In this year’s draft class, the top two cornerback prospects are obvious picks. Patrick Peterson is, put simply, the best overall prospect in the draft and Prince Amukamara is a clear second best, character issues aside.
However, as you look down the draft board in both picks and in player rankings, it isn’t as cut and dry who could be the next CB in line. While it is clear that another CB or three will be taken before even the first safety in this year’s draft, the choice between Miami’s Brandon Harris and Colorado’s Jimmy Smith may not be as clear-cut as Mel Kiper would make it out to be.
Sure, Smith wowed the scouts at the combine and blew pretty much anyone else hoping for that No. 3 CB spot out of the water, but Harris is still one of the best coverage guys in this class and could quickly jump up the board if the right team feels he can fit their needs.
With the draft little more than a month-and-a-half away, we at Bleacher Report decided to make the choice easy and break it down to a category-by-category battle between these two potential shutdown, Pro Bowl cornerbacks before the NFL owners and GMs make the final call.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper currently feels that the Philadelphia Eagles will be looking to bolster either side of their line in the first round with the 23rd overall pick, but even he recognizes their need for help in the secondary. With so few good safety prospects, filling that need in the first round would then fall to either Harris or Smith.
Here, then, is the debate between Brandon Harris and Jimmy Smith simplified. Ten rounds, one winner. May the best man win.