Found February 25, 2013 on Turn On The Jets:
In continuation with our positional breakdowns of potential NFL Draft prospects for the New York Jets, we turn our attention to a position seemingly in limbo. Today, our draft team provides a breakdown of the top five potential cornerbacks that could be selected by the Jets in April’s draft. These initial rankings are certainly subject to change as we progress through the entire pre-draft process, but as it stands now, these players are who we feel would be the best options for New York’s secondary. Be sure to give our draft team a follow on Twitter, and to check out our previous breakdowns of potential quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, offensive linemen, defensive tackles, defensive end/outside linebacker, and safety. Chris Gross Desmond Trufant, Washington, 6’0″ 190 lbs - Trufant is one of the more impressive athletes of this year’s cornerback class. With quality size for the position, Trufant possesses above average top end speed, while maintaining very fluid hips, allowing him to change direction and adjust in coverage rather easily. Trufant has very good technique in his drops, as he is always balanced with his feet underneath him, allowing him to break on the ball when he has to. Trufant also shows good instincts as he demonstrates the ability to properly decipher when to make a play on the ball or when to stay more conservative and look to deflect the pass. He is aggressive in run support, and shows a good ability to shed blocks when attempting to get to the ball carrier. Trufant can contribute on special teams, as well, as displayed throughout his career at Washington and during an impressive Senior Bowl campaign. Likely a 2nd rounder, Trufant becomes an intriguing name for the Jets in the event that they decide to ultimately part ways with one of their current starting cornerbacks. Xavier Rhodes, Florida State, 6’1″ 210 lbs - Bigger in stature than some of his counterparts, Rhodes uses his size to his advantage through a physical style of play when jamming at the line of scrimmage and helping in run support. While he is one of the more physical cornerbacks in the class, Rhodes also has excellent athletic ability. He displays smooth hips and excellent balance, allowing him to change direction and break on the ball better than most of his peers. Rhodes also displays very good awareness and route recognition, and looks very comfortable moving all over the field, having played at both the left and right cornerback spots at Florida State. Like Trufant, Rhodes will likely be a 2nd rounder, becoming an option for the Jets if Cromartie or Revis are moved prior to the draft. Robert Alford, Southeast Louisiana, 5’10″ 188 lbs - A smaller school prospect, Alford showed some solid versatility last season, seeing time on the outside, as well as over the slot receiver as a nickel cornerback. Alford plays a more physical brand of the position, looking very comfortable in press coverage, while also demonstrating a good ability to blitz off of the edge and pressure the quarterback. Alford does a good job of reacting quickly to the run, often looking somewhat eager to come up in support, while rarely jumping the gun early. While he isn’t necessarily as fluid as the two players aforementioned, Alford shows excellent instincts with a very good ability to read the quarterback’s eyes and recognize routes. Alford may not have elite ball skills, but certainly plays the ball better than the average player at the position. He can contribute on special teams and in the return game as well, which certainly adds to his value in the mid rounds. Regardless of what happens with Revis and Cromartie, Alford could be an asset as a nickel cornerback and special teams contributor. A strong showing at the Senior Bowl showed that he has the ability to play with opponents from the bigger schools. Tyrann Mathieu, LSU, 5’9″ 186 lbs - There are certainly a lot of red flags on Mathieu due to his off the field issues, but there is no denying that he is a special talent. While there has been some concern over a poor showing in the bench press at the combine (4 reps), upper body strength has never been what makes his game so special. Although, the fact that he knew he would be tested in the bench press and underwhelmed, could speak to how he handles himself in terms of preparation. Still, Mathieu is a rare athlete, one who swept the nation as an electric playmaker in LSU’s secondary only a couple seasons ago. The former Heisman finalist does not possess elite technique just yet, but has been able to mask these flaws due to his superior athleticism. He also has great instincts and feel for the game, always finding himself around the ball. While he is a bit undersized, he shows no fear in assisting in run support and playing more physically when he has to. He will certainly take some time to develop to be a player teams can consistently trust in the secondary, but his elite athleticism should allow him to find a role in nickel sub packages, while assisting on special teams and in the return game, where he can be a valuable weapon. Mathieu’s stock is likely in the mid round range, due to his off the field baggage, but he is probably in the 2-3 round range in terms of his talent. If he can be had in the 4th or 5th round, the Jets will likely take a long look at him. The electricity he brings to the field is something that Rex Ryan covets in his defense. Depending on how New York feels about his character, Mathieu could hold great value, if selected in the mid rounds. Will Davis, Utah State, 5’11″ 186 lbs - Davis certainly has his flaws in terms of overall coverage ability, but seems to be a very hard worker on the field. He will stick his nose in against the run, and demonstrates a fair ability to turn and run with receivers. His ball skills aren’t fantastic, but are certainly above average. Davis lacks some ability to get off of blocks, but could certainly be coached up in the area. Davis has shown some struggle against the double move, but maintains a decent overall display of hip fluidity, balance, and ability to run with receivers. He appears smooth coming in and out of his breaks and shows solid range in terms of the routes he can cover. Davis is more likely a mid to late round pick, probably in the 5th – 6th range, but could be worth a flyer for New York to add some much needed depth behind the top 3 cornerbacks on the roster. Frank Giasone As we continue our focus on the potential draft selections in the Jets secondary, we hit on an area that will likely hinge on the front offices decision to trade (or not trade) Darrelle Revis or Antonio Cromartie. Considering the abundance of issues all across the Jets roster, and the reality that trading down in the draft is a highly unlikely scenario (despite the desirability to many fans), a trade including one of the two corners is the Jets most likely chance to land additional picks in the first two days of the draft. And if one of the Jets starting cornerbacks is traded this off-season, it’s fairly safe to assume Gang Green won’t be content relying on Kyle Wilson for an extended period of time. So where does that leave the Jets? Well, just like the draft day trade scenarios, the talent pool of worthy cornerbacks in this draft is very shallow. If the Jets aren’t interested in using a first or second round pick on the cornerback position, they may have difficulty finding a legitimate option. Jordan Poyer, Oregon State, 6’0” 182 lbs: Poyer saw his stock rise following his impressive week at the Senior Bowl, and if he performs well at the Combine, he may even leapfrog Johnthan Banks as a potential low-first round/second round prospect. While there’s lots of negativity surrounding Poyer’s lack of ideal top speed, it’s his toughness at the line of scrimmage and closing speed that I’ve taken notice of. While he may not be able to run with every receiver, his presence and physicality inside five yards is certainly a strength, and will help him tremendously in the NFL. If Poyer can get over the 190-pound mark (there’s some doubt surrounding his ability to accomplish that) his skill set could translate well to the safety position. It’s that versatility that has piqued my interest in the defensive back  during the pre-draft process.  And while his draft position may be too high for the Jets needs, a trade of either starting corner would likely change that. Darius Slay, Mississippi State, 6’0” 190 lbs: While stud-corner Johnthan Banks receives the most hype of any Mississippi State player entering the 2013 NFL Draft, the corner on the other side of the field, Darius Slay, is no slouch. Slay, who boasts an impressive build and long frame, has underrated cover ability and experience returning kicks. His impressive quickness and closing speed quickly become apparent on tape, while a lack of experience — played two years at Itawamba Community College (Miss.) and only started one season MSU– and tackling tenacity may be cause for concern. He’s currently projected to go sometime on Day 2, but a strong showing at the Combine could fuel a rise up draft boards.  David Amerson, North Carolina State, 6’2” 194 lbs: Amerson is another cornerback that struggles to wrap up and provide help in the running game. And while he doesn’t project as a starter right away, his exceptional height and length is reminiscent of Antonio Cromartie. But unfortunately for Amerson, he doesn’t possess the same speed of Cromartie. There’s a concern that he won’t be able to match up with some of the faster wide receivers in the league, and his time spent at NC State saw him lined up in off coverage (and zone) more often than press coverage, creating even more concern. But he’s known for his tenacious approach to improving his game, which is a great sign for NFL scouts. And if his improvement over the past few seasons is an indicator, he’ll be considered a capable starter very shortly. While he still needs to refine some of his technique, a third or fourth-round pick for Amerson could offer the Jets good value. Zev Sibony This position for the Jets isn’t terrible. New York has a Pro-Bowler on one side in Cromartie, finger-wag master Kyle Wilson on the other, and the best corner in the league, Darrelle Revis, waiting in the wings. As fans, it is impossible to say that we’d like to see Revis wearing any color other than the green and white, however we also must understand why it needs to be done. Revis is asking for far too much money and the Jets need too many pieces around their entire team to put all of that money into a player that isn’t a quarterback. Furthermore, if the Jets trade Revis they can probably bring back a good haul depending on who they trade with. Moving along, the Jets will likely go into the season opener with Cromartie and (unfortunately) Kyle Wilson as the starting cornerbacks. While the Jets did have a decent pass defense in 2012, the numbers aren’t necessarily fair because the run defense was so poor. However, the Jets can probably look at a few real late round prospects, which will be projects, but can provide upgrade in terms of depth. The 5th round is the earliest the Jets should be looking at CBs. The first 4 rounds should be already sealed up with: OLB, OG, RB, and TE. In my opinion the 5th should be used on another OL too. Either way, we press forward. Tyrann Mathieu, LSU, 5’9” 175 lbs - This would be a really questionable choice. Mathieu went through a series of well documented off the field issues at LSU, resulting in his full season suspension this past year. If he slips to the 5th round, Mathieu can clean his act up in the NFL and be a real starter for a team. Last I heard, he was working out with or keeping in contact with Revis himself. It will be interesting to see how far he drops. Branden Smith, Georgia, 5’11” 182 lbs - Smith was the nickelback for the Bulldogs this year, something the Jets could certainly add for depth. Smith can be a solid role player, but don’t look for him to become the starter to play across from Cromartie. If available inn the 6th round, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Jets took a shot on him. Smith also played well in the East-West game. Kenny Okoro, Wake Forest, 6’1” 190 lbs - Okoro played decently this season with a physical and overall balanced skill set. He has potential to be a good corner with good coaching and support. For a 6th or 7th round pick, there is minimal downside to taking Okoro here. Smith and Okoro would be pretty good gets for the Jets in the really late rounds. The Jets’ hands are tied with what they have to do in rounds 1-4, not to mention they have to acquire more picks so they can leave the draft with 10 players and not just 7.  Rounds 5, 6, and 7 are where they can take a little lit of chance.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Jets bringing in AFL stand out Eric Crocker for a work out

According to Damond Talbot of NFLDraftZone.com, the New York Jets are bringing in cornerback Eric Crocker of the AFL’s San Antonio Talons for a work out. As you can see from Crocker’s highlight film, he has some pretty impressive closing speed for a guy who’s 6-2, 195 pounds. Crocker racked up 70 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries and 3 interceptions in 19 games...

Jets Unlikely To Trade Darrelle Revis Before The Draft

According to an agent who spoke with Rich Cimini of ESPN New York, the odds of the Jets trading CB Darrelle Revis before the NFL Draft aren’t very good. “Not a chance,” said the agent. He added that the lack of cap space around the NFL is really the main impediment for a Revis trade. Revis, 27, is believed to be targeting as much as $16 million annually in his contract...

Multiple Teams Have Contacted The Jets Regarding A Trade For CB Darrelle Revis

Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports reports that sources have informed him that ”multiple teams” have contacted the New York Jets at the NFL Combine regarding CB Darrelle Revis‘ availability. Cole mentions that Jets’ management “was all ears” in regards to a potential a deal. The Jets reportedly haven’t had any discussions with Revis’ representatives in recent weeks...

Broncos, Falcons Likely To Target RB Shonn Greene

Shonn Greene is an unrestricted free agent, and it seems likely he’ll try to escape that is currently the New York Jets.  Greene who didn’t put up high-profile numbers last season will still have a few suitors. Around The League is reporting that two of those suitors are upper echelon playoff teams.   The Falcons and Broncos are reportedly two of the teams that will vie for...

Jets reportedly did not meet with Darrelle Revis’ agents at Combine

Another day, another sign that the marriage between Darrelle Revis and the New York Jets could be ending in a divorce sooner rather than later. At the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, tram executives and agents typically spend a good amount of time discussing player contracts and exploring new options prior to the official start of free agency. This did not happen with Revis’...

Jets Rumors: Paycut for Holmes

Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that the cash strapped New York Jets will attempt to restructure the contract of Santonio Holmes. Having already cut experienced roster veterans in Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Eric Smith and Jason Smith.  The Jets instead of cutting, are looking to ask another game-maker to restructure his contract to make available more cap room for the forthcoming...

Jets Expected To Approach WR Santonio Holmes About Restructuring His Contract

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports sources have informed him that the New York Jets are expected to approach WR Santonio Holmes regarding restructuring his contract. Holmes, 28, is set to make $11 million for the upcoming season and, to make matters worse, $7.5 million of that figure is guaranteed, which means he’ll have all of the leverage in the negotiations. The Jets cleared...

Report: Jets Brass Avoided Darrelle Revis’ Agents During Combine

The writing may really be on the wall now for Darrelle Revis, and it doesn’t look for him going forward, to remain a New York Jet. The New York Daily News is reporting that the Jets brass, including owner Woody Johnson, GM John Idzik, and head coach Rex Ryan, didn’t meet or contact Revis’ representatives one time while they were Indianapolis, which further fuels speculation...

Rex Ryan in Trouble? Rob Ryan Losing Weight?

The NFL was in Indianapolis for the last week as the supposed best and hopefully brightest that the college ranks have to offer participate in the Underwear Olympics--an annual right of passage as they await the day they find out what NFL team they will be playing for. For the teams it is a lot more than that. Coaches and scouts are present to watch, interview, and evaluate...

Jets hope to restructure Holmes

The New York Jets are in salary cap hell even after releasing a number of veteran players. There isn’t much relief in site either unless they cut more or start restructuring contracts. There is one huge contract that sources say the Jets really want to restructure and that’s the contract of wide receiver Santonio Holmes. Jets will try to restructure Santonio Holmes’ contract...

New York Jets Ultimate Franchise Player Selection

This is the latest post in Kurt’s continuing series to identify the NFL’s Ultimate Franchise Player of All-Time. For an explanation of his methodology for choosing each franchise’s ultimate franchise player, and then how you and he will choose the NFL’s Ultimate Franchise Player from that list, click here. Previous selections: ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN | CLE...

Falcons & Broncos Potential Options For RB Shonn Greene?

Rich Cimini of ESPN New York reports that “spies” around the league have informed him that Jets free agent RB Shonn Greene is generating interest from the Falcons and Broncos. Greene, an unrestricted free agent, is not expected back in New York after four years with the team. The Jets are believed to be targeting a speedy compliment to pair with Bilal Powell either in free...

Could A Revis Island Be Discovered In The Rocky Mountains?

Contrary to the asinine ramblings that have been polluting the air on Denver sports talk radio of late, the Broncos are not in “win now” mode and will not break the bank by signing a host of big-name free agents. If fans are hoping that past-their-prime, big-name veterans like Brian Urlacher, Ed Reed, Dwight Freeney, Charles Woodson, Steven Jackson or Wes Welker are going to...

Jamar Taylor, Desmond Trufant, Xavier Rhodes Fit Mold of Patriots First-Round Cornerback After Combine

This may come as a surprise, but the Patriots historically have a set standard for speed and agility when drafting defensive backs. Since Bill Belichick took over as head coach of the New England Patriots in 2000, only one cornerback has been drafted that ran a 40-yard dash over 4.5 seconds (Alfonzo Dennard). Only one cornerback has been drafted with a 3-cone time over seven seconds...
All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.