2012 NFL Draft Cornerback Board: Ranking Dre Kirkpatrick and Rest of Top 20

Jonathan BalesAnalyst IMarch 12, 2012

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 05:  Dre Kirkpatrick #21 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts next to  Rueben Randle #2 of the LSU Tigers during the second half of the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

I have a few cool new articles coming out soon at the Times, USA Today, and a couple other publications, so I will post links to those once they are live.  

For now, take a gander at my initial cornerback rankings.  I imagine they will cause some conversation.  

Click on players with links for my scouting reports.  I will make a point to assess the cornerbacks I have higher or lower than the consensus.



  • The round listed after each prospect’s name is the grade I have provided him, NOT where I think he will get selected.  I view players with two rounds listed as on the border of each.
  • Players with the *** designation are higher than consensus rankings, while those with ^^^ after their names are lower than the consensus.


1. Morris Claiborne, LSU (First Round)

2. Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama (First Round)

3.  Jamell Fleming, Oklahoma (First Round) ***

4.  Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina (First/Second Round)

5.   Janoris Jenkins, Florida/North Alabama (First/Second Round)

6.  Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech (Second Round) ***

7.  Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska (Second Round)

8.  Josh Robinson, UCF (Second Round)

9.  Josh Norman, Coastal Carolina (Second Round) ***

10.  Chase Minnifield, Virginia (Second Round)

11.  Brandon Boykin, Georgia (Fourth Round) ^^^

12. Ryan Steed, Furman (Fourth Round)  ***

13.  Trumaine Johnson, Montana  (Fourth Round) ^^^

14.  Coryell Judie, Texas A&M (Fourth/Fifth Round)

15.  Dwight Bentley, UL Lafayette (Fifth Round)

16. DeQuan Menzie, Alabama (Fifth/Sixth Round)

17.  Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt (Fifth/Sixth Round) ^^^

18. Asa Jackson, Cal Poly (Sixth Round)

19. Leonard Johnson, Iowa State (Sixth Round) ^^^

20. Omar Bolden, Arizona State (Sixth Round)


Some Thoughts

  • These are simply the cornerbacks I have reviewed.  I’m sure I will look at a few more who will jump into the Top 20.
  • I debated placing Jamell Fleming ahead of Dre Kirkpatrick.  I love Fleming, and I think he’s perhaps the top pure-cover guy in this class.  His game against Iowa was the best I saw this year.
  • I placed Stephen Gilmore ahead of Janoris Jenkins simply because of character.  I think they are interchangeable on the field.
  • Josh Norman from Coastal Carolina is my “sleeper” for 2012.  I think he has a chance to be something special, but most people have a late-round grade on him.
  • You all know I don’t think much of Brandon Boykin, but most of you probably wouldn’t give him a fourth-round grade.  The decline from the top-10 cornerbacks to him, in my view, is dramatic.  I don’t have a single player with a third-round grade at this position.
  • Some analysts like Casey Hayward and Leonard Johnson, but I think they are both horribly overrated players.


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