Editor's Note: These rankings were originally published before the combine. We will be updating our position rankings throughout draft season.
The wide receiver draft class may turn out to be as talented as any we've seen.
Given the infusion of talented pass-catchers about to enter the league, it's fortunate that the cornerback class is deep as well. My latest 2020 NFL mock draft has five cornerbacks selected in Round 1 and there are 10 to 12 that could be off the board by the end of Round 2.
Going back to 2014, Ohio State has had five first-round cornerbacks in the past six drafts. No other school had more than two first-round corners selected during that six-year span (2014-'19).
The Buckeyes will make it (at least) six in seven years with Jeffrey Okudah, a potential top-three pick in the draft especially if Detroit doesn't trade back from their current draft slot. There hasn't been a cornerback selected top-three in Okudah's lifetime, as the Seahawks were the last to select one with a top-three pick (Shawn Springs, 1997).
With that said, here are my cornerback prospect rankings for the 2020 NFL draft:
1. Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State (JR, 6'1", 205 pounds)
Combining prototypical physical traits—size, length, speed and agility—with his competitive makeup, Okudah is the clear-cut top cornerback in this year's draft class. He led Ohio State's defense in interceptions (three) and pass breakups (nine) in 2019. A scheme-diverse prospect, Okudah is a complete corner that is not only outstanding in coverage but also physical in run support. Okudah should thrive at the next level when isolated on an island to lock down an opponent's No. 1 receiver.
2. C.J. Henderson, Florida (JR, 6'1", 204 pounds)
Critics will be quick to point to his inconsistency as a tackler and that's certainly something that needs to improve. With his blend of size, length and speed, however, Henderson has elite man-coverage skills. As expected, Henderson posted explosive testing numbers in Indy and the gifted athlete's agility, fluid movements and smooth transitions keep him connected to routes in coverage. While the ball production wasn't there in 2019, Henderson had six combined interceptions in his first two seasons at Florida.
3. Kristian Fulton, LSU (SR, 6'0", 197 pounds)
With lots of experience in press coverage, Fulton is a patient and physical corner with decent size. Fulton has lots of reps against elite competition and has mostly held his own. While he may not have elite long speed, he checked the box with a 4.46, 40-yard dash at the combine and he's quick, fluid and sticky in coverage. Per PFF data, Fulton is tied for the most forced incompletions (34) among draft-eligible cornerbacks since 2018. He was suspended for the 2017 season for tampering with an NCAA drug test.
4. Trevon Diggs, Alabama (SR, 6'1", 205 pounds)
Diggs has an elite combination of size and length for the position that suits him well at the line of scrimmage in press coverage and when challenging at the catch point. The younger brother of Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs, Trevon played both wide receiver and defensive back early in his Alabama career. The former wide receiver has excellent ball skills and tied for the team lead in interceptions (three) last season.
5. Jeff Gladney, TCU (rSR, 5'10", 191 pounds)
Gladney lacks ideal size and length at the position, but he plays with a more physical presence than his listed weight would suggest. The TCU corner's combination of strength—benches 400 pounds and squats 600 pounds—and speed earned him a spot on Bruce Feldman's preseason Freaks' List. Blending foot quickness, short-area agility and feisty competitive toughness, Gladney has a nose for the ball that's led to 26 passes defended since 2018 and five interceptions over his three seasons as a starter.
Here are the next 20 cornerbacks:
6. A.J. Terrell, Clemson (JR, 6'1", 195 pounds)
7. Jaylon Johnson, Utah (JR, 6'0", 193 pounds)
8. Damon Arnette, Ohio State (rSR, 6'0", 195 pounds)
9. Bryce Hall, Virginia (SR, 6'1", 202 pounds)
10. Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State (rJR, 6'2", 188 pounds)
11. Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn (JR, 5'10", 198 pounds)
12. Troy Pride Jr., Notre Dame (SR, 6'0", 193 pounds)
13. A.J. Green, Oklahoma State (SR, 6'2", 202 pounds)
14. Amik Robertson, Louisiana Tech (JR, 5'8", 187 pounds)
15. Darnay Holmes, UCLA (JR, 5'10", 195 pounds)
16. Lamar Jackson, Nebraska (SR, 6'2", 208 pounds)
17. Harrison Hand, Temple (JR, 5'11", 197 pounds)
18. Michael Ojemudia, Iowa (rSR, 6'1", 200 pounds)
19. Dane Jackson, Pittsburgh (rSR, 6'0", 187 pounds)
20. Reggie Robinson, Tulsa (rSR, 6'1", 205 pounds)
21. Kindle Vildor, Georgia Southern (SR, 5'10", 191 pounds)
22. Javelin Guidry, Utah (JR, 5'9", 191 pounds)
23. Stanford Samuels III, Florida State (JR, 6'1", 187 pounds)
24. Parnell Motley, Oklahoma (SR, 6'0", 180 pounds)
25. Javaris Davis, Auburn (rSR, 5'9", 183 pounds)
Kevin Hanson joins SI for the 2020 NFL Draft season. His NFL Mock Drafts have graded as the most accurate over the past five years, per The Huddle Report. His 2015 NFL mock draft graded as the most accurate and his 2019 NFL mock draft was the second-most accurate out of 101 draft analysts.
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