NFL Draft 2023 – Strong Corner Group Tops Talented Defensive Class

Strong Cornerback Group Tops Talented Defensive Class

Cornerbacks – Grade: A

     Frank Coyle/ Head scout

Positional Overview:

This year’s cornerback class is a high-quality group which is very deep, though not as top heavy as last year. There are a few blue chips expected to go in the mid-1st round with many other highly regarded corners expected to go through the top 50-100 overall selections. Underclassmen dominate our top ten prospects, though the senior group is a very solid with nice development. Devon Witherspoon is our #1 prospect with Christian Gonzalez and Joey Porter expected to earn mid first round selections. Witherspoon could be selected in the top 10 overall picks with a rookie starting grade. Gonzalez has the skill set to start early and is NFL ready after an awesome final performance. Porter is another in a long line of PSU corners to enter the NFL. He is a physical cover man with the NFL makeup to excel on the outside. Deonte Banks has prototypical shutdown skills for the pro game. He is rising fast and could earn a late 1st round selection. Teammate Jakorian Bennett is a rising cover man with well-developed talent to press for early starting time. Cam Smith and Kelee Ringo are possible late first round or early 2nd round picks. Both are SEC battle tested and figure to press for starting jobs in camp. Darius Rush and Emmanuel Forbes are another pair of talented big SEC corners. Rush is coming off an impressive career finish. Forbes is the best ball hawk in this class and has the length DCs like in outside defenders. Tyrique Stevenson and DJ Turner are well developed athletes who are NFL ready. Turner is coming off an impressive final performance plus an amazing NFL Combine sprint. They could go on the mid-2nd day. This is a deep group that will supply many NFL starters well into the 3rd day of the process. There could be at least 12 prospects selected in the top 100 choices. There will probably be 15+ prospects selected in the top 150 picks with the expected run-on corners from the mid-1st round through the early 3rd day. This class has very good depth and will provide a number of middle round steals. This position has annually provided the most overall selections and could duplicate that again. This group could supply as many as 35 total prospects and another 40 high priority FA. This deep crop of corners will supply a huge group of big corners with some versatility to also slide to safety in the nickel and dime sub packages.   

 NFL Teams in need:

  1. Patriots             5. Rams
  2. Colts                  6. Commanders
  3. 49ers                7. Ravens           
  4. Steelers            8. Vikings    

NFL Premier Player
Jalen Ramsey

Blue Chip – Devon Witherspoon
Blue Chip – Christian Gonzalez
Red Chip – Joey Porter
Rising – Deonte Banks
Falling – Jaylon Jones
Underrated – Darius Rush
Overrated – JuJu Brents
Sleeper – Darrell Luter
Boom/Bust – Jakorian Bennett
Biggest Upside – Deonte Banks
Hidden Gem – Garrett Williams
Long Term Gem – Darius Rush

   Positional Traits
Best Athlete – Christian Gonzalez
Best Man Cover – Emmanuel Forbes
Best Zone Cover – Darrell Luter
Best Run support – Joey Porter
Best Tackler – Joey Porter
Best Nickel – Devon Witherspoon
Hands – Emmanuel Forbes
Best Intangibles – Joey Porter
Ball Instincts – Devon Witherspoon
Most Versatile – Riley Moss
Over drafted – Tyrique Stevenson
Major College Sleeper – Jarrick Bernard-Converse

Top Cornerbacks

1 Devon Witherspoon       Illinois
2 Christian Gonzalez        Oregon
3 Joey Porter                      Penn State
4 Deonte Banks                 Maryland
5 Cam Smith                      South Carolina
6 Kelee Ringo                    Georgia
7 Darius Rush                    South Carolina
8 Tyrique Stevenson         Miami
9 Emmanuel Forbes         Mississippi State
10 DJ Turner                        Michigan
11 JuJu Brents                     Kansas State
12 Jakorian Bennett            Maryland
13 Riley Moss                       Iowa
14 Kyu Blu Kelly                   Stanford
15 Clark Phillips                   Utah
16 Garrett Williams             Syracuse
17 Darrell Luter                    South Alabama
18 Jaylon Jones                   Texas A&M
19 Rejzohn Wright               Oregon State
20 Terrell Smith                   Minnesota