Top-Five Cornerbacks In The 2016 NFL Draft

 

 


Vernon Hargreaves III

Hargreaves has very good change of direction and ball skills. Despite his perceived lack of size, he plays with aggression commonly associated with larger players, and he’s not afraid to tackle players who outweigh him. Teams have expressed concerns about Hargreaves’ size, but he played well against some of the best wide receivers the SEC had to offer. Hargreaves is physical and knows how to position his body to take receivers routes away and disrupt timing.

 

Mackensie Alexander

Alexander is often times bashed for not recording an interception during his collegiate career, but it is important to understand that teams rarely threw his way. He has the athleticism to run with anyone down the field and he does a very good job of getting his hands on wide receivers and bailing which made if difficult for wide receivers to get separation on vertical routes. He’s a sure tackler and has the recognition and footwork necessary to keep everything in front of him. Alexander was often in “cat coverage” (one-on-one against oppositions’ best receiver) and followed them across the formation. He can play in the slot as well as on the perimeter.

 

William Jackson III

Jackson does a tremendous job of reading the quarterback’s drop and closing on the wide receiver to make a play on the football. He also has the footwork necessary to stay in the hip pocket of wide receivers. Jackson can play off-man or press-man. When the ball is thrown to his side of the field, he seems to always be around the football. He has very good ball skills as he amassed five interceptions during the 2015 season.

 

Artie Burns 

Burns is another defensive back in this draft class with ball skills akin to a wide receiver. Burns catches the football at its highest point, eliminating opportunities for receivers to make a play on the football. Burns must continue to clean up his footwork when covering intermediate routes but his willingness to become a more complete corner is evident as he is a student of the game. Burns recognizes wide receivers’ splits and based on film study, he knows what routes are coming from every alignment. Burns can defend the take off route better than most cornerbacks in this draft class. He’ll put it all together sooner rather than later and become a quality NFL starter.

 

Kendall Fuller 

I love cornerbacks that turn their head and find the football as opposed to playing through the hands of the wide receiver. Fuller consistently looks to make a play on the football because he doesn’t panic while he’s in a trail technique. He’s confident in his athleticism and will attempt to find the football. Fuller has very good feet and does not take false steps out of his backpedal. Fuller doesn’t attempt to obliterate a ball-carrier when making a tackle, but he does take pride in getting his man on the ground. His combination of footwork and ball skills will serve him well at the next level.

Brandon Howard joined the Sports Talk Florida team to cover the Miami Dolphins in April 2017 and will work diligently to provide daily Dolphins content and give accurate analysis of the roster, coaching and front office. Last season, Howard was the curator of content for Miami Dolphins Wire/ USA Today while aggregating high school sports results in Broward and Palm Beach counties for the Sun Sentinel. Prior to moving to South Florida Howard developed NFL content for Pro Player Insiders while covering the Cleveland Browns from 2014-2015. Howard, a Columbus, Ohio native graduated from West Virginia in 2004 in Athletic Coaching and Education. He also was a scholarship track and field athlete and walk-on football player. Howard was the 2003 Big East Long and IC4A long jump Champion and was a provisional national qualifier in the event. He also maintained his status as a member of the Athletic Director Academic Honor Roll during his time as a Mountaineer.