The top defensive back prospect, and a leader as the top defensive player in the 2012 NFL Draft, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne checked in slightly shorter than expected at 5-foot-11, 188-pounds. He was listed at 6-0 by LSU. One nice attribute for Claiborne was his long arms of 33 1/4 inches. If Claiborne performs well at the Combine, he will confirm his top-10 grade as the top-rated cornerback.
Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick was an inch shorter (6-2, 186) than his listed measurement by the Crimson Tide, but he still has great height. Surprisingly, Kirkpatrick has relatively short arms at 30 5/8. Kirkpatrick has the frame to add more weight, but it may be a bad idea because it could make it harder for him to turn and run with wide receivers going downfield.
North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins is the consensus third-rated cornerback behind Kirkpatrick and Claiborne. The former Florida Gators standout is 5-foot-10 and 193 pounds. He is put together well for a smaller cornerback, but what makes him stand out over other defensive backs is his agility to run with receivers and provide blanket coverage. Jenkins is trying to answer the off-the-field concerns in the team interviews. He has to have a good Combine with little room for error.
Boise State safety George Iloka had the longest arms of any of the defensive backs at 34 1/2. Iloka (6-4, 225) is the heaviest defensive back in Indianapolis. He had a strong Senior Bowl performance to help his stock.
The top-rated safety in the 2012 NFL Draft, Alabama's Mark Barron (6-1, 210) was smaller than his listed measurements of 6-foot-2, 218 pounds. Considering the emphasis on the passing attack, Barron's smaller numbers shouldn't hurt him. Some NFL teams will like to see Barron's actual numbers because it could make him faster and more agile. Barron also was one of the leaders in arm length (33 5/8).
South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore has excellent size at 6-foot, 190 pounds. Gilmore was an inch shorter than his listed height. He is a second-day prospect, but if he stands out at the Combine, he could push for consideration late in the first round. Every year, there is a cornerback or two who enjoys a late rise.
A cornerback who was significantly shorter than his listed height was Virginia product Chase Minnifield. He was stated to be 6-0, 185 pounds but he checked in at 5-foot-10, 183-pounds. Those are a significant two inches that turn Minnifield from a corner with good size to one with average height. Many teams like corners who are taller than 5-10, so Minnifield's weigh-in could cause teams to lower his ranking.
Montana cornerback/safety Trumaine Johnson (6-2, 204) has an interesting skill set. Some view him as a safety, while others think he can play corner. Johnson has excellent size with long arms (33 1/4). He was said to be big, and it was confirmed in the weigh-in. How he performs on Tuesday in the field drills could determine if teams looks at him as a corner or safety.
The troubled cornerback from Oregon, Cliff Harris entered the 2011 season as a potential first-rounder, but his legal trouble ruined his season and got him kicked off the football team. Harris (5-11, 175) has a slight build, but has decent height. He was a playmaker in 2010, but his arrests are going to have to be addressed with teams. Harris should perform well on the field. He needs to in order to get drafted.
Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley (5-10, 178) is undersized and really needs to fill out his frame. Hosley's size could be a real detriment in his ability to matchup against big, physical receivers. His stock could be downgraded as a result of his low weight.
While we greatly differ on prospect rankings, something that should be assumed this early in the process, I see great thought was put into each pick and they all make sense when looked at through your perspective on the players. Great job!
Out of sheer boredom and the upcoming NBA draft has gotten me itching to make a new mock draft. Of course the NFL draft is a whole lot less predictable than the NBA draft, but also provides more success stories than the NBA draft. Again, I used schedules to determine each team's records and if you get upset with me just remember it's June and a whole lot can change by next April.