Having a great cornerback completely changes the complexity and ability of a defense. Just ask the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys—as each rented Deion Sanders and won Super Bowl rings in the mid-'90s. The same goes for the Seattle Seahawks in 2013 on the back of Richard Sherman and his elite coverage skills.
Cornerbacks are as important as ever, and the 2014 draft class features a talented crop of them. But who is the best?
That’s what the NFL Draft 100 aims to identify. Looking only at the film, who is the best?
The B/R NFL Draft 100 metric is based on scouting each player and grading the key criteria for each position. The criteria are weighted according to importance on a 100-point scale. Unlike our NFL 1000 series, this project factors in upside for each player—as the NFL draft is as much about upside as it is about production.
Cornerbacks are judged on coverage (50 points), run defense (5), speed (25), upside (20) and all of the technique, athletic ability and football intelligence needed to play the position.
In the case of ties, the ranking is based on which player I would prefer personally.
Subjective? Yes. But ties are no fun.
I scouted each player with these key criteria in mind. The following scouting reports and grades are the work of months of film study and in-person evaluation.