2021 NFL Draft Preview – CB

1st Round Talent

Caleb Farley Virginia Tech, JR

Farley entered his junior campaign after having a breakout 2019 season where he was voted First Team All-ACC, however, decided to opt out of the season in late July to begin preparation for the NFL Draft. Although some prospects have taken a significant hit by opting out (particularly the QB prospects), Farley remains at the top of the CB rankings. Although the CB class has proven to have significant depth, there has not been a breakout performer that has proven to have more upside than Farley, which speaks out to his technically sound abilities. Farley is an extremely aggressive and athletic prospect with an astoundingly high football IQ. He is great in all coverages due to the high level of understanding of the game and is a prospect who can emerge as the QB of a defense in the near future. He has the perfect frame to be an elite NFL CB (6’2″ 207), but is also very quick for a guy that size and changes speeds with ease. He gets out of breaks as fast as anyone on the field, which pairs well with his quick wit and play recognition. His 2019 film against Chase Claypool is impressive and gives a great look at how he will be able to guard some of the bigger WRs that are dominating the NFL. Farley also has a knack for the ball, but can be a bit too aggressive at times when he sells out for a play, which is a hitch and go TD waiting to happen. Overall he is the best prospect in the CB class and a likely top 10 pick.

Patrick Surtain II – Alabama, JR

If the name Patrick Surtain sounds familiar it is because he is the son of former Chiefs Pro Bowl CB from the early 2000s. Cut from an NFL pedigree, Surtain II has a lanky 6’2″ frame that helps him significantly in coverage. He has some of the best ball skills in the SEC and has become Alabama’s go to lock down corner. He has a tendency to play a bit robotic at times and is not the strongest cornerback in this group, which has limited him against the run. Regardless of his run stopping capabilities, Surtain II has proven to lockdown some of the best receivers in the SEC and should be considered a 1st round prospect. Surtain II has started 33 straight games since he was a true freshman and will be a day one starter wherever he lands in the draft.

Eric Stokes – Georgia, JR

Stokes has become one of the leaders of the dominant defense, as he enters this week with 24 career starts. He is a solid, fundamentally sound corner who is highly skilled in all phases of the game. At 185 lbs he is not huge, but his game is so technically skilled that he can disrupt some of the best WRs in the nation. Stokes should have no trouble putting on weight and strength before the combine, which will be necessary to remain a top tier prospect. He is a solid outside press corner, but could benefit to add 15 lbs to be able to keep up with the new age of gigantic NFL WRs. He isn’t as strong of a tackler as many other prospects in the draft, but can be a great No. 2 CB right away, which puts his draft stock to the late teens.

Shaun Wade – Ohio State, SR

Wade elected to return to Ohio State for his senior season after playing in a crowded secondary in 2019 along with Jeff Okudah and Damon Arnette Jr, both 2020 1st Round selections. He has a ton of tape from the last two seasons, however played in the nickel position for most it. While mainly shadowing slot receivers in 2019, he only had his hands on the ball a shockingly low 9 times. Wade could play nickel at the next level, but also can improve his draft stock if he excels as an outside lockdown cornerback this season. At 6’1″ 200 lbs, he certainly has the frame and experience to excel on the outside, but will need to prove his versatility on film if he wants to remain a top tier 1st Round prospect.

Day 2 Prospects

Jaycee Horn – South Carolina, JR

Another son of a former NFL star, Jaycee Horn plays on the opposite side of the ball than where his father, Joe Horn, did. Jaycee is in his third season as a starter for the Gamecocks and is a strong and lanky press corner who has the ability to sneak into the 1st round. Not only does Horn have NFL size and athleticism, he is an extremely smart and well coached cornerback.

Derion Kendrick – Clemson, JR

Before Clemson, Derion Kendrick was a WR before becoming the starting QB his Junior year at South Pointe High School, the same school that NFL Edge Rusher Jadeveon Clowney attended. In his career he picked up four state titles, won the Gatorade Player of the Year and was recruited by Clemson as the #1 WR prospect from the state of South Carolina. He started his career playing on offense, but transitioned to CB after his freshman year and quickly became a starter and earned All-ACC honors in his first season on defense. Now Kendrick is a leader of the Clemson defense and has serious 1st round potential. He has made tremendous improvement every week in a brand new position and has elite athleticism that should work well at the next level.

Tyson Campbell – Georgia, JR

While fellow Bulldog teammate Eric Stokes may boast outstanding technical skills with minor athletic limitations, Tyson Campbell is the opposite. He is a 3 year starter playing the opposite corner position as Stokes and is a freak athlete who excels in the run game. Campbell is bit more of a project than his teammate, but has starting NFL potential. He is well coached and was a teammate of Patrick Surtain II in high school, coach by his father, Patrick Surtain.

Paulson Adebo – Stanford, SR

Just like Horn, Paulson Adebo is an extremely smart and well coached cornerback. Adebo was a candidate to go the the 2020 Draft, but elected to return for his senior season. In the small sample size that Stanford has played in 2020, Adebo looks like himself. He is a technically sound cover corner, but plays a bit small to be a 1st round lock. He is likely going to be stuck in an outside corner role, which limits his true draft potential (he is just 190 lbs).

Israel Mukuamu – South Carolina, JR

Mukuamu is another athletic corner who a team could take a shot on. Similar to Tyson Campbell, Mukuamu is extremely fast and aggressive, but not the most sound at the position. His ceiling is likely as a No. 2 corner, but he is a great athletic run stopper and premier prospect who could improve into a franchise guy.

Kary Vincent Jr. – LSU, SR

Vincent was a key member of the Tigers 2019 Championship run, as he started 8 games in the nickel position. He is one of the most talented true nickel corners in the draft and is a candidate to win the 40 yard dash at the combine. Outside of football, Vincent was a member of the LSU Track and Field team and was a 2 Time SEC Champion as well as a 2019 All-American in the 4×100 relay. Vincent has the athleticism to be taken highly, despite opting out of the 2020 season.

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