One of the best positions in the 2021 NFL Draft is cornerback. The class has five players with first-round grades and ten players graded as either first or second-day selections. The group also includes some possible day three steals in Elijah Molden and Robert Rochell. In this post, we will rank all draftable cornerback prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft class. Let’s get started.
1. Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
6-foot-2, 202 pounds
2021 NFL Draft grade: First round
Patrick Surtain II has been one of the highest regarded recruits ever since he came out of high school and was rated as the top corner in the 2018 recruiting class. As a freshman, he was named a Freshman All-American and started 12 games for the Tide. This past season Surtain was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year after allowing fewer than 25 yards receiving against him in 10 of the 13 games he started.
The thing that stands out as soon as you turn on the film with Surtain is how technically sound he is especially in press coverage. He shows great feet while playing press coverage and also uses his hands extremely well in this area. He has the length the NFL craves as well and uses his long arms to redirect receivers extremely well. One other positive with him is how willing he is to come up and support the run.
One of the few issues with Surtain is his short-area quickness. While he timed a 4.42 40-yard dash, he only posted average numbers on the 20 and 10-yard shuttles and did not do the three-cone drill. This lack of quickness also shows up on film since he is not great at closing the cushion a receiver gets on him as quickly as some other corners can. One more issue with Surtain is he only has four career interceptions, however, he does do a good job of breaking up passes evident by his a12 pass breakups last season.
While Surtain might not be the playmaker some corners are, he is worth a high first-round pick. He would make a ton of sense for the Cowboys who hold the 10th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.