13 best cornerbacks in 2024 NFL Draft, ranked

The 2024 NFL Draft features a slew of exciting cornerback prospects. From high-end first-rounders to late-round gems, there is plenty of talent to be located throughout all seven rounds.

SB Nation polled several of its draft analysts to determine the consensus top-ranked cornerbacks. A lot of variation was present with one player’s vote spread going from eight to 18, and another going from three to nine.

Because of the variation, we identified the 13 top cornerbacks by including every prospect that received a top-10 vote.

13. Max Melton, Rutgers

Melton earned one eighth-place vote. The Scarlet Knights standout was one of the best performers at the NFL Combine. Melton posted the best broad jump among all cornerbacks at 11-foot-4, his 40.5-inch vertical placed third, and he ran a 4.39 40. Melton possesses eye-popping athleticism., and becoming a more technically advanced player could help Melton reach his performance ceiling.

12. Cam Hart, Notre Dame

Hart possesses eye-popping size for the position at 6-foot-3 and 202 pounds. The Baltimore native was among the most competitive cornerbacks in attendance at the Senior Bowl. Athleticism is clearly present after Hart posted a 39.5-inch vertical and 10-foot-10 broad. Hart is versatile enough to thrive in man- or zone-heavy systems, but he’s at his best when allowed to cover ground and work downhill in zone.

11. Kris Abrams-Draine, Missouri

Abrams-Draine is another versatile cornerback that’s likely to kick inside to the nickel. Abrams-Draine enjoyed a standout performance at this year’s Senior Bowl, showcasing competitiveness throughout one-versus-one practice reps. The Mobile, Alabama, native then ran a 4.42 at the NFL Combine. Rare ball skills are at the forefront of Abrams-Draine’s skill set. He accumulated an outstanding 40 career passes defended and seven interceptions at Missouri. Special teams versatility is also present with Abrams-Draine having returned 32 kicks and punts in college.

10. Mike Sainristil, Michigan

Size is the only question mark that qualifies as a negative throughout Sainristil’s scouting report. Sainristil unfortunately lacks the size required to play boundary cornerback at 5-foot-9 and 182 pounds, likely making him a role-specific player for an NFL defense. He still managed to earn one eighth-place vote. He was a key cog on a historically impressive Michigan defense that led the program to the National Championship. Sainristil is among the smartest defenders in the draft with an innate ability to diagnose route concepts.

9. Khyree Jackson, Oregon

He’s being underrated by many, and Jackson earned one seventh-place vote in our polling. Jackson firstly possesses outstanding size for the position at 6-foot-3 and 194 pounds. Lower-body explosion allowed Jackson to post an 11-foot-1 broad jump at the NFL Combine, the third-best result among all participating cornerbacks. A former Alabama transfer, Jackson produced 10 pass breakups and three interceptions at Oregon this past season.

8. Kamari Lassiter, Georgia

There are size concerns present as Lassiter measured under 6-feet and weighing just 186 pounds. Lassiter plays significantly bigger on tape though. The Bulldogs defender is extremely competitive and physical in the contact window. Lassiter is also versatile enough to play both nickel and boundary corner. That positional flexibility will endear itself to NFL defensive coordinators throughout this process.

7. T.J. Tampa, Iowa State

One of our voters had Tampa all the way up at number three on the CB board, but no one else had him top-six. Tampa possesses a near 79-inch wingspan, which places in the 89th percentile historically. Tampa utilizes that length to contend the catch point with 22 career passes defensed. Instincts that allowed Tampa to thrive in Iowa State’s zone-heavy scheme are at the forefront of his appeal.

6. Ennis Rakestraw Jr., Missouri

Rakestraw Jr. didn’t test particularly well, but he’s one helluva football player. Rakestraw Jr. showcases lightning-quick feet in coverage and he makes fluid transitions to mirror his receiving assignment in and out of their breaks. Rakestraw Jr. has good length for the position and he loves to disrupt a receiver’s timing at the line of scrimmage.

5. Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

McKinstry’s pre-draft process has been complicated by injury. Widespread reports indicate the talented Alabama cover man is scheduled to undergo surgery for a Jones fracture injury in his right foot. The naturally gifted McKinstry still managed to run a 4.47 at Pro Day while nursing the injury. A team may receive a draft-weekend discount on McKinstry, who blends athleticism, size and quickness to thrive in press-man coverage.

4. Cooper DeJean, Iowa

While DeJean earned one second-place vote, he ranked lower on every other ballot. It’s a shame that DeJean wasn’t healthy enough to perform at the NFL Combine. League-wide whispers indicated he was capable of running a 4.3 result. On tape, DeJean possesses the instincts necessary to thrive a zone-heavy scheme.

3. Nate Wiggins, Clemson

Wiggins earned one of our first-place votes, but no one else had him higher than three. There are fair reasons why Wiggins is a divisive prospect. The Clemson standout ran a position-best 4.28 at the NFL Combine, a result that was bested only by Xavier Worthy’s record-setting 4.21. Play strength is a concern however after Wiggins weighed 173 pounds, a two-percentile number per MockDraftable, in Indianapolis.

2. Terrion Arnold, Alabama

Arnold received two first-place votes, but was further down the list for others. Arnold is a highly athletic cornerback that possesses every tool required to develop into a high-end starting corner. The Tallahassee native reportedly ran a 6.65 3-cone at Alabama’s Pro Day last week, which would have been the second-fastest result at the NFL Combine. Arnold is my personal favorite to be the first cornerback drafted in April.

1. Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo

Mitchell entered the pre-draft process as an intriguing prospect after totaling 52 pass breakups and six interceptions at Toledo, but NFL scouts wanted to see how he’d perform against better competition. Mitchell answered those questions by arguably being the best overall performer at this year’s Senior Bowl. Mitchell continued impressing decision makers by running a 4.33 in Indianapolis. Mitchell has firmly established himself as a first-round pick.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top