@ChiefMN , actually Ford has shown flashes in his limited playing time, so I wouldn't rule him out, just yet, as he could blossom in year 3. And, I also wouldn't rule out Ramik Wilson or DJ Alexander (both can run and hit like a ton of bricks) as ILB candidates, either.
That said, I 'll always take an off-the edge pass-rusher, and not knowing if CB Sean Smith will be back, as well as Phillip Gaines status, I'd gladly take another CB, as well.
Rd. 1, Pk. 3
Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
Tennessee's defense has been better recently, but the team still has glaring holes in the secondary. Both the cornerback and safety positions need to be upgraded. This would address the former, as getting Blidi Wreh-Wilson out of the lineup would be in everyone's best interest. Vernon Hargreaves would potentially provide a huge boost and would make the matchup against Andrew Luck more competitive.
Rd. 1, Pk. 7
Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State
I have a feeling that Jerry Jones will be interested in a defensive back out of Florida State. He needs to upgrade his safety position anyway, as neither J.J. Wilcox nor Barry Church is very spectacular. Both players will be impending free agents after the 2016 season, so the Cowboys need to keep that in mind as well.
As Charlie Campbell reported, some teams are concerned about Jalen Ramsey moving to cornerback this season, but he'll ultimately find a home at safety in the NFL, given that he's seen as such a special talent at that position.
If the Redskins are in position to upgrade their secondary at this juncture, I have to believe that they'll pull the trigger. Their defensive backfield has been an abomination for far too long, and they won't be able to count on DeAngelo Hall being around in the near future.
Pick change; previously Reggie Ragland, ILB
Rd. 1, Pk. 31
Carolina's defense has been terrific this season, and even Charles Tillman has played well across from Josh Norman. That will be a problem going forward, however, as Tillman will be a 35-year-old free agent in March.
Rd. 2, Pk. 9
William Jackson, CB, Houston
The Jaguars have probably won too many games to land Vernon Hargreaves atop Round 1, so this is probably the best that they can do to fix their struggling secondary.
Pick change; previously Jason Spriggs, OT
Rd. 2, Pk. 16
Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
The Buccaneers might have the weakest group of cornerbacks in the NFL. Alterraun Verner has been an abomination this season, while Johnthan Banks has only been marginally better, but only by default. This is an area that absolutely must be addressed this offseason.
Rd. 3, Pk. 5
Zack Sanchez, CB, Oklahoma
Here's another defensive back for the Cowboys, who could be searching for an upgrade at cornerback. The duo of Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne continues to underwhelm.
Rd. 1, Pk. 2
Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State
The Chargers appear poised to move on from Eric Weddle and will need a difference-maker at safety to replace him.
In 2015, Ramsey has 39 tackles, 10 passes broken up and a fumble returned for a touchdown. Sources say that they feel that Ramsey is more special at safety and prefer him there to cornerback. Ramsey was a force at safety, but is spending 2015 at cornerback. Some believe he can be a shutdown corner.
Ramsey gave up a 58-yard touchdown to Miami wide receiver Rashawn Scott and has allowed separation to receivers in other games. That all has served as evidence that Ramsey is a work in progress as a corner. He's okay at corner, but a special player at safety.
Ramsey (6-1, 204) was one of Florida State's best defenders in 2014, notching a lot of clutch tackles. He totaled 79 stops, 9.5 tackles for a loss, 12 passes broken up, two interceptions and two forced fumbles on the year. As a freshman in 2013, Ramsey started on the Seminoles' National Championship team at safety and cornerback. He recorded 49 tackles and an interception that season.
Rd. 1, Pk. 4
Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
Aside from Jimmy Smith, Baltimore's cornerbacks have been picked on this season, and the Ravens need to improve their secondary.
This season, Hargreaves has a total of 24 tackles, two pass broken up, four interceptions and a forced fumble - off Leonard Fournette. Hargreaves has been excellent as a cover corner over his career. He totaled 50 tackles, three interceptions and 13 passes broken up in 2014. Hargreaves went toe to toe with Amari Cooper that season and held his own. Both players showcased their elite skills and proved to be top prospects for the NFL. Cooper made some catches over Hargreaves, but unlike other defensive backs, Cooper wasn't getting separation or burning the Gator cover corner.
The 5-foot-11, 192-pound Hargreaves has natural cover skills to run with wideouts and not allow separation. Sources have said that Hargreaves is a star off the field as well as a good teammate, worker and citizen. As a true freshman in 2013, he recorded interceptions in his first three college games while totaling 11 pass breakups and 38 tackles for the year.
The Cardinals let Antonio Cromartie leave in free agency and could use an upgrade on the other side from Patrick Peterson.
White has 35 tackles with four passes broken up and a punt returned for a touchdown this season. He had some struggles with big receivers in Mississippi State's De'Runnya Wilson and Ole Miss' Laquon Treadwell. The 5-foot-11, 191-pounder is fast with the ability to prevent separation.
White played well in 2013 and 2014 with two picks in each year and solid run support. He had 55 tackles as a freshman and 33 stops as a sophomore. White has shown steady ball skills while batting away seven passes in 2013 and six as a sophomore.
Pick change; previously Scooby Wright III, ILB/OLB
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
The Titans could use more talent in their secondary, especially at corner.
Fuller had a rough start to 2015 when he was beaten by Michael Thomas for a touchdown, but aside from that play, Fuller was solid against a very talented Ohio State team. He only ended up playing in two games before going out for the year for knee surgery. The junior recorded seven tackles, one sack and a pass broken up in his shortened season.
Fuller played at a very high level in 2014, racking up 17 passes broken up, two interceptions, 50 tackles and 4.5 tackles for a loss. He shut down East Carolina's Justin Hardy in their matchup. Pittsburgh's Tyler Boyd was a challenge for Fuller, but Fuller held his own.
The younger brother of Bears' 2014 NFL Draft first-round pick Kyle Fuller, Kendall Fuller saw the field immediately as a freshman. He was a Freshman All-American and the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year. Fuller is quick and instinctive, just like his older brother. Kendall Fuller had six interceptions and 58 tackles in 2013.
The Steelers continue to work on rebuilding their vulnerable secondary.
In 2015, Sutton has 27 tackles, one interception and five passes batted. He was excellent for the Volunteers in 2014, recording 37 tackles with three interceptions, 13 passes broken up and four tackles for a loss for the year. Sutton was one of many superb freshman cornerbacks in college football in 2013. He recorded 39 tackles, seven passes broken up and two interceptions that season.
Sutton has good size and speed for the position. He prevents separation, but needs to get better at playing the ball. The 5-foot-11, 186-pounder is a very physical defender who plays with a chip on his shoulder.
Rd. 2, Pk. 31
Tony Conner, CB/S, Ole Miss
Roman Harper turns 33 shortly, and the Panthers could consider a young safety to further bolster their superb defense.
Conner has only played in five games in 2015 because of a torn meniscus. He has a total of 17 tackles in his game action. Conner totaled 69 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, an interception and two passes broken up in 2014. He was a tough defender for Ole Miss. The Rebels used him all over the field, including as an in-the-box safety, an outside corner, a slot corner, an outside linebacker and an edge rusher.
The Rebels had a phenomenal 2013 recruiting class and one of their star freshmen was Conner. From Week 1 of his first season on, he was all over the field for Ole Miss and impossible to ignore. Conner (6-0, 217) was a Freshman All-American and SEC All-Freshman. He totaled 66 tackles with five tackles for a loss, one sack, one interception and seven passes broken up that year. Conner has instincts and should only get better.
The Patriots are winning, but I think a weakness at corner could be exposed more as the season progresses. Plus, New England has never been shy about drafting defensive backs early.
In 2015, Sanchez has 38 tackles, six interceptions and five passes broken up. The junior has ball skills and can make big plays, but he can be a gambler as there have been a few games where he had some issues in coverage.
Sanchez was awful in 2013 as a freshman, and teams constantly picked on him for big plays, but he was vastly improved in 2014 for the Sooners. Sanchez was an all-conference pick last year and held up well when teams targeted him. He had 43 tackles with six interceptions and eight passes broken on the season. As a freshman, Sanchez picked off two passes and batted away 13. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder could stand to fill out his frame.
Rd. 3, Pk. 8
Brandon Facyson, CB, Virginia Tech
The Jaguars could use multiple picks to upgrade their weak secondary.
In 2015, Facyson has 26 tackles and 10 passes broken up. He has been a solid cover corner for the Hokies. Facyson only played in three games in 2014 after struggling with a lingering knee injury suffered in spring practice. He made a real impact for the Hokies in 2013. The freshman recorded 27 tackles with five interceptions and eight passes broken up that season. The 6-foot-2, 191-pounder is a physical corner who is instinctive.
Rd. 3, Pk. 13
William Jackson, CB, Houston
The Saints continue to try to fix their porous secondary.
Jackson has 28 tackles, three interceptions and 14 passes broken up thus far in 2015. The 6-foot-2, 175-pounder has excellent height and length, but also has a tall, lanky frame that he needs to fill out for the NFL.
Over the past two seasons, Jackson has been a steady defender for Houston. He recorded two interceptions, 37 tackles and 10 passes broken up in 2014. The previous year, he had one pick, 35 tackles and seven passes batted.
Rd. 3, Pk. 14
Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota
Miami could use a young corner to groom as a replacement for Ben Grimes.
This year, Murray (6-0, 194) has 57 tackles, six passes broken up and an interception. He also was good in coverage versus Horned Frogs recevier Josh Doctson, but Murray's physicality can lead to some pass interference issues. In 2014, Murray had 69 tackles with seven passes broken up and an interception. He broke up 10 passes as a sophomore.
The Bucs have to upgrade their secondary with help at corner and safety.
In 2015, Russell has 60 tackles, four passes broken up, two interceptions and one sack. The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder has some natural ability. He is fast enough to maintain coverage with receivers in and out of their breaks, but also plays bigger than his listed size.
Russell missed 2014 over an academic suspension. In his debut season, he had 58 tackles with two interceptions and two passes broken up. Russell continued his strong play for the Fighting Irish in 2013. The sophomore totaled 51 tackles, one interception and eight passes broken up that year.
He can play safety, but he looks ready to make the change to cornerback. His natural athleticism can only help him in making the change. My Raiders arguably have the most atrocious secondary in the NFL right now, and it could be even worse if Nate Allen has torn his ACL and Woodson is out for any time. The Raiders need all the help they can get in the secondary, and Ramsey will make for a huge improvement over DJ Hayden, Nate Allen, or Charles Woodson.
The Eagles have long needed help at the corner position. but he’s definitely got close to the same exact skillset that enabled his older brother Kyle Fuller to be the 14th pick in 2014. Byron Maxwell is a good corner, but it’s usually best to have more than one. Kendall Fuller is a cover corner in the making, though he might not be as ready for starting caliber NFL wideouts as his brother was in 2014.
Okay. This is probably another pick that can be labeled as weird, ill-advised, a reach, or downright stupid; I don’t care. Pittsburgh still needs a young, future starting cornerback and I’m making a prediction more so about Cameron Sutton than anything else. His coverage skills are pretty good and will only get better with each game. If he improves his tackling ability too, he’ll be drafted around here come May 2016.
Tramaine Brock may be solid, but to have just one good cornerback isn’t good enough in today’s passing league. Russell has some decent coverage ability and ball skills, but his extra value is derived from his ability to be a factor in defending against the run.