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2018 NFL Draft CB Rankings

By Jim Johnson
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Ranking the draftable cornerback prospects from the 2018 class, out of Southern Pigskin's coverage area.

These intial rankings are comprised of what right now are the draftable/PFA worthy prospects from our coverage area here at Southern Pigskin -- the ACC, SEC, Sun Belt, and SoCon.

These pre-combine rankings include a basic rundown of strengths and weaknesses, however, after the combine, they will be updated with round projections, player comparisons, and a more in-depth summation of my personal opinion on each respective player.

Starting with the quarterbacks, they will be released one day at a time until all of the position groups are up. After that, they will be easily found in a comprehensive database from a homepage that includes a first round mock draft.

QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | IOL (OG/C) | EDGE (DE/3-4 OLB) | DL | LB | CB | S


1. Jaire Alexander, Louisville: 5’11, 192

Strengths: Versatility to play inside or outside. Speedy playmaker with plus ball skills. Smooth, agile, and keeps eyes on the quarterback. Sometimes looks like he’s running the receiver’s route better than the wideout. Particularly good against intermediate to deep patterns.

Weaknesses: Misses more tackles than one would like. Frame plus injuries in 2017 could lead to durability questions.

2. Duke Dawson, Florida: 5’10, 202

Strengths: Excels in the slot. Consistent production. Elite in press coverage from inside or outside. Willing to mix it up in run support. Really instinctive.

Weaknesses: Only average athleticism for the position -- can get beat by faster receivers. Needs to cut down on missed tackles.

3. Donte Jackson, LSU: 5’11, 175

Strengths: Track star, one of the fastest players in the entire draft. Can play in the slot or on the boundary. Aside from top end speed, really fluid acceleration and lateral agility helps him to recover from mistakes.

Weaknesses: Subpar instincts, feel. Questionable recognition skills.

4. M.J. Stewart, North Carolina: 5’11, 205

Strengths: Really well rounded, good in off or press-man, zone, and quick enough to play in the slot. Good build, can physically hang with tight ends. Plus in run support.

Weaknesses: Not as fast as one would like. Sometimes overly aggressive. No picks in 2016 or 2017.

5. Greg Stroman, Virginia Tech: 6’0, 181

Strengths: Plus speed. Good closing burst. Upper echelon ball skills. Excellent footwork out of press-man.

Weaknesses: Thin frame, unreliable open field tackler. Can’t always go up and get it against leapers.

6. Anthony Averett, Alabama: 6’0, 185

Strengths: Mirrors receivers. Plus athleticism. Reliable solo tackler. Above average play recognition.

Weaknesses: Susceptible to double moves and rub routes. Play strength leaves something to be desired.

7. Levi Wallace, Alabama: 6’0, 183

Strengths: Plus ball skills with those long arms equal a lot of pass breakups. Pretty technically sound, all around. Good closing speed.

Weaknesses: Slender with less than ideal play strength. Struggles with bigger, more physical receivers.

8. Carlton Davis, Auburn: 6’1, 203

Strengths: Solid in press-man coverage. Big, physical corner. Nice height, weight, athleticism candidate. Tracks the ball and gets his head around.

Weaknesses: Lacks the long speed to stay with true burners. Sometimes too physical, panics and gets flagged.

9. Chandon Sullivan, Georgia State: 5’11, 195

Strengths: High football IQ, route recognition skills. Choppy, quick feet. Nice jab at the line of scrimmage.

Weaknesses: Only average instincts. Neither great top end speed, nor physicality to make up for it.

10. Brandon Facyson, Virginia Tech: 6’2, 197

Strengths: Intriguing size, length. By all accounts, a quick study. Gets his long arms in there to breakup a lot of passes.

Weaknesses: Inconsistent in press. Overly aggressive, gives up too many big plays.

11. Kamrin Moore, Boston College: 5’11, 200

Strengths: Very technically sound in press. Competes from snap to whistle on every play. Fights at the catch point.

Weaknesses: Below average change of direction. Lack of athleticism could diminish his press value at the next level.

12. Kevin Toliver II, LSU: 6’3, 204

Strengths: Good in off-man coverage. High upside height, weight, top end speed prospect. Promise-over-production candidate.

Weaknesses: Struggles in zone. Below average acceleration.

13. Tony Brown, Alabama: 6’0, 198

Strengths: Hyper competitive, alpha dog personality. Versatile with experience throughout the defensive secondary. Plus athleticism.

Weaknesses: Doesn’t necessarily excel in any particular aspect of coverage. Has had some off the field issues.

14. Blace Brown, Troy: 6’0, 186

Strengths: Has had success in zone and off-man. Good length. Former receiver with the hands to prove it. Ballhawk.

Weaknesses: Play strength needs improvement. More physical receivers will brush him off at the line of scrimmage.

15. Tarvarus McFadden, Florida State: 6’2, 205

Strengths: Great size for the position. Has played a ton of press at Florida State, able to redirect at the line of scrimmage. Plus ball skills.

Weaknesses: Doesn’t get his head around. Tackling is a problem. Gives up too many big plays.

16. Rashaan Gaulden, Tennessee: 6’1, 193

Strengths: Great combination of length and top end speed. Does a good job of diagnosing and making plays in the run game. Versatile with experience inside and outside. Sticks to receivers from the slot.

Weaknesses: Played almost exclusively in the slot last year and was much less effective on the boundary than in the slot two years ago. Sometimes overly aggressive -- gives up some big plays.

17. Avonte Maddox, Pittsburgh: 5’9, 180

Strengths: Fluid, fast twitch athlete. Good open field tackler. Tough as nails. Consistent in zone coverage.

Weaknesses: Impatient, overly reactive. Undersized, durability questions.

18. Dee Delaney, Miami: 6’1, 193

Strengths: Excellent awareness, play recognition and ball skills. Willing contributor in run support. Has the size to go up and fight for jump balls with bigger receivers.

Weaknesses: Only average athletically, at best. He improved as the season went on, but struggled mightily early after transitioning from FCS to FBS.

19. Isaac Yiadom, Boston College: 6’1, 190

Strengths: Aggressive press corner with good length. Physical at the line of scrimmage. Technically sound.

Weaknesses: Sometimes too physical, could pick up more flags in the NFL. Average athlete.

20. Jamarcus King, South Carolina: 6’2, 186

Strengths: Sticks his arms in to force breakups when he gets his head around. Appealing length.

Weaknesses: Ball skills a concern. Gets beat downfield.

Jim Johnson - Editor of Southern Pigskin, Producer of "Three & Out", and host of "Explosive Recruiting" on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. E-mail: Twitter: @JimJohnsonSP