Welcome back to another edition of the NolesBag. This is where I post my thoughts about the draft class position by position and take all those burning questions that everyone has as well. This week's position is the cornerback class and it's a deep one. I also need your help in coming up with a new name for this weekly feature. The winner with the most creative name will receive my eternal gratitude and 100K in MCM Bucks (not sure of the exchange rate within the Schrute Bucks market). As a bonus, a free flight on the MCM Plane (brand new AeroBus A380, yeah we roll like that) will be thrown in as well (Note: you may want to consider not eating or drinking before the flight, as several fighter plane maneuvers will be executed during flight)
If you missed last week's debut edition, you can find it here
1. Darqueze Dennard Michigan State
- Dennard is the top corner on my board because of his overall talent but it was very close with my number 2. He is an excellent press man corner with good ball skills and even better instincts. Dennard was arguably the best defender on a loaded Spartans defense. He does not possess elite athleticism but the instincts and ball skills more than make up for it. A guy that you can leave out on an island with little safety help over the top. Would I take him with the 11th overall pick? Yes. In today's NFL, you need three good corners so this pick helps fortify a CB group that has shown flashes but still is untested behind Jason McCourty.
2. Justin Gilbert Oklahoma State
- Gilbert will challenge Dennard for the first corner taken title this May. He has excellent ball skills and the athleticism to match. Not only is he good in press coverage but he's just as good in off coverage. If he is beaten, he has the foot speed and agility to catch up to his man. Blew up the Combine as expected. Gilbert has the size (6'0 200) and speed (4.37 40) to be a true number one corner in the NFL. He also is a dynamic returner as well, taking back kicks for over 26 yards on average throughout his career. He's also battle tested in the pass happy Big12. Would I take him at 11? Yes.
3. Kyle Fuller Virginia Tech
- Another great product from the highly rated DB factory located in Blacksburg. Fuller was the Hokies' best corner in 2013 as teammate Antone Exum was dealing with various injuries that limited his playing time. He's a good athlete with above average instincts. He comes well prepared in the finer points in corner play and special teams as well. The Alabama game was Fuller's coming out party as he shut down his guy, Amari Cooper. Would I take him at 11? No.
4. Bradley Roby Ohio State
- Roby had a tough 2013 campaign for the Buckeyes. He remains number 4 based on talent alone because 2013 was brutal but he recovered a bit during the Combine. The beating that Wisconsin WR Jared Abbrederis gave him was so severe that Roby still hasn't recovered. It made me physically ill to watch that game and tape again. He has off field baggage as well. Also missed the Sugar Bowl aka The Sammy Watkins Show with injury.
5. Lamarcus Joyner Florida State
- Joyner made the switch to corner in 2013 and boy, did the move work out. He's an impact defender with a little bit of Honey Badger and Peanut Tillman in his game. Joyner is always around the ball somehow. An All ACC defender going into his senior season, he elevated his play in 2013, especially against Auburn in the title game. When he was on the field (in the first half, mostly thanks to the numerous blowouts), opposing offensive coordinators had to game plan for him. Watch his tape and you'll see nothing but big hits.
Best of the Rest
6. Stanley Jean-Baptiste Nebraska
7. Jaylen Watkins Florida
8. Keith McGill Utah
9. Jason Verrett TCU
10. Pierre Desir Lindenwood