My 2018 NFL Draft Cornerback Rankings

I  always have to mention this, these are not projections of where these players will go, rather where I personally think they should go. Unlike my prospect breakdowns, these round grades DO take into account positional importance, so you may notice Josh Allen is graded as 1st to 2nd round prospect rather than a 2nd to 3rd round grade.

#1 – Denzel Ward, Ohio State

Ward is my CB1 for the 2018 NFL Draft. His 4.32 40-yard dash is one of the fastest in the class, and it means that he can control practically any receiver’s speed. He is a little undersized, but you wouldn’t know it with his excellent tackling and his aggressive style in coverage.

Grade: Round 1

#2 – Jaire Alexander, Louisville

I am really high on Alexander. He could step in and return punts day one, he has a nose for the football and is great at breaking down and attacking the ball. He is great in press coverage and is agile enough to cover slots. A history of injuries may mean the NFL is less high on him

Grade: Round 1

#3 – Josh Jackson, Iowa

Jackson slid down from #2 to #3 after running just a 4.56 40-yard dash at the combine. He started just one year at Iowa, but he racked up eight interceptions in 2017 and was one of the most natural in the class in zone coverage. He plays the ball well in the air, but tackling could be an issue.

Grade: Round 1

#4 – Mike Hughes, UCF

Hughes dominated at UCF, showing great speed in the return game, but also great strength and toughness in coverage. The biggest negative on his docket is that he was dismissed from North Carolina after a sexual assault allegation, although charges were never filed.

Grade: Round 1

#5 – Isaiah Oliver, Colorado

Great size at 6’0″, 201 pounds. He has great lateral movements and flips his hips well to run with receivers. His 4.5 40-yard dash is a little slow compared to the top end of the class.

Grade: Round 2

#6 – Carlton Davis, Auburn

Davis is NFL-ready after starting three years in a row at the SEC level. He is a ball hawk who is great in press coverage as well. His 4.53 40-yard dash time means he would struggle to play against the slot.

Grade: Round 2

#7 – Donte Jackson, LSU

The second of three Jacksons on this list, Donte ran a 4.32 40-yard dash is one of the best in this class and makes him the perfect fit to play as a nickel corner straight out of college.

Grade: Round 2

#8 – Quenton Meeks, Stanford

I’m higher on Meeks than most. He has great size at 6’2″, 205 lbs, has high football IQ (I mean, he went to Stanford) and is one of the best in the class in run support. He would struggle against speedy receivers.

Grade: Round 2

#9 – Isaac Yiadom, Boston College

Yiadom impressed me at the senior bowl and could be a sleeper prospect if he falls into day three. He is a great hitter who plays well in run support, although he sometimes struggles against talented route runners.

Grade: Round 3

#10 – Anthony Averett, Alabama

Averett has great speed with a 4.36 40-yard dash time. He can hang with any receiver, but will likely play as a slot cornerback. He has dropped passes on film and doesn’t have the best reaction time.

Grade: Round 3

#11 – MJ Stewart, North Carolina

Stewart is great in press coverage and plays physical at the line, but because of his below average height (5’10”) and speed (4.54), he may be forced to move up to safety at the NFL level.

Grade: Round 3

#12 – JC Jackson, Maryland

Another Jackson in this cornerback class. JC is a great tackler and is solid in run support. Off field issues may drop him as he was kicked off of the Florida teams after being charged with armed robbery, although was found not guilty.

Grade: Round 3

#13 – Tarvarus McFadden, Florida State

McFadden recorded eight interceptions in 2016 and looked to be heading towards a first round grade, but his zero interceptions this season and a slow 4.67 40-time drop him to a borderline day two player.

Grade: Round 3-4

#14 – Holton Hill, Texas

Grade: Round 4

#15 – Nick Nelson, Wisconsin

Grade: Round 4

#16 – Duke Dawson, Florida

Grade: Round 4

#17 – Tremon Smith, Central Arkansas

Grade: Round 4

#18 – Parry Nickerson, Tulane

Grade: Round 4

#19 – DJ Reed, Kansas State

Grade: Round 4-5

#20 – Kevin Toliver, LSU

Grade: Round 4-5

#21 – Tony Brown, Alabama

Grade: Round 5

#22 – Darius Phillips, Western Michigan

Grade: Round 5

#23 – Rashaan Gaulden, Tennessee

Grade: Round 5

#24 – Greg Stroman, Virginia Tech

Grade: Round 6

#25 – Christian Campbell, Penn State

Grade: Round 6

#26 – Taron Johnson, Weber State

Grade: Round 6

#27 – Michael Joseph, Dubuque

Grade: Round 6-7

#28 – Danny Jones, Southern

Grade: Round 6-7

#29 – Brandon Faycson, Virginia Tech

Grade: Round 6-UDFA

#30 – Grant Haly, Penn State

Grade: Round 6-UDFA

#31 – Levi Wallace, Alabama

Grade: Round 6-UDFA

#32 – Chandon Sullivan, Georgia State

Grade: Round 6-UDFA

#33 – Davontae Harris, Illinois State

Grade: Round 7-UDFA

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