It's been a week since we talked about what positions the Cowboys have needs at and you guys thought that the cornerback position was the most important for the Cowboys, as their secondary was torched on a weekly basis last season. So let's take a look at some of the top prospects at the cornerback position and their strenghts and weaknesses.
*This will not include Patrick Peterson because he's not expected to last until the #9 pick. Also I didn't look at anyone that's projected to go after the second round as this is the most important position to you readers so there's no point in looking at the late part of the draft in the most important position.
*I'd like to thank Aaron Aloysius of DraftBreakdown.com for the video clips.
Amukamara is the second ranked corner in the draft and rightfully so. He has good size and strength at 6'1 and 205 lbs. His size gives him the ability to be a solid tackler. He's also good in both man-to-man and zone coverage.
His 2010 stats indicated that no quarterback wanted a part of this guy. He had 36 solo tackles and 13 pass breakups. Amukamara also moves his hips well which means he can change direction quickly and he can close on the ball fast and even when he's beat deep, he's usually in a position to make a play on the ball.
Amukamara has problems defending bigger receivers as evidenced by his game against Oklahoma State. He also has a problem shedding blocks in the running game (which was evidenced in several games).
Amukamara also lacks straight line speed down the field, which gets him in trouble sometimes because he tends to jump on first moves and gets beat on double moves down the field, he also didn't have a single interception last year, and while that may be because no one threw at him, that won't happen in the NFL until he makes QB's pay by creating turnovers.
Amukamara is one of the best corners in this draft and should be available for Dallas. His negatives for the most part are coachable, so he should able to adapt to the NFL game quickly and with the Cowboys secondary, he won't be counted on to save them, but instead improve them for the first season.
Here's some tape of his game in 2009 against Baylor, where you can see his strengths and weaknesses
Smith has excellent size at 6'2 and 200 lbs. He has blazing speed and is very physical at the line of scrimmage which is why he excels in press coverage. He loves to come up to support the run and has good form when tackling, which is great for someone his size. He was named to the All-Big 12 team despite his team having a losing record.
Smith has just three interceptions in his four seasons (However no one threw at him. According to his bio on the Buffaloes website, he was thrown at just 20 times this season in man-to-man coverage).
Has trouble changing direction and running due to his size, which makes him a liability in the open field with running backs and smaller receivers.
Smith's size and speed will make him a desirable corner in this draft. Teams will be interested in having him cover bigger receivers such as Andre Johnson. His weaknesses can be coached, especially his tight hips.
He could be a late first round pick or an early second. So if the Cowboys trade down he could be there and if they decide to go in another direction in the first round he could be there in the second.
Here's some game tape of his game against Missouri in 2009.
Harris has excellent speed and athleticism, he uses his quick feet and and smooth hips to stay with receivers, he's also solid at man-to-man coverage. He has great change of direction skills which allows him to come up and make plays on receivers. He's not afraid to come up and play the run and is physical in his pursuit of the running back.
He also has that University of Miami swagger, so he loves competition.
Despite his quick movements, Harris rarely comes up with an interception (just one this season) he also gets lost sometimes in zone coverage taking the guy closest to him, which opens up holes.
His biggest weaknesses is he doesn't wrap up in tackles, which is something a corner of his height (5'10) needs to fix at the next level, or he'll be in a lot of trouble.
Harris' speed will help him at the next level and if he learns how to tackle consistently he'll be great in run support. His height leaves something to be desired, but he won't be the only 5'10 corner in the league and there are some good ones out there. He looks to be a mid-late second round pick, so if the Cowboys address some other needs first, he'll be around.
Here's some tape of his game against Georgia Tech last season.
Williams has the size you look for in a cornerback at 6'1. He continued to play well despite the loss in talent around him to the NFL over the past two years. Has good football IQ and isn't afraid to throw himself into pile to stop the run, which is why he's used in a lot blitzes for Texas (had five tackles for losses). Loves to throw his body around.
Will need to add weight before the combine (listed at 185 on Texas' team page), but that could lead to a drop in his numbers if he doesn't prepare himself the right way. Needs to improve his man-to-man coverage and jamming receivers.
Doesn't get many interceptions, but teams usually test him deep early then leave him alone, when he makes a play. Needs to wrap up more when tackling.
Outlook: It's being said that Williams could move his way up into the first round if he has a good combine and at the same time a bad combine could move down into the late second round, which is why he's so low in this article.
Basically Williams controls his own destiny, but as an underclassman it could be sometime before he gets to his combine training and that could hurt him.
If he has a good combine and works his way up, the Cowboys might want to reach on him, especially if Amukamara goes earlier than expected.
Here's some tape against Nebraska last season
Be sure to comment on what you think of these corners and where the Cowboys should look to draft. Also stay tuned as I'll show you the offensive linemen later this week.
If there are any corners you want a diagnosis of, put their name in the comment box and I'll add it to this story.