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Walter Football 2019 NFL Draft Preview

Cornerbacks Have a Lot to Prove

by Tailgater Staff

Ahead of the new season, the NFL power rankings feature the Jacksonville Jaguars among the top teams in the league. This team may not be known as a major offensive force, but has shown that they have one of the better defenses in the league. Part of that is due to having two of the top five cornerbacks in the NFL with A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey. In the spring of 2019, NFL teams may look to draft cornerbacks, and there could be a lot of them to choose from. However, there may not be any elite players that arrive from the draft.

Cornerback prospects Adonis Alexander from Virginia Tech and Sam Beal of Western Michigan are already off the boards. These two prospects entered the NFL’s 2018 supplemental draft meaning they won’t be among the top talents available next spring. LSU’s Greedy Williams and Georgia’s DeAndre Baker have already been mentioned as potential first-round selections. After that, the selections could become tougher to gauge. However, that doesn’t mean some of the other cornerbacks that will be auditioning in this college football season can’t boost their 2019 NFL draft stock.

In a recent bit of scouting information, the Walter Football website indicated that the 2019 NFL Draft will feature more “quantity” rather than any “top of the draft” cornerback choices. Charlie Campbell fielded comments from scouts that are already evaluating the 2019 draft prospects. So far, they’ve said “none of them are in the Champ Bailey or Patrick Peterson caliber” when it comes to the next group of cornerbacks. Campbell mentioned in the comments he received that some of the current college players could “break through” while “others won’t develop.”

Among the names that advanced scouts mentioned were Clemson’s Trayvon Mullen, Alabama’s Trevon Diggs, Duke’s Mark Gilbert, and Ole Miss’ Ken Webster. They mentioned that Jamal Peters from Mississippi State is in his second year at the cornerback spot, but he could end up becoming “dominant” as a press-man corner. It will depend on how he develops at the position and if he looks consistent during the upcoming season.

It’s also important that a lot of the candidates remain healthy during the 2018-19 NCAA football season. Any one of the prospects that Campbell mentioned could make a major jump in terms of the scouting reports, if they show growth and improvement over the season. As Campbell suggested, most of the prospects have talent, it’s just a matter of who makes the jump in terms of where they will be drafted. There’s always the potential for a surprising star cornerback to arrive from this group.

Campbell’s latest mock draft on Walter Hill Football currently lists Greedy Williams as the best available cornerback. The LSU Tigers player had a break-out season in 2017 and could continue to impress this coming season. Campbell mentioned that Williams needs to bulk up as he is just 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds. That usually isn’t a problem for players as they make the transition from college to the pro league.

Georgia’s DeAndre Baker is the No. 24 pick on Campbell’s mock right now. Baker had 44 tackles and three interceptions over his most recent season. He’s entering his junior year and has already put great speed and athleticism on display. Campbell currently has him listed as a potential pick for the Washington Redskins or Houston Texans. That seems to bode well for those teams, but after that the choices may fall off in terms of future star potential according to WalterFootball.com.

So far, it doesn’t seem like teams hoping for NFL power rankings boost due to a better defense are going to find those top cornerbacks like the Jaguars’ players or Champ Bailey. That said, sometimes finding the right player who is a fit for the roster and shows consistency can go a long way towards improving the defensive side of things.