height: 5-11. Weight: 192. Arm: 29 3/8. Hand: 9 3/8. 40 Time: 4.39. Projected Round (2013): 1-2. 4/24/13: Many believe Taylor could break into late in the first round. The senior maintained his upward trend with a good 40 time, bench press performance and field drills at the Combine. At worst, he looks like an early second-rounder.
Taylor had a good week in Mobile at the Senior Bowl and helped his draft stock. He showed some man-coverage skills and was a gritty defender. The senior totaled 51 tackles with four interceptions, nine passes broken up, three forced fumbles and 2.5 sacks in 2012. Taylor missed the majority of the second half of his junior year. He had two interceptions, 27 tackles and six passes broken up in that shortened season.
D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston
Height: 5-11. Weight: 191. Arm: 31.18. Projected 40 Time: 4.43. Projected Round (2013): 1-2. 4/24/13: Many believe that Hayden is a top-60 selection despite his going under the radar for so long. Some consider Hayden to have first-round talent, but medical concerns will probably push him lower. WalterFootball.com reached out to some scouts who said that Hayden graded out as a second-round pick.
The core medical issue stems from a hit Hayden took in practice late this season. The impact tore his inferior vena cava, a critical vein that returns blood to the heart; he almost died. Hayden missed the final three games of 2012, but prior to that, he was having a great year.
The senior totaled 61 tackles with eight passes broken up, one forced fumble and four interceptions in 2012. It was second straight good season. He recorded 66 tackles, two interceptions, 11 passes broken up and five forced fumbles in 2011. Hayden (5-11, 191) has good size and is fast. He could go early in the second round.
Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 185. 40 Time: 4.61. Projected Round (2013): 1-2. 4/24/13: Most projections have Banks going in the second round, and he could be an excellent value pick. Banks had a disappointing Combine that featured a slow 40 time. However with the demand for big corners like the Seahawks have used effectively, Banks benefits by comparison. He ran better at his pro day with a reported 40 time of 4.51 seconds.
Banks had initially committed to play in the Senior Bowl, but he pulled out for injury-related reasons. Banks amassed 63 tackles, four interceptions and seven passes broken up in 2012. He averaged 9.8 yards per punt return, too. Banks had an excellent game against Auburn with two interceptions. The picks came in the second quarter and helped the Bulldogs pull away from the Tigers.
Banks had some great games in the following weeks. He had huge performances against Tennessee and Middle Tennessee State, but injured his knee in the latter contest.
That injury lingered, yet Banks continued to play. The knee seemed to be slowing him down against Alabama and Texas A&M as he wasn't his normal play-making self. Banks was part of two coverage breakdowns for scores gainst the Crimson Tide. On the first breakdown, he was beaten on a go route by Kenny Bell for a 57-yard touchdown. On the second, Banks was in zone and thought he had linebacker help to the inside, but nobody was there and the tight end came wide open for an easy touchdown toss.
The senior didn't record an interception and had only two passes broken up in the final six games after the knee injury.
9/1/12: Banks has been a three-year contributor for the Bulldogs. Playing in the SEC, he is already experienced and battle-tested entering his senior year. Banks had 33 tackles and four interceptions as a freshman, including two pick-sixs against Tim Tebow in a near upset of a No. 1-ranked Florida team.
Banks totaled 54 tackles with three interceptions as a sophomore. He had 71 tackles with five interceptions, three sacks, three forced fumbles and nine passes broken last season.
It wouldn't be surprising if Banks' numbers decline as a senior since teams will probably avoid throwing at him. He has a nice combination of size, speed and athleticism. Banks may fit best in a zone-based system in the NFL.
Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, Connecticut
Height: 6-1. Weight: 195. Arm: 32 1/2. Arm: 8 3/4. 40 Time: 4.53. Projected Round (2013): 1-3. 4/24/13: Like Taylor, Wreh-Wilson has had an upward trend with his draft stock and could get consideration late in the first round.
The big Huskies corner had a productive week at the Senior Bowl. However, he looks best for a zone system in the NFL. Wreh-Wilson recorded 46 tackles with one interception and nine passes broken up as a senior. He had 37 tackles with seven passes batted and two interceptions in 2011. His best production came as a sophomore when he totaled four interceptions with 57 tackles and five passes broken up. Wreh-Wilson was solid, but unspectacular, at the Combine.
Robert Alford, CB, Southeastern Louisiana
Height: 5-10. Weight: 188. Arm: 31 1/8. Hand: 9 3/8. 40 Time: 4.39. Projected Round (2013): 2-3. 4/24/13: There is a nice buzz about Alford, and he looks solid on the second day. Alford continued his tremendous postseason with a fast 40 time at the Combine. He also moved well in the field drills. All that should help him to stand out in a crowded cornerback class.
Alford displayed some ball skills in college with 10 interceptions and 20 passes broken up over his career. He was put to the test at the Senior Bowl and played extremely well. Alford did well in man coverage, zone coverage and on special teams. He could be a nice nickel corner in the NFL. His strong performance in Mobile and at the Combine should help him to be a second-day pick.
David Amerson*, CB, N.C. State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 205. 40 Time: 4.44. Projected Round (2013): 2-3. 4/24/13: Amerson had a good 40 time at the Combine to help his stock. It was needed as there were speed concerns surrounding him. Some teams feel that his flaws are correctable and he could go as a top-60 selection.
Amerson probably should've returned to school following a disappointing junior season, but he entered the 2013 NFL Draft instead. The real problem for Amerson in 2012 was that he was often caught gambling with his coverage and, consequently, gave up a number of scores. Amerson was very vulnerable to double moves. His stock has fallen dramatically since this time last year.
Amerson had a rough first week of the season as he was beaten for a 41-yard touchdown and a 72-yard touchdown by Tennessee's dangerous passing attack. The junior recovered from those two early mistakes and played better for the rest of the game.
Amerson performed awfully versus Miami as he was beaten for two touchdowns in man coverage. Amerson had snagged interceptions in three straight games prior to that against The Citadel, South Alabama and Connecticut. He totaled 61 tackles, five interceptions and 12 passes broken up in 2012.
9/1/12: Amerson has a special skill set with size, speed and ball skills. He was simply phenomenal in 2011. Amerson totaled 13 interceptions to lead the nation. That set both school and ACC records since it was the second highest total in FBS history. He also had 59 tackles with five passes broken up. The All-American started nine games as a true freshman in 2010 and had zero interceptions with 57 tackles and a forced fumble.
When the ball is in the air, Amerson is extremely aggressive. He looks like a natural wide receiver with his hands and body control. Meanwhile, his innate ball skills are extremely rare.
Amerson played some safety in high school and should be able to play the position in the NFL if a team wants to move him there. That may be considered if he fills out his frame and gets bigger as he ages.
Teams will avoid throwing in Amerson's direction this season, so it will be hard for him to lead the nation in interceptions again. If he plays well in his best matchups against talented receivers (Tennessee and Clemson) that should help offset the drop in interceptions.
Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State
Height: 6-0. Weight: 192. 40 Time: 4.36. Projected Round (2013): 2-3. 4/24/13: Slay stood on his Combine numbers at his pro day. While Johnthan Banks has received the majority of the attention, Slay had a strong senior season and is a good prospect in his own right. He recorded five interceptions, 40 tackles and six passes broken up this year. Slay held up well when teams stayed away from Banks and Slay showed some man-coverage ability. He had 24 tackles, an interception and four passes defensed in 2011.
Slay was excellent at the Combine. He blazed a fast 40 time and looked good in the field drills. Slay's stock has been rising and some feel he could go ahead of Banks.
B.W. Webb, CB, William & Mary
Height: 5-10. Weight: 184. Arm: 30 1/8. Arm: 9 5/8. 40 Time: 4.51. Projected Round (2013): 2-4. 4/24/13: Webb was a team leader since his freshman season in 2009. He was the conference Rookie of the Year and a Second-Team All-Conference selection as he recorded eight interceptions in his debut season. Webb was an all-conference pick in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The senior had 46 tackles with eight passes broken up and a forced fumble this year. He also averaged 11.2 yards on punt returns with a touchdown.
Webb will need to add weight for the NFL, but he has nice developmental potential. Webb held his own against the better competition at the Senior Bowl and showed some man-coverage ability. He was solid at the Combine. Those performances help him to be a potential mid-round pick.
Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
Height: 6-0. Weight: 191. Arm: 30 5/8. Arm: 9 1/2. 40 Time: 4.54. Projected Round (2013): 3-4. 4/24/13: Poyer didn't stand out at the Combine, but he has some fans in the scouting community and has a shot to go on the second day.
Poyer was solid, but unspectacular, at the Senior Bowl. He played really well this year, and it got off to a fast start with a great outing against Wisconsin. Poyer had three tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a pass broken up to help the Beavers upset the Badgers. He snagged three interceptions against Washington State.
Poyer missed the game versus Arizona State with a sprained posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. The senior came back to play against Stanford, but had a mixed outing.
Poyer totaled 51 tackles, seven interceptions, five tackles for a loss, one forced fumble, one sack and seven passes broken up in 2012. He was tied for second in the nation in interceptions. His pass coverage was extremely good this year, but he needs to improve his run defense.
9/1/12: Poyer has been an impact player for Oregon State the past few seasons on defense and special teams. He had his best year with 57 tackles, four interceptions and 12 passes broken up last season. The junior also averaged 22.7 yards per kick return and 14.1 yards per punt return.
Poyer had 34 tackles, two interceptions and four passes broken up as a sophomore in 2010. He averaged 27 yards per kick return and 9.5 yards per punt return.
Poyer has steadily improved his coverage as a cornerback and could rise up higher with a strong 2012 season. He is a good athlete and played some baseball for the Beavers before deciding to focus on football. Poyer is a talented prospect with upside.
Logan Ryan*, CB, Rutgers
Height: 5-11. Weight: 191. 40 Time: 4.56. Projected Round (2013): 3-4. 4/24/13: Ryan is a sleeper prospect who could turn into a good pro. He has gone under the radar to a degree, but was extremely productive in his final collegiate season.
The Combine was moderately disappointing for Ryan, but he had a very good 2012 season. The junior amassed 94 tackles, 17 passes broken up and four interceptions. Ryan's coverage was consistently good, and he had a presence all over the field. Rutgers put him on an island and Ryan held up well in man coverage. He has man-coverage ability for the NFL.
Ryan may have been better off returning for his senior season to have a shot at being one of the top corners in the 2014 NFL Draft class. He wasn't challenged by a pro-prospect receiver this year. Ryan didn't finish 2012 well against Louisville and Virginia Tech.
9/1/12: Ryan broke into the starting lineup and had an impressive sophomore season. He had 67 tackles with 5.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, three interceptions and 14 passes broken up last season. Ryan was third on the team in tackles. He should only get better as he gains experience.
Dwayne Gratz, CB, Connecticut
Height: 5-11. Weight: 201. Arm: 30 7/8. Hand: 10 1/2. 40 Time: 4.47. Projected Round (2013): 3-4. 4/24/13: Gratz was one of the Combine's most impressive cornerbacks. He had a good 40 time, did well in the field drills and showed some power in the bench press. Gratz has really helped himself since the end of the season. He was solid at the Senior Bowl and clearly is a hard worker who puts in the preparation time.
Gratz totaled 53 tackles with 11 passes broken up, three interceptions and a forced fumble this year. He is a solid cover corner who also plays the run well. Gratz had three interceptions and 53 tackles in 2011.
Tyrann Mathieu*, CB/S, LSU
Height: 5-9. Weight: 186. 40 Time: 4.50. Projected Round (2013): 3-4. 4/24/13: It looks like Mathieu is solid as a late third-round or early fourth-round pick. He had to interview well at the Combine to help his draft stock. That was more important than excelling in the field workouts. Mathieu did well in the 40 and in the field drills, but it is unknown how many teams bought into him being a changed man or have ruled him out. There is talk that he could be selected in the latter portion of the third round.
LSU kicked Mathieu off the football team late last summer, and he decided to check into a rehab facility for substance-abuse issues rather than transferring down a level to play. His off-the-field issues continued with a drug arrest alongside some former teammates in October.
The honey badger was one of the best defensive players in college football during the 2011 season. He was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and had a massive impact for the Tigers. Mathieu plays much bigger than his measurements, and anyone who watched LSU the over the 2010 and 2011 seasons can't help but see that he is a pure football player with off-the-charts instinct.
Mathieu led the Tigers in tackles in 2011 with 76. The sophomore also had 7.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, two interceptions and nine passes broken up. LSU lined him up as an outside corner, slot corner and safety. He was very dangerous in the slot. Additionally, Mathieu served as a punt returner in 2011, averaging 16 yards per return with two brought back for touchdowns.
The 5-foot-9, 175-pounder was a dynamic play-maker for the Tigers since Day 1. As a freshman, Mathieu compiled 57 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, two interceptions, seven passes broken up and two interceptions.
Leon McFadden, CB, San Diego State
Height: 5-10. Weight: 193. Arm: 31 1/4. Hand: 9 3/4. 40 Time: 4.54. Projected Round (2013): 3-4. 4/24/13: McFadden totaled 61 tackles with 12 passes broken up and three interceptions this season. 2012 was the best year of his collegiate career and McFadden was solid at the Senior Bowl. He is on the shorter side, but could be a nice slot corner in the NFL. McFadden ran a little slower than expected at the Combine.
The former wide receiver has a reputation as a good cover corner. McFadden totaled 46 tackles, 15 passes broken up and two interceptions in 2011. He recorded 55 tackles, 12 passes broken up and two interceptions in 2010.
Will Davis, CB, Utah State
Height: 5-11. Weight: 186. Arm: 31 1/4. Hand: 8 3/8. 40 Time: 4.51. Projected Round (2013): 3-5. 4/24/13: Davis had an impressive senior season in which he demonstrated special athleticism alongside a rare combination of size and speed. Davis went on a tear during the second half of the season, snagging an interception per game in five straight games. He displayed excellent ball skills in 2012, recording 17 passes broken up. Davis' 22 total passes defensed led the nation. He also had 54 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss.
Davis was quieter than expected at the Senior Bowl and didn't do much to stand out. That ho-hum trend continued at the Combine.
Terry Hawthorne, CB, Illinois
Height: 6-0. Weight: 195. 40 Time: 4.44. Projected Round (2013): 4-5. 4/24/13: Hawthorne was one of the best players on the field at the East-West Shrine. He did very well in man coverage and was physical. Hawthorne also showed more ball skills than previously thought. The strong week should help him on draft day.
Hawthorne followed that up with a good Combine and ran faster than expected. He is a sleeper corner who could turn into a steal.
Aside from a rough game against Louisiana Tech's Quinton Patton, Hawthorne was playing well in 2012 until he suffered a concussion against Wisconsin. He was knocked unconscious and was taken off the field in an ambulance. Hawthorne was having a tremendous outing against Badgers cornerback Jared Abbrederis, a speedy receiver who is a tough coverage matchup.
Hawthorne returned to action after missing one game. He had 44 tackles and six passes broken up this season. Hawthorne also averaged 22 yards per kick return.
9/1/12: Hawthorne played better as he progressed through his junior season last year. The first-year starter totaled 60 tackles, eight pass breakups and three interceptions. In the season finale against UCLA, he had a big game with eight tackles, 1.5 for a loss, one pass breakup and an interception returned 39 yards for a touchdown.
Hawthorne was a backup the previous in 2010 and 2009 with two total interceptions. He has a nice physical skill set to work with and could push his stock up with a strong senior season. Illinois is said to be experimenting with Hawthorne at wide receiver along with returning punts and kicks.
Josh Johnson, CB, Purdue
Height: 5-9. Weight: 199. 40 Time: 4.65. Projected Round (2013): 4-5. 4/24/13: Johnson had a slow time in the 40-yard dash, but there is some buzz about him. The senior had 65 tackles with three interceptions, three forced fumbles and 16 passes broken up in 2012. Johnson has some man-coverage ability and formed a nice tandem with teammate Ricardo Allen. Johnson notched 64 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss, nine passes broken up, one interception and one forced fumble in 2011.
Tharold Simon*, CB, LSU
Height: 6-2. Weight: 202. 40 Time: 4.51. Projected Round (2013): 4-5. 4/24/13: The LSU secondary lost the four of its top five players prior to the 2012 season. Simon won a starting spot as a replacement for Morris Claiborne and totaled four interceptions with 45 tackles and nine passes broken up. Simon had two interceptions and 42 tackles as a backup in 2011.
Simon is a big corner who has some physicality to him. He would probably fit best in a zone system in the NFL. Simon didn't stand out at the Combine, but could benefit from teams targeting big corners like the kind who are featured by the Seahawks.
Sanders Commings, CB/S, Georgia
Height: 6-0. Weight: 216. Arm: 31 1/8 Hand: 8 1/4. 40 Time: 4.41. Projected Round (2013): 4-5. 4/24/13: Commings (5-11 7/8) checked in at the Senior Bowl almost three inches shorter than his previously listed height (6-2). He is strong and built, but didn't stand out in practice. Overall, it was a disappointing week for Commings. He bounced back to a degree at the Combine. There are some teams that project Commings to safety in the NFL.
The senior had 51 tackles, three interceptions and two passes broken up in 2012. Two picks came against Tennessee to help the Bulldogs win that game. He had an impressive performance in coverage against the Volunteers' talented receivers. Commings snagged an interception in the end zone in the SEC Championship Game to help take points away from Alabama. He looks much improved over his junior season when he had 55 tackles, four tackles for a loss, one sack, 12 passes broken up, one forced fumble and one interception.
Rod Sweeting, CB, Georgia Tech
Height: 5-11. Weight: 189. 40 Time: 4.42. Projected Round (2013): 4-6. 4/24/13: Sweeting is a solid sleeper cornerback prospect. He collected 58 tackles, six tackles for a loss, one interception and seven passes broken up in 2012.
There were some scouts at the East-West Shrine who felt that Sweeting was in the running as the best defensive player there. He continued to help himself with a good performance at the Combine.
9/1/12: Sweeting has a nice physical skill set and produced a quality 2011 season. He had 56 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and 10 passes defensed.
Sweeting had 38 tackles and a pick as a sophomore. He could move easily move into the second day of the draft if he improves his ball skills as a senior.
Marc Anthony, CB, California
Height: 5-11. Weight: 196. Arm: 30 1/2. Hand: 9. 40 Time: 4.63. Projected Round (2013): 4-6. 4/24/13: Anthony had a mixed Senior Bowl; some moments he flashed and other times he was beaten. Anthony has a skill set that could be developed in the NFL. He totaled five interceptions during his career. Anthony had 12 passes broken up as a junior before recording only three as a senior.
Anthony had a disappointing showing at the Combine.
Steve Williams*, CB, California
Height: 5-9. Weight: 181. 40 Time: 4.42. Projected Round (2013): 4-6. 4/24/13: Williams was one of the top defensive backs at the Combine. He ran well in the 40 and excelled in the field drills. Williams really used the time in Indianapolis to differentiate himself and may have caused some teams to reevaluate his ranking. The junior had 80 tackles, three interceptions, 10 passes broken up and a forced fumble this season. He totaled 45 tackles with two interceptions and 11 passes broken up in 2011.
Brandon McGee, CB, Miami
Height: 5-11. Weight: 193. 40 Time: 4.40. Projected Round (2013): 5-7. 4/24/13: McGee recorded 54 tackles, two interceptions four tackles for a loss, one sack and five pass breakups this year. He has talent, but is inconsistent. McGee had a good week at the East-West Shrine to help his draft stock and continued that with a good performance at the Combine. Scouts told WalterFootball.com they gave McGee a late-round grade.
9/1/12: McGee has some size and quickness to work with, but he needs to become more consistent in his coverage and also produce some splash plays. McGee broke into the starting lineup last year, making 38 tackles and one interception. However, the junior had only two passes broken up on the season.
McGee has a physical skill set that has pushed up many prospects in the past, but he needs to play up to his potential in 2012. McGee was being pushed for his starting job by star freshman Tracy Howard. If McGee can't hold his spot as a senior, he'll fall to the end of the draft or undrafted ranks.
Demontre Hurst, CB, Oklahoma
Height: 5-10. Weight: 183. 40 Time: 4.53. Projected Round (2013): 5-7. 4/24/13: Hurst had 59 tackles and nine pass breakups this season. He was solid and looked good at the East-West Shrine, but did not participate in the Combine. Hurst did well at his pro day, recording a solid 40 time.
9/1/12: Hurst is a decent cornerback who has been a reliable defender for Oklahoma. The junior played well in 2011 and was a Second-Team All-Big XII selection. Hurst had some issues against Baylor like the rest of the Oklahoma defense. He had 55 tackles with one interception and 11 passes broken up last year.
Hurst recorded 50 tackles with three forced fumbles, one interception and 11 passes broken up as a sophomore. He needs to improve his ball skills. Hurst's draft stock could rise this year if he can turn more PBUs into INTs.
Kayvon Webster, CB, South Florida
Height: 5-10. Weight: 195. Arm: 32.48. 40 Time: 4.41. Projected Round (2013): 5-7. 4/24/13: Webster played well as a senior and held his own at the East-West Shrine. He totaled 82 tackles with two sacks, three forced fumbles and six passes broken up. Webster had two interceptions as a junior.
Micah Hyde, CB, Iowa
Height: 6-0. Weight: 197. 40 Time: 4.56. Projected Round (2013): 5-7. 4/24/13: Hyde was solid at the East-West Shrine. His coverage was sound and he looked polished. However, Hyde had an underwhelming Combine performance and looked like a better fit as a safety. Some NFL teams may consider moving him there.
Hyde hurt his stock with an arrest during Iowa's bye week. It was a minor drinking incident, but the league won't like it. He had 78 tackles, 14 passes broken up, a forced fumble and an interception in 2012. The senior faced an extremely easy slate of receivers.
9/1/12: While teammate Shaun Prater was more well-known for the 2012 NFL Draft, Hyde remains the better NFL prospect. He is bigger and faster, with a higher ceiling. Hyde had 68 tackles with three interceptions and seven passes broken up in 2011. He does very well in zone coverage, but has shown the ability to play man, too.
Hyde is a rather consistent player. He started 13 games as a sophomore in 2010 and recorded 82 tackles. That was second on the team. He also had four interceptions with seven passes broken up. Hyde returned one interception 66 yards for a score against Michigan State, and returned a Blaine Gabbert interception 77 yards for a score to be the defensive MVP of the Insight Bowl.
Hyde has an NFL skill set and could raise his draft stock into the first round with a big senior season.
Nigel Malone, CB, Kansas State
Height: 5-10. Weight: 180. Projected 40 Time: 4.53. Projected Round (2013): 6-7. 4/24/13: Malone had solid coverage in 2012 and recorded 51 tackles, five interceptions, nine passes broken up and a forced fumble. He looks like nickelback and slot corner in the NFL. Malone was okay at the East-West Shrine, but didn't stand out. He didn't work out at the Combine.
9/1/12: The junior college product Malone had an excellent debut for the Wildcats in 2011. He tied for fourth in the nation with seven interceptions and recorded 58 tackles with 10 passes broken up.
Malone has nice ball skills and instincts. If the senior gets more consistent in his coverage this year, he could easily push his stock up higher into the second day.
Johnny Adams, CB, Michigan State
Height: 5-10. Weight: 185. Projected 40 Time: 4.48. Projected Round (2013): 6-7. 4/24/13: Adams had a bad habit of giving up long pass plays in 2012. He was beaten for a long reception downfield after mistiming his jump in the Spartans' season opener against Boise State. Adams was bested for another long touchdown against Notre Dame, plus missed a tackle on a touchdown run and was called for a pass interference on another deep pass. He was beaten again, versus Ohio State, for a long touchdown pass that was the game-winning score for the Buckeyes.
Adams had 35 tackles, three tackles for a loss, seven passes broken up and three interceptions this year. An injury kept him out of both the bowl game against TCU and the Senior Bowl. Adams was solid at the Combine, but that doesn't make up for his shaky season.
9/1/12: Adams had a solid junior season for the Spartans. He contributed 51 tackles with four tackles for a loss, three sacks, six passes broken up and three interceptions in 2011.
Adams was an All-Big Ten Second-Team selection in 2010, his first season as a starter, after recording 50 tackles with three interceptions and seven passes broken up. He definitely needs to add some bulk for the NFL and should look to improve his ball skills as a senior.
Sheldon Price, CB, UCLA
Height: 6-2. Weight: 180. Projected 40 Time: 4.43. Projected Round (2013): 6-FA. 4/24/13: Price is a big cornerback who is short on speed and athletic ability. He was a 4-year starter for the Bruins. Price snatched his first interception as a junior. His best season came as a senior when he had four interceptions and 37 tackles.
Branden Smith, CB, Georgia
Height: 5-11. Weight: 182. Projected 40 Time: 4.53. Projected Round (2013): 6-FA. 4/24/13: Smith collected 25 tackles and eight passes broken up in 2012 as Georgia's nickelback. He had some good moments at the East-West Shrine, but showed that he still needs more development. Smith could turn into a quality depth player in the NFL, but probably does not have starting potential. He didn't work out at the Combine.
9/1/12: Smith has been a contributor for the Bulldogs since his freshman season in 2009. He won a starting corner spot as a sophomore and totaled 17 tackles and two interceptions in nine games.
Smith started seven of the 14 games he played in last season and showed some improvement. He recorded 55 tackles with seven passes broken up and four interceptions.
Assuming Smith continues that trend as a senior, he should be a mid-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Smith needs to fill out is frame, and Georgia needs him to step up with Brandon Boykin in the NFL.
Terrence Brown*, CB, Stanford
Height: 6-1. Weight: 178. Projected 40 Time: 4.59. Projected Round (2013): 6-FA. 4/24/13: Brown was at Stanford for four years, but decided to skip his final year of college football. He totaled 65 tackles with three tackles for a loss, one interception and nine passes broken up in 2012. Brown was a solid player in the Cardinal's defense. He had 43 tackles, an interception and five passes broken up in 2011.
Brown didn't work out at the Combine.
Nickell Robey*, CB, USC
Height: 5-7. Weight: 169. 40 Time: 4.53. Projected Round (2013): 6-FA. 4/24/13: Robey had a bad Combine in that he checked in shorter than expected and didn't run as fast as he needed to. Robery could go undrafted.
The junior managed 49 tackles, four passes broken up, a forced fumble and an interception in 2012. He had some coverage issues against Syracuse and in other games. Robey averaged 12.3 yards per punt return, too. With his being extremely undersized, he looks like a nickel corner in a zone scheme - at best.
9/1/12: Robey is very short, but he is a gritty defender. Robey is entering his third season as a starter and has been a quality cover corner for the Trojans. It was a serious accomplishment on his part that he won a starting position as a true freshman in 2010 and then put up 48 tackles and four interceptions.
Robey had 63 tackles, two interceptions and nine passes broken up last season. He is an interesting cover corner, but his size is a real concern for the NFL. Because of that, Robey probably projects best as nickel/slot cornerback.
Trey Wilson, CB, Vanderbilt
Height: 5-11. Weight: 195. Projected 40 Time: 4.58. Projected Round (2013): 6-FA. 4/24/13: Wilson assembled 36 tackles, three interceptions, one forced fumble and eight passes broken up in 2012. He finished the year strong with a good performance against N.C. State and then was solid at the East-West Shrine.
9/1/12: Wilson did pretty well opposite Casey Hayward in 2011. Wilson totaled 30 tackles with three interceptions and 11 passes defensed. It will be interesting to see how the senior performs without Hayward.
Corey Broomfield, CB, Mississippi State
Height: 5-10. Weight: 180. Projected 40 Time: 4.54. Projected Round (2013): 6-FA. 4/24/13: Broomfield had 40 tackles, four tackles for a loss, one interception and three passes broken up as the nickel corner this season.
9/1/12: Broomfield had a huge freshman season in 2009 as a rotational player, snagging six interceptions. He recorded 52 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss and three interceptions in 2010. The junior totaled 59 tackles and five passes broken up last season, but he did not record an interception.
Playing opposite Johnthan Banks should provide Broomfield plenty of opportunities as a senior.
Brodrick Brown, CB, Oklahoma State
Height: 5-8. Weight: 185. Projected 40 Time: 4.48. Projected Round (2013): 7-FA. 4/24/13: Brown had 62 tackles, a sack and two passes broken up in 2012.
9/1/12: Brown was a First-Team All-Big XII selection by the coaches and the Associated Press for his 2011 season. The Cowboys were in a number of shootouts, but he held his own against the strong passing attacks. The junior collected 68 tackles with four tackles for a loss, 15 pass break ups and five interceptions in 2011.
Brown contributed 77 tackles with eight passes defensed and two interceptions as a sophomore in 2010. The undersized back projects as a slot corner for the NFL.
Kenny Okoro, CB, Wake Forest
Height: 6-1. Weight: 190. Projected 40 Time: 4.59. Projected Round (2013): 7-FA. 4/24/13: Okoro made 53 tackles, two interceptions, three tackles for a loss and five passes broken up in 2012.
9/1/12: Okoro had 38 tackles with nine passes broken up and one interceptions last year. He had a strong 2009 season as a redshirt freshman. Okoro had three interceptions and 11 passes defensed in his debut. His production decreased in 2010, as he recorded five passes broken up and two interceptions.
Okoro has a good physical skill set and needs to play up to his potential. He has to show more ball skills to help his draft stock.
Travis Howard, CB, Ohio State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 196. Projected 40 Time: 4.59. Projected Round (2013): 7-FA. 4/24/13: Howard had a great start to the season with three interceptions and two passes broken up through the first two games. He cooled down, but still was solid overall in 2012. Howard totaled 39 tackles, five passes defensed and four interceptions. He didn't impress at the East-West Shrine.
9/1/12: Howard had 41 tackles with two interceptions, five passes broken up and two forced fumbles last season. He has good size and some physicality.
Howard could move to safety in the NFL if he doesn't perform well at corner as a senior. Howard had a shoulder injury that limited him as a sophomore in 2010.
Dominique Battle, CB, Cincinnati
Height: 5-11. Weight: 192. Projected 40 Time: 4.55. Projected Round (2013): FA. 4/24/13: Battle totaled 21 tackles with four passes broken up and an interception in 2012.
9/1/12: Battle has flashed at times throughout his collegiate career, but injuries have held him back. He has had knee injuries end two of his seasons.
Battle had 23 tackles and two interceptions through five games in 2011 before getting hurt. Over the past three seasons, the only one he was really healthy for was the 2009 campaign when he totaled 60 tackles and two interceptions. Battle has to work his way back into the lineup in 2012.
Greg Reid, CB, Valdosta State
Height: 5-8. Weight: 190. Projected 40 Time: 4.43. Projected Round (2013): FA. 4/24/13: Reid tore his ACL and didn't play this season. He was unable to work out at the Combine.
9/1/12: Reid was kicked out of Florida State after being arrested in the offseason. He transfered down to Valdosta State to play as a senior.
Reid is extremely fast and his best asset is his return ability. He's averaged 12.6 yards per punt return with three touchdowns in his career. As a kick returner, Reid has brought back 63 kicks with an average of 24.7 yards with zero touchdowns.
The 5-foot-8, 185-pounder had 32 tackles with two interceptions and five passes broken up in 2011. The junior was beaten at times as teams tested him a lot rather than throwing against Xavier Rhodes. Reid totaled five interceptions as a sophomore and freshman. He is a decent cover corner who projects to being a slot corner and returner in the NFL. As a nickelback, his size should be less of an issue.
I don't get the Garrett Sickels pick in the 3rd when your own evaluation of him clearly states that you believe he his a 3-4 OLB in the NFL and a day 3 pick at best. I think Dallas would rather take the risk with Carl Lawson in that spot than give it to a career rotational player at best.