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Posted March 6, 2009

Free Agency Hurts Rookie Corner-Stones

Going into free agency, we all knew how talented the cornerback class was. Players like Nnamdi Asomugha, Kelvin Hayden, Dominique Foxworth, Ron Bartell, Dunta Robinson and Leigh Bodden among several others highlighted a very deep talent pool.

DeAngelo Hall and Andre Goodman might be smiling with their newfound contracts, but the first-round rookie corners are not.

At this point, No. 5 seems too high for Vontae Davis and Malcolm Jenkins, so I think Cleveland is out of the equation.

The only team that has the potential to address corner in the top 10 is Jacksonville. They need someone opposite Rashean Mathis in the wake of cutting Drayton Florence. However, left tackle is a far greater need, and if Jason Smith or Eugene Monroe is on the board, they will not hesitate to take one of those talented prospects. If the Jags want to draft a corner, they will look to move down to do so.

Ever since Mike McCarthy declared that Charles Woodson would not be moving to safety in early February, we've known that there would be no shot the Packers would take a corner at nine. They have Woodson, Tramon Williams and Al Harris.

The San Francisco 49ers have bigger fish to fry at quarterback, left tackle, and a pass-rushing outside linebacker. I have a hard time seeing Mike Singletary go with Vontae Davis or Malcolm Jenkins now.

Leodis McKelvin was drafted 11th overall last year by Buffalo. The Bills also have Terrence McGee, Ashton Youbuty, Drayton Florence and Reggie Corner.

Andre Goodman's signing eliminates the possibility Denver goes corner at 12 because they also have Champ Bailey.

Washington re-signed DeAngleo Hall and they still have a first-rounder invested in Carlos Rogers.

The Saints spent $10 million guaranteed on Jabari Greer, who joins Tracy Porter and the developing Usama Young. They really do not need another starter.

Houston franchised Dunta Robinson and they have a trio of other corners in Jacques Reeves, Antwaun Molden and Fred Bennett. They have to think one of those three will emerge as a starter.

San Diego is trying to trade Antonio Cromartie, but I really do not see that happening; Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason are still in the fold. Little to no chance they go corner at 16.

The Jets have the talented Darrelle Revis and they also gave Lito Sheppard a $30 million contract over five years. I have a hard time seeing them go corner at 17.

When you break it down, the only possibility a corner goes in the top half of the first round is to Jacksonville at eight overall.

Before we entered free agency, Denver, Washington, New Orleans, and Houston all needed corners. Now, none of them do. This drastically hurts the money to be made for the top of the cornerback class.

Now, Jenkins could still be drafted as a safety by New Orleans or Houston, but that would not be considered a cornerback selection. This hurts guys like Davis and Butler more, but it also decreases Jenkins' potential as a corner in the first round.

We might not see the first defensive back come off the board until into the 20s.

Do not forget - Leigh Bodden and Bryant McFadden are still on the market. They might be working contracts with Jacksonville, Cleveland, Chicago or Tampa as you read this.

Sometimes as draftniks, we just go through the motions of free agency and needs, but when you really break it down, you can see how the NFL Draft might just play out.



Matt McGuire's Recent NFL Draft Blog Entries:

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