So far, on the defensive side of the ball, I’ve looked at the safety prospects and linebacker prospects. Now, it’s time to take a look at the cornerbacks. Brent Grimes, as far as I’m concerned, is the the only Miami Dolphins CB you can pencil in as a starter. Everyone else, and I do mean E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E, is a question mark.
This draft seems to be deep at CB, but not top heavy. There are a couple of guys that are potential 1st RD picks, but none that are can’t miss talents.
Let’s take a look at this years CB prospects!
Trae Waynes CB – Michigan St. 6’0” 186
Before the combine, Waynes was considered as possibly the first CB to come off the board. After the combine, he solidified his status. Waynes ran a blistering 4.31 in the 40, and put up an impressive 19 reps on the bench.
His last season at Michigan St., Waynes had 3 INT’s along with 8 passes defensed, 1 sack, and 46 tackles, 34 solo.
Waynes can play in any scheme, but he would likely excel in a press scheme, where his size and strength would allow him to bump the receiver off his route. He is a very good cover corner who can stay with any receiver. One thing at the combine that concerns me was his poor cone and 20 YD shuttle scores, 7.06 in the cones, and 4.39 in the shuttle shows poor agility and body control.
NFL.com has Waynes as the #1 CB and rated at 6.27
NFL Comparison – Antonio Cromartie (Waynes, at the moment, has no kids)
Jalen Collins CB – LSU 6’1” 203
While Collins doesn’t have the speed of Waynes, he’s a very good CB in his own right. Collins didn’t fly at the combine, he ran a 4.48, which is fine for an NFL CB. Just to go back to the shuttle, Collins did the shuttle in 6.77, and was the top performer. He was a little better than Waynes in 20 YD shuttle at 4.27, which shows the ability to change directions quickly.
Collins is also leaving as a Junior, and finished his last season with 1 INT, 9 passes defensed, 38 tackles, 28 solo.
Collins only has 10 career starts, so that leaves him without a real body of work to look at. Teams are going to have to project his value. He has the size most teams are looking for. NFL.com has Collins as #2 for CB’s, and has him rated at 6.18.
NFL comparison – Terence Newman
Ronald Darby CB – Florida St. 5’11” 193
Darby performed well at the combine, running a sub 4.4 40 (4.38), and also showed off his hops with a 41.5” vertical.
Darby also left college as a Junior. His last season at Florida St., Darby had no INT’s, 4 passes defensed, 1 FF, and 43 tackles, 28 solo.
Darby is a former HS track star. He has very good body control. Darby has 2 years of experience playing CB, but only 2 INT’s in that time. Also a good cover corner, but hasn’t shown that he’s a playmaker or ballhawk.
NFL.com has Darby rated #3 with a 5.87 rating.
NFL comparison – Johnathan Joseph
Kevin Johnson CB – Wake Forest 6’0” 188
Johnson is rated as #4 by NFL.com. Johnson is the first CB that we’re looking at that has played all 4 seasons in college. As a Senior, Johnson had 1 INT, 6 passes defensed, 44 tackles, 32 solo. In 4 years, Johnson had 7 total INT’s, with 3 both as a Sophomore and Junior.
Johnson didn’t impress at the combine with his 40 time, just a decent 4.52, but he showed his athletic ability with a 130” broad jump, a 41.5” vertical, an impressive 6.79 cone, and a blazing fast 3.89 20 YD shuttle. While not top end speed fast, he plays fast, and has great agility, acceleration and recovery speed.
Very good cover man, excellent balance, and a good tackler who is willing to support the run. Can play in a press or zone scheme. Plays stronger than he looks.
NFL.com has Johnson rated #4 at 5.86.
NFL comparison – Sam Shields
Marcus Peters CB – Washington 6’0” 197
Marcus Peters is another Junior leaving college for the NFL. In his last season at Washington, Peters played in 9 games last season, but he was suspended for 1 game after throwing a sideline tantrum, and then later dismissed for run ins with the coaches. Sounds like a perfect fit with ol’ Joe, eh? In his 9 games, Peters came down with 3 INT’s, 7 passed defensed, 1 INT for a TD, and 1 FF. In his 3 year career, minus a few games his last season, Peters had a total of 11 INT’s, pretty impressive.
The combine didn’t do Peters any favors except for his 17 reps on the bench. He ran a 4.53, which is borderline acceptable for a CB. He’s a player though, and has good production. Physical player who likes to intimidate (even his coaches!)
NFL.com has Peters ranked #5 with a 5.82 rating
NFL comparison – Aqib Talib
PJ Williams CB – Florida St. 6’0” 194
Williams is the CB on the other side of the field with Ronald Darby at Florida St. That’s a talented secondary right there. Unlike Darby though, PJ Williams didn’t have a great combine. He ran a 4.57, which may hurt his chances as a starting CB. He did show athleticism with a 132” broad jump, and a 40” vertical.
Williams is also leaving FLA St. as a Junior. In his last season, Williams had 1 INT, 10 passes defensed, 1 FF, 1 sack, and 74 tackles, 52 solo.
Williams is ranked #6 on NFL.com with a 5.8 rating
Physical and competitive player who likes to press. Stays physical down the field, which could be a problem in the NFL, where hands-on is frowned upon. Despite his lack of top end speed, Williams is a very good cover corner.
NFL comparison – Stephon Gilmore
Senquez Golson CB – Ole Miss 5’9” 176
This “mighty-mite” is one of my favorites, probably because he’s often compared to our own Brent Grimes. Ultra-competitive player, who is also a very productive player. A 4year starter at Mississippi, Golson in his Senior year snared 10 INT’s, 1 returned for a TD, had 8 passes defensed, 0.5 sacks, and 43 tackles, 33 solo.
CB with excellent ball skills (just like Grimes). Golson performed well at the combine, just didn’t stand out in any category, but well in all of them. He ran s 4.46, put up 15 reps, and a good 6.81 cone drill. He;’s a very good athlete, with a non-stop motor. He played mostly zone coverage, so he may need to prove he can play press as well, although not here in MIA.
Golson was rated #7 by NFL.com with a 5.73
NFL comparison – I TOLD YA, Brent Grimes!
D’Joun Smith CB – FAU 5’10” 187
I’m skipping around now (Well, not skipping around the house, just going out of order as far as rankings are concerned)
Smith is a very good athlete, and showed well at the combine. He didn’t kill any one category, but he did well across the board. He ran a 4.45, 18 reps on the bench, and a 6.96 cone drill.
Smith leaves FAU as a Senior. In his last season at FAU, Smith had 1 INT, (returned for a TD) 8 passes defensed, 1 FF, and 53 tackles, 32 solo. He had a great Junior season, with 7 INT’s, 13 passes defensed, 2 FF’s and a TD. The kid is a very competitive player, very spunky. Thing is, he didn’t face a high level of competition at FAU.
NFL.com has Smith rated at 5.61
NFL comparison – Ross Cockrell
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB – Oregon 5’9” 192
Ekpre-Olomu was unable to perform at the combine, he is coming off a knee injury he sustained in preparation for the the playoff game against Florida St.
Ekpre-Olomu was a 4 YR starter at Oregon. He finished his Senior year with 2 INT’s, 9 passes defensed, 1 FF and 63 tackles, 43 solo.
Very fluid athlete with loose hips that can change direction well. Plays tough, and has good ball skills. The knee injury is a concern, so that alone will drop him some in the draft. Still, he has potential to be a great CB.
NFL.com has Ekpre-Olomu rated at 5.57
NFL comparison – Alterraun Verner
Charles Gaines CB – Louisville 5’10” 180
Gaines left Louisville as a Junior. In his last season, he had 2 INT’s, 10 passes defensed, 1 FF, 1 sack, and 36 tackles, 31 solo. In his Sophomore year, Gaines had 5 INT’s (1 returned for a TD). He was a WR when he came to Louisville, and was converted to a CB. This gives him somewhat of an advantage in coverage. Mirrors very well.
Gaines ran a 4.45 at the combine, which is pretty good. He didn’t show particularly well in any other category at the combine.
NFL.com has Gaines rated at 5.56
NFL comparison – Patrick Robinson
Quinten Rollins CB – Miami (Ohio) 5’11” 195
Interesting prospect who played basketball for 3 years, and then played football as a Senior at Miami of Ohio. He made an easy transition to football, and his basketball skills served him well as a CB. In his one and only season, Rollins had 7 INT’s (1 returned for a TD), 9 passes defensed, 1 FF, and 72 tackles, 53 solo.
Rollins, despite his excellent season will be an NFL project, and likely won’t be a starter right away. He also ran a 4.57 at the combine, which says he likely won’t be on the outside, but could possibly be a fit in the slot.
NFL.com has Rollins rated at a 5.71 (Most likely on potential)
NFL comparison – Perrish Cox
Lorenzo Doss CB – Tulane 5’10” 182
3 year starter at Tulane. Left Tulane as a Junior. In his last season, Doss had 3 INT’s, 9 passes defensed, 1 sack, and 48 tackles, 36 solo. In Doss’s Sophomore season, he had 7 INT’s, and 4 in his Freshman year.
Doss wasn’t impressive at the combine, running a decent 4.5 40, only putting up 9 reps at the bench, and a below average 33.5” vertical, and also did poorly in the cone drills at 7.20. Still, Doss is a player with good ball skills, and that will get him drafted.
NFL.com has Doss rated at 5.65
NFL comparison – Buster Skrine
There are other CB’s who may be in the picture, but there are only so many hours in the day. I think we’ll likely see one of the guys above, or maybe 2 on our team. We need CB’s, one because I’m not sure either Jamar Taylor or Will Davis can stay healthy enough to actually play an entire season, and Brent Grimes is going to be 32 by the time the season starts.
If there are any guys you feel should have been here, bring them up on the blog, and give us some info!