NFL Draft 2013: Analyzing This Year's Cornerback Class
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The 2013 NFL draft features just one surefire first-round cornerback prospect, but whichever team secures the services of Alabama's Dee Milliner will be getting a stud.
A former 5-star recruit who started 11 games as a true freshman, Milliner developed into the top corner in the country during his three-year career under Nick Saban.
Blessed with an ideal 6'1", 198-pound frame, 4.47 wheels and a physical playing style, the Crimson Tide's best cover corner should likely go in the top 10 come April.
However, for teams picking lower in the draft, here are some other top options from this year's cornerback class.
Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
Another big, physical corner, 6'2", 217-pound Xavier Rhodes is considered to be the second-best corner in this year's class by many experts.
Rhodes is projected to go late in the first round or early in the second because of his tremendous length, tackling ability and press-coverage skills. Over the past three seasons, Rhodes recorded eight interceptions for the Seminoles.
His biggest knock is his tendency to get too physical in coverage, something that will be penalized at the next level, and his lack of elite speed. However, his experience (39 career starts) and production speak for themselves.
Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
Sticking with the theme of lengthy corners, Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks is one of the top cornerback prospects of the 2013 draft, despite a rough finish to his senior season.
Entering 2012, Banks was considered to be the top senior CB in the country, but the 6'1", 185-pounder failed to snag an interception in the Bulldogs' last six games, a stretch in which they went 1-5.
Banks' underwhelming second half shouldn't overshadow an otherwise extremely productive career. As a four-year starter, he recorded 221 total tackles (11 for loss), 15 interceptions and 41 passes defended.
His five forced fumbles and three defensive touchdowns prove he's a top playmaker.
Jordan Poyer, Oregon State
A true ball hawk, Oregon State's Jordan Poyer may not be a household name, but ask any quarterback who faced the 5'11", 190-pound corner just how good he is and you'll begin to appreciate his game more and more.
After breaking into the starting lineup in 2010, Poyer quickly developed into a premier cover guy for the Beavers.
In 2012, the senior put it all together and earned consensus All-America honors after recording 51 tackles, seven interceptions and 15 passes defended. The Beavers' best defender is a great athlete for the position and could be a steal in the second round.
Logan Ryan, Rutgers
Just a junior, Rutgers cornerback Logan Ryan opted to declare a year early for the draft.
After recording 94 tackles, four picks and 18 passes defended in 2012, that looks like a good decision.
Another tough, disciplined player to emerge from the Scarlet Knights' program, the 6'0", 190-pound Ryan will attempt to join New England Patriot Devin McCourty as just the second first-round cornerback from the program.
According to Rob Rang of CBSSports.com, Ryan is one of just four corners to earn a second-round grade. If he's able to impress in workouts and verify his size and speed, Ryan could move his way into late first-round consideration.
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