Top 2013 prospects: Dee Milliner, Alabama; D.J. Hayden, Houston; Desmond Trufant, Washington; Darius Slay, Mississippi State; Xavier Rhodes, Florida State; Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State; Jamar Taylor, Boise State; Tyrann Mathieu, LSU; Logan Ryan, Rutgers; Leon McFadden, San Diego State
Top 2014 prospects: Bradley Roby, Ohio State; Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State; Jason Verrett, TCU; Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State; Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech; Marcus Roberson, Florida; Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska; Keith McGill, Utah
This year's cornerback class is deep. But so was last year's.
Cornerbacks are increasingly in demand at the college and pro levels, so it should be no surprise there are so many quality youngsters entering the draft every year now.
Last year, we saw nine cornerbacks drafted in the first two rounds and 16 in the first three, a testament to the depth, quality and demand at the position. There weren't any taken in the top five, though, and it seems likely that will be the case in May.
Were it not for off-field concerns, Tyrann Mathieu might have been the first one taken last year. As it stands, the Arizona Cardinals got one of the steals of the draft in the third round. Mathieu was tied for third best in the league over at Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
Fellow rookie Desmond Trufant wasn't far behind, rating seventh in the league.
There wasn't a ton of great play from other rookie cornerbacks last year, but it's quite possibly the toughest position to play as a rookie. Dee Milliner, D.J. Hayden, Johnthan Banks, Darius Slay and Logan Ryan still logged a lot of snaps as a big part of their defenses, proving valuable out of the draft despite not-so-lofty grades.
This year, guys like Bradley Roby from Ohio State, Darqueze Dennard out of Michigan State, Justin Gilbert out of Oklahoma State, Kyle Fuller from Virginia Tech and Jason Verrett from TCU will all likely be first-round selections. There is a bit more fluidity behind, them, however.
We'll find out if so many cornerbacks get drafted in the first few rounds this year, but for now, last year's class stands out above the 2014 crop.
Verdict: 2013 class wins