Marshon Lattimore is one of my favorite prospects in this entire class. He’s the best cornerback that I’ve seen since Marcus Peters came out of Washington in 2015. His athletic ability is special. He legitimately has the tools to be the next lockdown corner in the NFL, but will Jon Robinson be willing to spend the 5th pick on him? There are a couple of things that may scare the second year General Manager away.
First off, Lattimore was a one year starter at Ohio State. To some this doesn’t mean much, but to others it means a lot. You want to see the player’s full body of work spread out over his career. Lattimore only played three games in 2015. His career as a Buckeye was stalled due to a lingering hamstring issue. Lattimore didn’t really get to make an impact until this season.
Robinson spent pick 33 on Kevin Dodd, who was also a one year starter. However, picks 33 and 5 are very different. That’s a totally different kind of investment. Would Robinson be willing to spend the 5th pick on a redshirt sophomore with one year of starting experience?
I’m not so sure. We really don’t know Robinson’s stance on drafting sophomores. We think we got a pretty good idea of the type of players Robinson and Mularkey valued, but we’ve only seen one draft class to this point. That’s a small sample size, to say the least. Lattimore should be an interesting case study.
Outside of the reasons that I have already mentioned, cornerback is the deepest position of this draft. If you take Lattimore at 5, you could be kicking yourself with viable options still on the board at 18. Unless of course you double down at corner, but I think there are too many other needs on the roster to go that route.
I think the most likely route at 5 is a trade. I think Robinson knows that shipping this pick off would bring the most back to him in return. With the quarterback class not having that top guy, teams may be jockeying for ones a little later than usual. With Robinson holding the pick before the Jets, he has the upper hand on the field.
I think you can probably trade down a few spots and still have a shot at guys like Corey Davis or Reuben Foster — maybe even Lattimore. Right now I would rank the options trade down >> Jamal Adams >> Corey Davis >> Marshon Lattimore. I could be wrong, but I think 5 is going to be too rich for Jon Robinson to select the Ohio State standout, no matter how much I like him.