BearsBeat.com 2009 Draft Board: Cornerbacks

April 18th, 2009 - 12:00 am

Here’s a look at how I feel about the 2009 cornerback prospects. Cornerbacks and safeties may be used interchangeably due to uncertainty of which position the prospect will play in the NFL. The order may change as draft day nears.

1. Malcom Jenkins – Ohio State
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 201 | 40-time: 4.55
What I like about him: Has good size and strength for a corner. Has long arms and is a good tackler. Will jam receivers at the line.
What I don’t like about him: Doesn’t have great top-end speed. Can be beat deep. Average fluidity.

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2. Vontae Davis – Illinois
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 204 | 40-time: 4.49
What I like about him: Brother of Vernon Davis. Has excellent athleticism and great size. Good strength to jam receivers and is solid in run support. Delivers a powerful hit.
What I don’t like about him: Has questionable character and desire. Will often rely on his natural skills as opposed to using proper technique. Understanding of plays in question.

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3. Alphonso Smith – Wake Forest
Height: 5-9 | Weight: 190 | 40-time: 4.52
What I like about him: Very productive in college. He’s a ball hawk who has a nose for the football. Good zone awareness and great hands. Solid competitor.
What I don’t like about him: Lacks ideal height. Sometimes arrives late at the ball. Inconsistent in run support.

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4. D.J. Moore – Vanderbilt
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 182 | 40-time: 4.53
What I like about him: Outstanding athlete. Has a nose for the football as he played some receiver, too. Good change of direction skills. Shows a willingness to make tackles.
What I don’t like about him: Thin frame. Misses some open-field tackles. Doesn’t have great strength or solid footwork.

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5. Coye Francies – San Jose State
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 195 | 40-time: 4.56
What I like about him: Great speed and fluid motion. He’s a physical corner who will get involved in run defense. Good character and work ethic.
What I don’t like about him: Has a thin body and could use some bulk. Was arrested for illegal weapons possession in 2007 and was released from Oregon State.

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6. Jairus Byrd – Oregon
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 205 | 40-time: 4.55
What I like about him: Has good size and is a solid athlete. He’s a smart player who understands the game. Has natural instincts and good body control
What I don’t like about him: Doesn’t have quick reflexes and has only average speed. Better in zone coverage than man-to-man.

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7. Darius Butler – Connecticut
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 178 | 40-time: 4.40
What I like about him: Has decent speed and is a natural athlete. Plays pretty good lock-down coverage and plays the ball like a receiver.
What I don’t like about him: Doesn’t play strong or physical. Doesn’t have good size and durability could be a question.

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8. Sean Smith – Utah
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 215 | 40-time: 4.50
What I like about him: He’s a very big corner and uses his long arms well. Can adjust well to the ball in the air. Is aggressive in run support.
What I don’t like about him: Doesn’t have top-end speed and struggles to recover on double moves. Needs to learn more technique and the fundamentals of the position.

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9. Cary Harris – Southern California
Height: 5-11 | Weight: 188 | 40-time: 4.40
What I like about him: Good coverage skills in man-to-man. Has good awareness and re-routes receivers well. Good special teams player and he’s a willing hitter.
What I don’t like about him: Doesn’t have good size or bulk. Doesn’t have good transitional quickness and has only average ball skills.

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10. DeAngelo Smith – Cincinnati
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 191 | 40-time: 4.50
What I like about him: Good in zone coverage and opens his hips well. He’s an aggressive player and a respected leader of the secondary.
What I don’t like about him: His man-to-man coverage needs work. Doesn’t jam receivers well. Gives too much cushion.

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11. Victor Harris – Virginia Tech
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 184 | 40-time: 4.63
What I like about him: Nickname is “Macho” as he plays with swagger. Has good ball skills and a nose for the football and can take interceptions to the house.
What I don’t like about him: Doesn’t have elite speed and can be exposed in space. Sometimes plays out of control and doesn’t have great recovery skills.


12. Mike Mickens – Cincinnati
Height: 5-11 | Weight: 176 | 40-time: 4.55
What I like about him: Had good production in college and is a smart player. He reacts well to passes and has decent speed and zone coverage ability.
What I don’t like about him: Thin frame and missed time with injuries. Can be fooled on playaction. Doesn’t have great quickness.


13. Asher Allen – Georgia
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 190 | 40-time: 4.53
What I like about him: He’s a smart player that is aggressive in run support. Plays with a physical edge and is a solid open-field tackler.
What I don’t like about him: Doesn’t have ideal size and isn’t a playmaking corner. Had just three interceptions in college. Recovery speed is average.


14. Sherrod Martin – Troy
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 197 | 40-time: 4.40
What I like about him: Possesses a great combination of size and speed. Swivels his hips well and played well against good competition. Has good ball skills.
What I don’t like about him: Isn’t a physical player. Durability is a question as he has had surgery on both shoulders.


15. Brandon Underwood – Cincinnati
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 192 | 40-time: 4.45
What I like about him: Good height and fluidity. He’s a versatile player that has played both cornerback and safety.
What I don’t like about him: Doesn’t have good strength and isn’t a physical player. Plays inconsistent and misses open-field tackles.


Others:
Bradley Fletcher – Iowa
Brandon Hughes – Oregon State
Bruce Johnson – Miami
Captain Munnerlyn – South Carolina
Chris Owens – San Jose State
DeAndre Wright – New Mexico
Derek Pegues – Mississippi State
Domonique Johnson – Jackson State
Don Carey – Norfolk State
Donald Washington – Ohio State
Ellis Lankster – West Virginia
Glover Quin – New Mexico
Greg Toller – St. Paul’s
Jahi Word-Daniels – Georgia Tech
Jerraud Powers – Auburn
Joe Burnett – Central Florida
Keenan Lewis – Oregon State
Kevin Barnes – Maryland
Lardarius Webb – Nicholls State
Londen Fryar – Western Michigan
Lydell Sargeant – Penn State
Morgan Trent – Michigan
Ryan Mouton – Hawaii
Ryan Palmer – Texas
Trevor Ford – Troy
Woody Turenne – Louisville
Wopamo Osaisai – Stanford