February 28, 2012
NFL Draft 2012: Top Cornerbacks Who Helped Their Stock at Combine
Defensive backs participated in drills at the NFL Combine on Tuesday, and several big names boosted their draft stock.
We all know LSU’s Morris Claiborne is the No. 1 cornerback prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft, so I’ll refrain from talking about him.
Here’s a look at three top cornerbacks who propelled themselves up draft boards on Tuesday at the combine.
3. Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama
The only reason Janoris Jenkins isn’t tabbed for the middle of the first round or better is because of his character concerns. It’s hard to ignore a bar fight and two arrests for marijuana possession.
But there is no questioning Jenkins’ ability on the football field. In addition to his outstanding technique, Jenkins’ showed off his athleticism on Tuesday, running the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds and the 10-yard split in an explosive 1.47 seconds.
He’s exhibited the speed, quickness and fluidity to potentially be a star in the NFL.
Of course, he needs to excel off the field for it all to come to fruition.
2. Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina
I’ve long been a big fan of Stephon Gilmore. His size, toughness and athletic ability allowed him to be strong against the pass and the run in college, and he can also be used as a return man.
Gilmore ran the 40-yard dash in 4.40 seconds on Tuesday, third among cornerbacks. With his size and speed, Gilmore figures to become a solid cornerback in the NFL. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was used as a safety.
1. Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama
Dre Kirkpatrick is widely considered to be the second-best cornerback prospect in the 2012 draft class. His length, physicality and ability to lift opposing players into the air have made him a popular prospect.
There have been some questions about his speed at the next level, but he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds on Tuesday. That should lock him up as a top-15 pick.
Anybody that lands Kirkpatrick is going to be mighty happy.
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