2013 NFL Draft Preview: Ranking College Football's Top 15 Cornerback Prospects

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2013 NFL Draft Preview: Ranking College Football's Top 15 Cornerback Prospects
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert is one of the most talented defenders in college football

An average of 33 cornerbacks have been taken in each of the past three NFL drafts, and there was a total of 34 that were selected in this year’s draft, which was the highest total for any individual position.

That just goes to show how important cornerbacks have become in today’s pass-happy NFL.

Not only is there a premium placed on pass-rushers that can consistently get to the quarterback; corners who are capable of matching up and restricting many of the league’s physically superior receivers are also considered to be valuable commodities as well.

Since the turn of the millennium, there have been at least three cornerbacks taken in the first round of every single NFL draft with the exception of 2009. Given the type of cornerbacks that are returning to college football for the 2012 season, it does not seem like that trend is about to change any time soon.

While we have had to wave goodbye to star corners such as LSU’s Morris Claiborne, Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick and South Carolina’s Stephon Gilmore, do not worry, because the next great wave of great cover men is (pardon the pun) waiting just around the corner.

Here’s an early look at college football’s top eligible cornerback prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft.

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