In the month leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft, NewYorkJets.com is taking a look at some of the top draft prospects position-by-position.
Our focus today is cornerbacks. Earlier this week, we covered wide receivers. On Tuesday, we will continue our series with the tight ends.
EA Take: Some CBs are solely good cover corners while some CBs are playmakers. File Gilbert in the latter category because the former Cowboys stud is a ball-hawk looking for the end zone once he gets the rock. Blessed with game-breaking speed, Gilbert excels in man coverage and seemingly would be a perfect fit for the Jets. But it isn’t likely that he falls to No. 18.
EA Take: Played a ton of man coverage at MSU and excelled in press situations. Dennard is a sure tackler who is a physical presence on run plays. The Jets would have an interesting call to make if Dennard is around when they are on the clock.
EA Take: Might be a difficult player for scouts to grade because his play has fluctuated at times. Roby played very well in the Big Ten Championship game against Michigan State, but he also had a poor showing against Wisconsin WR Jared Abbrederis. Possesses elite speed and is a tough player for his size. There are character questions that teams must look into as well.
EA Take: Durable team captain made 42 starts for the Hokies. Versatility is a plus because he has spent time at both safety and nickel. Some pundits believe he might be better suited to play in a more zone heavy system. Also has special teams experience.
EA Take: Probably best suited as a nickel corner, but that has become one of the most important positions in the NFL. Verrett, who will also be a contributor on special teams, is always around the ball and has a great compete level.
EA Take: Converted wide receiver has long arms and is strong off the line in press coverage. In a league that is moving to bigger DBs, Jean-Baptiste is an intriguing prospect who may land in the second or third rounds.
EA Take: Extremely productive college player who played both safety and cornerback for the ‘Noles. He can get to the quarterback too as Joyner racked up 5.5 sacks in 2013. Joyner has excellent COD skills and could find a home at the nickel spot.
EA Take: Has experience at both corner and safety. A second-team All-ACC performer last season, Breeland collected four INTS and 17 PDs. Long arms allow Breeland to be effective in press and the dude brings in on special teams. Solid looking prospect.
EA Take: The largest DB in this draft class. Referred to himself as “Optimus Prime” and the Sporting News was impressed with his work down at the Senior Bowl: “The corner with the highest ceiling looks like Utah’s Keith McGill. At 6-3, 214 pounds, he moves with tremendous fluidly through transitions and impressed during T-step redirect drills.”
EA Take: You can’t teach speed and Gaines has plenty of it. He will have to add strength though to be a productive player on special teams. But the feeling is Gaines progressively got better throughout his collegiate career and teams will like his raw physical skills.
EA Take: Small school product whose strength is press coverage. Impressed onlookers with a solid week of practice down at the Senior Bowl. Also lettered at Washburn and collected 12 interceptions there before transferring to Lindenwood. Teams will have to project how he will make the jump after dominating the Division II circuit.
EA Take: Forced five fumbles and played a lot of man for the Gators. Athlete who really hasn’t played all that much cornerback and is still developing. At UF, Purifoy played wideout, corner and even returned a bit. Might be able to contribute on special teams immediately.