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2012 NFL Draft Rankings: Cornerback Board | The DC Times

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2012 NFL Draft Rankings: Cornerback Board

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Jonathan Bales

I have a few cool new articles coming out soon at the Times, USA Today, and a couple other publications, so I will post links to those once they are live.  For now, take a gander at my initial cornerback rankings.  I imagine they will cause some conversation.  Click on players with links for my scouting reports.  I will make a point to assess the cornerbacks I have higher or lower than the consensus.


  • The round listed after each prospect’s name is the grade I have provided him, NOT where I think he will get selected.  I view players with two rounds listed as on the border of each.
  • Players with the *** designation are higher than consensus rankings, while those with ^^^ after their names are lower than the consensus.

1. Morris Claiborne, LSU (First Round)

2. Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama (First Round)

3.  Jamell Fleming, Oklahoma (First Round) ***

4.  Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina (First/Second Round)

5.  Janoris Jenkins, Florida/North Alabama (First/Second Round)

6.  Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech (Second Round) ***

7.  Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska (Second Round)

8.  Josh Robinson, UCF (Second Round)

9.  Josh Norman, Coastal Carolina (Second Round) ***

10.  Chase Minnifield, Virginia (Second Round)

11.  Brandon Boykin, Georgia (Fourth Round) ^^^

12. Ryan Steed, Furman (Fourth Round)  ***

13.  Trumaine Johnson, Montana  (Fourth Round) ^^^

14.  Coryell Judie, Texas A&M (Fourth/Fifth Round)

15.  Dwight Bentley, UL Lafayette (Fifth Round)

16. DeQuan Menzie, Alabama (Fifth/Sixth Round)

17.  Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt (Fifth/Sixth Round) ^^^

18. Asa Jackson, Cal Poly (Sixth Round)

19. Leonard Johnson, Iowa State (Sixth Round) ^^^

20. Omar Bolden, Arizona State (Sixth Round)


Some thoughts. . .

  • These are simply the cornerbacks I have reviewed.  I’m sure I will look at a few more who will jump into the top 20.
  • I debated placing Jamell Fleming ahead of Dre Kirkpatrick.  I love Fleming, and I think he’s perhaps the top pure cover guy in this class.  His game against Iowa was the best I saw this year.
  • I placed Stephen Gilmore ahead of Janoris Jenkins simply because of character.  I think they are interchangeable on the field.
  • Josh Norman from Coastal Carolina is my “sleeper” for 2012.  I think he has a chance to be something special, but most people have a late-round grade on him.
  • You all know I don’t think much of Brandon Boykin, but most of you probably wouldn’t give him a fourth-round grade.  The decline from the top 10 cornerbacks to him, in my view, is dramatic.  I don’t have a single player with a third-round grade at this position.
  • Some analysts like Casey Hayward and Leonard Johnson, but I think they are both horribly overrated players.

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2 Responses to 2012 NFL Draft Rankings: Cornerback Board

  1. Greg says:

    I still think that the “coverage” CB who can “stay with” or “reroute” the WRs is an exercise in futility and anachronism. The “pure cover” CB is a thing of the past. The modern CB has to be a threat; it has to be a mighty sledgehammer or it has to be feared if it touches the ball at all; its ball-skills need to make the QB and OC rue the day that pass went in the direction of that CB…on every passplay.

    But there is one final indispensable quality to the modern CB. He must be able to chase and successfully catch. The new rules give the WRs the ball quite easily, but what happens next? Does DeSean Jackson and Victor Cruz hit the open field and run 80 yards or does the last line of defense (i.e. the DBs) hunt him and bring him down.

    I propose Josh Robinson is the remedy for what ails the Dallas secondary.

    Behold…(PR/KR as well)

  2. valmont says:

    I give you credit for your convictions. No one else has Jamell Fleming anywhere near that high.

    of course, certitude is not the test of certainty. we’ll know in 12 months if your conviction was warranted.

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