Top Cornerbacks for the 2012 NFL Draft

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Updated 11/28/2011

Morris Claiborne has really come on strong this year and because of some inconsistent film on the part of Dre Kirkpatrick takes over the number one cornerback ranking spot. The very promising Trumain Johnson was arrested this year and really has seen his stock plummet heading into to the season his raw Dominque Rodgers Cromartie ability had his stock trending towards as high as round two. Are favorite under the radar player now is Ryan Steed of Furman. A guy who’s stock is soaring right now is Iowa State Cornerback Leonard Johnson.

For the scouting reports of all these players go to our scouting report page

Morris Claiborne, LSU

Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama

Janoris Jenkins, Northern Alabama

Chase Minnifield, Viriginia

Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska

Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina

Jayron Hosley, VA Tech

Brandon Boykin, Georgia

Desmond Trufant, Washington

Xavier Rhodes, Florida State University

Casey Heyward, Vanderbilt

Jemell Flemming, Oklahoma

Coryell Judie, Texas A & M

Leonard Johnson, Iowa State

Shaun Prater, Iowa

Cliff Harris, Oregon

Micah Hyde, Iowa

Keith Tandy, West Virginia

Donnie Fletcher, Boston College

Ryan Steed, Furman

DeQuain Maze, Alabama

Greg Reid, Florida State University

Trumain Johnson, Montana

Omar Bodden, Arizona State

Antonio Fenelus, Wisconsin

Asa Jackson, Cal Poly

De’Anton Lynn, Penn State

Isiah Frey, Nevada

Emanuel Davis, East Carolina

Johnny Adams, Michigan State

1. Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina, 6’1″ 194 (Junior)

One of the best cornerback prospects in the nation, and only a junior this coming season. Gilmore has excellent size to go along with his tackling ability and playmaking ability at the cornerback position. In fact, he could be one of the best cornerback prospects that you will scout over the next few years. Last season as a sophomore, he had 71 tackles, three sacks, three interceptions (one for a touchdown), six tackles for a loss, and a fumble recovery. He is literally always around the ball, and always making plays for the Gamecocks. He showed his skills early on when he had 56 tackles, three sacks, and an interception as a freshman. He should be on every All-American and All-SEC list heading into the 2011 season. He’s also on the Academic Honor Roll, so he’s obviously no slouch in the classroom. Gilmore is one of the top cornerback prospects in the class of 2012/13.

2. Dre’ Kirkpatrick, Alabama, 6’3″ 192 (Junior)

Let the comparisons of Dre’ Kirkpatrick to Nnamdi Asomugha begin. Speed, agility, shut-down coverage ability–you name it, and Kirkpatrick has it. Not only is he a physical specimen, he is quite possibly a better cornerback prospect overall than Patrick Peterson was in 2011. Kirkpatrick is a top notch player on the field, and will have to do some serious damage personally to prevent himself from being a top 10 pick in next year’s draft if he declares. He was a top rated recruit coming out of high school, and he has not disappointed since becoming a full time starter in 2010. Two time high school All-American, will be one of the front-runners for the Thorpe Award in 2011.

3. Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska, 5’10” 205 (Senior)

Luckily for Nebraska fans, Dennard decided to stay in Lincoln for his senior season and wait on a potential lucrative NFL contract.  That’s a good deal for Nebraska, considering they already lost the corner on the other side in Prince Amukamara to the New York Giants. Dennard will bring great quickness, athleticism, and great ball skills to the Cornhuskers next season and to the NFL in the future. Dennard will be one of the nation’s top corners alongside defensive tackle Jared Crick and linebacker Lavonte David. Those three guys should give Nebraska the one of the nation’s top defenses. (Austin Bramley, Big Ten Nation)

4. Cliff Harris, Oregon, 5’11” 180 (Junior)

Harris is possibly the best cover corner in college. He’s athletic, a ball hawk, has great instincts and was the nation’s best returner last year with 4 TDs. I would expect him to leave before his senior year, and be a first round pick. He’s a bit short, but he has a huge vertical leap. His downsides are his size and tackling. 1st round.

Agree here on Harris. The underclassman could be primed for a huge season after stepping into the spotlight last year during Oregon’s incredible run. He is a big time playmaker, and can help a team similar to the way Patrick Peterson will for the Arizona Cardinals with his returning skills and excellent coverage ability.

**Harris will be suspended indefinitely to start the season**

5. Chase Minnifield, Virginia, 6’0″ 185 (Senior)

**No scouting report yet available**

6. Morris Claiborne, LSU, 6’0″ 177 (Junior)

Morris Claiborne burst on to the scene as a sophomore in 2010 when he led the Tigers with five interceptions and made second team All-SEC. The big test for Claiborne now will be filling the shoes of Patrick Peterson, a player regarded as one of the best defensive prospects to ever come along. Coming out of high school, Claiborne was an “athlete” playing quarterback, receiver, and defensive back in high school, and clearly LSU made the right choice putting him on defense where he broke out as a sophomore. Became a full time starter in 2010 and will be the number one corner, and because of his abilities as a receiver and quarterback knows what to do with the ball in his hands. Could emerge as one of the top cornerback prospects for the class of 2013, and is a candidate to leave early after this season.

7. Jayron Holsley, Virginia Tech, 5’10” 170 (Junior)

Led the nation in interceptions (9) last year. All-American and 1st team All-ACC. An absolute ball-hawk who can steal the difficult picks. Good open-field tackler. Physical for his size, but could stand to bulk up a little bit to get first-round consideration. A good punt returner last year with 12.6 yards per return and one touchdown. Each year that Tech has had a breakout corner, teams don’t normally throw to his side, so Hosley most likely won’t put up those numbers again. With a year half as good as he had in 2010, he’s off to the NFL early. (John Callahan)

8. Casey Heyward, Vanderbilt, 5’11” 188 (Senior)

**No scouting report yet available**

9. Janoris Jenkins, Florida/North Alabama, 5’11” 188 (Senior)

**No scouting report yet available**

10. Keith Tandy, West Virginia, 5’10” 200 (Senior)

**No scouting report yet available**