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Draft preview: Cornerbacks

Posted Mar 31, 2014

MIKE MAYOCK'S TOP FIVE

Darqueze Dennard
5-11, 199, Michigan State


Widely considered the top cornerback prospect in the draft. ... Cemented himself as a first-round talent after dominant senior season in which he won Jim Thorpe award, given to nation's top defensive back. ... Recorded a career-high four interceptions as a senior. ... Possesses excellent cover skills that made quarterbacks extremely wary of throwing in his direction.  

Justin Gilbert
6-0, 202, Oklahoma State

Another top-flight corner with a first-round grade. ... Recorded seven interceptions and two interception returns for touchdowns as a senior. ... Possesses good size and rare speed evidenced by his 4.37 40-yard dash (top mark for corners at the NFL Scouting Combine) and his six career kickoff returns for touchdowns.

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Kyle Fuller
6-0, 190, Virginia Tech

Likely a second-round pick, although some believe he'll come off the board late in round one. ... A starter four years. ... Strong all-around game with good size and leaping ability (38.5-inch vertical). ... Recorded six career interceptions. ... Has two older brothers that played in the NFL.

Bradley Roby
5-11, 194, Ohio State

Gifted athlete and productive tackler considered a late-first or second-round pick. ... Three-year starter ran a 4.39 40-yard dash and posted a 38.5-inch vertical leap. ... Recorded 35 passes defensed his last two seasons. ... Led the nation with 19 passes defensed in 2012.

Jason Verrett
5-9, 189, Texas Christian

Considered a second-round pick who could potentially jump into round one. ... Smallest of the cornerbacks listed here but makes up for it with quickness (4.38 40-yard dash) and leaping ability (39-inch vertical). ... Over past two seasons, led country with 38 passes defended – eight interceptions and 30 pass breakups.

LOCAL WORTH A LOOK

Dontae Johnson
6-2, 200, North Carolina State

Started all 12 games as senior – five at cornerback and seven at free safety. ... Possesses intriguing position versatility and special teams value. ... Late-round projection has good size to go along with 4.45 40-yard dash. ... Recorded top 60-yard shuttle time among corners at combine (11.06.)

COMBINE STANDOUT

Stanley Jean-Baptiste
6-3, 218, Nebraska

Ranked first among cornerbacks with 41.5-inch vertical leap. ... Converted wide receiver led team with four interceptions in 2013. ... Big, tall corner can compete for jump balls with imposing receivers and tight ends. ... Middle-round projection.