1. Artie Burns -- The team's most talented and complete cornerback, Burns has really elevated his game this season. He provides leadership, a tremendous skill set, and the ability to shut down opposing receivers. He was heavily recruited out of Miami Northwestern High school and is on the verge of becoming an elite player at the position. He's started six games and leads the cornerback group in tackles and pass breakups.
2. Ladarius Gunter -- A steady performer for the Hurricanes in each of the last couple seasons, Gunter is the most experienced of the bunch. He's started every game and has a pair of interceptions and leads the team with five pass breakups. He has an ideal blend of size, speed, and athleticism and appears to be playing himself into being an NFL draft pick next spring. This turned out to be a very good recruiting evaluation by the UM coaches when they plucked him from the Juco ranks as a lightly-recruited kid.
3. Corn Elder -- A converted running back at one time, Elder is starting to make his move. He's played in every game this season and started one. He has shown tremendous cover skills and is expected to continue making a push to become a starter down the stretch. He's on the verge of really turning the corner and becoming a top flight player at the position.
4. Antonio Crawford -- One of the team's fastest players, Crawford has often been the team's third defensive back into the game. He's turned in a solid season and should continue to push for more playing time down the stretch. He's played in all seven games and has a sack, a caused fumble, and a couple pass breakups.
5. Tracy Howard -- A standout junior with lots of experience, Howard was expected to be one of the two starters by a lot of people before the season. He has yet to start a game but has played in all seven. He's very smart, has tremendous cover skills, and has been an asset on special teams but his lack of ideal speed has held him back some. Still, he's a quality player here and will play a key role for the Canes down the stretch.
6. Ryan Mayes -- A true freshman who could end up being a cornerback or safety here, Mayes is on track to redshirt. Breaking into that top five group wasn't going to be easy so it's tough to tell where his progress is at.
7. Ray Lewis -- After redshirting last season, the son of a UM legend has yet to see the field through the first seven games of the season. He's unlikely to break into the rotation anytime soon.