1. Joe Haden, Florida.
Haden saved his draft stock by improving his forty time from 4.60 to the low-4.4 range at the Gators’ Pro Day, and the 5-foot-11, 193-pound shutdown corner has no discernible weaknesses as a sure tackler with a clean medical history and ideal ball skills.
Draft Prediction: 49ers, No. 13 overall.
2. Kyle Wilson, Boise State.
This draft’s clear-cut No. 2 cornerback, the durable Wilson never missed a game as a four-year starter for the annually underrated Broncos, combining for eight interceptions in his final two seasons and offering explosive punt return ability.
Draft Prediction: Seahawks, No. 14 overall.
3. Kareem Jackson, Alabama.
Though overshadowed by Crimson Tide teammate Javier Arenas, Jackson was the more dominant cover corner for an Alabama team that ranked second nationally in pass efficiency defense last season.
Draft Prediction: Steelers, No. 18 overall.
4. Patrick Robinson, Florida State.
Robinson’s ball skills have been criticized because he didn’t pick off a pass as a senior, but the 5-foot-11, 190-pound three-year starter had six interceptions as a sophomore, possesses tremendously quick feet, and is perhaps the most NFL-ready press corner in the draft.
Draft Prediction: Eagles, No. 24 overall.
5. Devin McCourty, Rutgers.
Also a special teams dynamo (seven career blocked kicks, loads of coverage tackles), McCourty was the leader in the secondary for a Scarlet Knights team that led the Big East in total defense last season.
Draft Prediction: Texans, No. 51 overall.
6. Amari Spievey, Iowa.
Spievey, who held heralded receiver prospect Demaryius Thomas catch-less in Iowa’s Orange Bowl win over Georgia Tech, lacks ideal speed (4.57) but picked off six passes in his two years as a starter, was among the nation’s most physical corners, and played in a pro-style scheme.
Draft Prediction: Lions, No. 66 overall.
7. Chris Cook, Virginia.
Cook was injury prone throughout his career and academically ineligible for all of 2008, but had four interceptions in his breakout senior season and has enjoyed one of the finest offseasons among defensive back prospects.
Draft Prediction: Titans, No. 77 overall.
8. Jerome Murphy, South Florida.
A nickel back behind current NFLers Mike Jenkins and Trae Williams as a sophomore, the ideally built Murphy (6’0/191) joined the Bulls’ starting lineup in 2008 and displayed big-time hitting ability and plenty of ball skills (4 picks in ’09) during his final two seasons.
Draft Prediction: Raiders, No. 69 overall.
9. Perrish Cox, Oklahoma State.
All-Big 12 as both a cornerback and return specialist, Cox finished his career with six return scores and ten interceptions, but was suspended for the 2009 Cotton Bowl after missing curfew, ran in the high 4.5s at the Combine, and allegedly already has three children out of wedlock.
Draft Prediction: Buccaneers, No. 101 overall.
10. Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Indiana (PA).
A dominant small schooler, Owusu-Ansah scored nine career return touchdowns, picked off ten passes between his junior and senior years, and proved he’s recovered from postseason shoulder surgery by running 4.33 and 4.41 forties at 6-foot-1, 207 during his March Pro Day.
Draft Prediction: Rams, No. 99 overall.
11. Javier Arenas, Alabama.
The ideal nickel back with return value, Arenas goes just 5-foot-9, 195 but scored seven career punt return touchdowns, excels on the corner blitz (five sacks in ’09), and is a feisty cover man in the slot.
Draft Prediction: Bengals, No. 96 overall.
12. Dominique Franks, Oklahoma.
Franks, who improved his forty time from the mid-4.5s to 4.47 at the Sooners’ Pro Day, was voted first-team All-Big 12 in both of his final two years at OU and racked up six interceptions as the field corner in coordinator Brett Venables’ defense.
Draft Prediction: Giants, No. 115 overall.
13. Walter McFadden, Auburn.
Snubbed for a Combine invite despite leading the Tigers with six interceptions last season, McFadden ran 4.40 and 4.43 at Auburn’s Pro Day and could be a serious steal in the middle rounds.
Draft Prediction: Falcons, No. 117 overall.
14. Myron Lewis, Vanderbilt.
The biggest pure corner on this list (Cook may move to safety), the 6-foot-2, 203-pound Lewis exhibited adequate speed (4.52) at the Combine and picked off nine passes in his final two years, but underwent knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus late in the college season.
Draft Prediction: Vikings, No. 161 overall.
15. Brandon Ghee, Wake Forest.
Ghee offers plus size (6’0/189) and terrific measurables (4.45 forty, 10-foot-7 broad jump), but rarely made big plays in college, was merely honorable mention All-ACC in 2009, and struggled in man-to-man coverage at January’s Senior Bowl.
Draft Prediction: Ravens, No. 156 overall.