2004 NFL Draft Cornerback Top 10

With the loss of Mario Edwards earlier this week, the Cowboys need help at cornerback. Here's a look at our top 10 cornerbacks available in the upcoming NFL Draft. Also included in this report is a detailed scouting report of each player.

Name: DeAngelo Hall School Virginia Tech Year 3Jr
Ht: 5-10 Wt: 202 40: 4.41 Pos: CB

Bio: Two year starter that set several records as a return specialist. Defensive numbers as junior included 75/1/5, and averaged 14.5 yards on 30 punt returns, bringing two back for scores. Scored on returns of 58 and 60 yards last season against Syracuse, which was a conference record. Occasionally used at receiver last season and recorded 7/86/1. Sophomore totals included 45/4/12 with a 16-yard average on 22 punt returns, recording two touchdowns. Ran well at the Combine and set a tech football record with a 4.15 clocking in the forty during spring drills of 2003.

Positives: Explosive prospect whose speed separates him from the rest of the pack. Quick back pedaling off the line, fluid in his hips and loses nothing transitioning to run with opponents. Easily stays step for step with receivers down the field or laterally. Possesses an explosive break on the pass, stays with opponents out from routes and flashes on the scene. Great range and recovery speed, which enables him to make up for mistakes. Explosive punt returner that is not only fast but elusive.

Negatives: Likes to bait the quarterback, slow locating the pass in the air and has some hesitation to his game. Not physical defending the run and likes to hit rather than tackle.

Analysis: With the speed to immediately impact the game at his disposal, Hall is a game breaking threat anytime the ball's in his hands. Must polish his cover skills and rely on more than just his natural abilities but could be a very good cornerback in time and a rookie that immediately impacts a team returning punts.

Name: Derrick Strait School Oklahoma Year 5Sr
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 195 40: 4.47 Pos: CB

Bio: 2003 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and a recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy. Finished his senior season with 80/3/12 after junior totals of 68/13/6. Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year in 2000 when he posted 62/14/2.

Positives: Instinctive, shut down cornerback with both the physical and mental skills to immediately succeed at the next level. Displays a terrific backpedal off the line, can flip his hips and loses nothing in transition. Quick to locate the action and displays a great sense of timing. Tracks the deep pass and positions himself to defend the throw. Good ball skills and constantly around the action. Stays with opponents out from their breaks. Adjusts for the interception and shows good hands for the pick. Displays solid wherewithal and competes for the ball.

Negatives: Beaten by larger opponents and not forceful defending the run.

Analysis: A confident cornerback that produced throughout college, Strait's abilities translate well to the next level. Effective as a zone corner or backed off the line, he is an underrated prospect that should immediately compete for a starting job.

Name: Dunta Robinson School South Carolina Year 4Sr
Ht: 5-10.5 Wt: 186 40: 4.37 Pos: CB

Bio: Two year starter and team captain as a senior, posting 50/1/12 after a breakout junior campaign which included 49/4/10. Special teams player and safety his first two seasons.

Positives: Physically gifted cover corner with top athleticism. Quick footed, fast backpedaling off the line and moves with speed in every direction. Explosive closing on the action, possesses a tremendous break on the pass and flashes on the scene. Gets vertical, contorting to defend the throw. Tracks the deep pass and has a nice move on the ball. Disciplined yet tough and willing to mix it up defending screens or running plays.

Negatives: Lacks a sense of timing gets turned and a late reactor. Plays back on his heels and not always mentally on top of the game.

Analysis: A tough prospect that play big and faster, Robinson possesses skills that translate well to the next level. Best suited as a zone corner, backed off the line of scrimmage where his explosion can be used a maximum. Stands to improve his press-cover skills but will be effective at the next level in the proper scheme.

Name: Chris Gamble School Ohio State Year 3Jr
Ht: 6-1.5 Wt: 192 40: 4.47 Pos: CB

Bio: All Conference selection last year after posting 41/3/12, also averaging 19.2 yards on 6 kick returns. Defensive numbers as a sophomore were 24/4/10 with receiving totals of 31/499/0.

Positives: Athletic prospect with a good degree of upside for the next level. Quick footed off the line and flips his hips in transition. Easily runs downfield with opponents, displays an explosive break on the ball and good closing speed. Works well with the safety, gets vertical and contorts in mid air to defend the pass. Makes a lot of athletic plays.

Negatives: Loses focus, concentration and blows assignments. Could do a better job getting off blocks and working to make plays up the field.

Analysis: Still not the finished product, Gamble is a prospect whose athletic skills are way ahead of his mental abilities. Should have stayed in school one more season to round off his game and will not be drafted nearly as high as he thinks.

Name: Will Poole School USC Year 5Sr
Ht: 5-10 Wt: 182 40: 4.5 Pos: CB

Bio: Came to USC from Ventura JC last season and promptly moved into the starting lineup. Finished the season with 80/7/19, earning first team All Conference honors. Began his career at Boston College where he started as a freshman in 2000 and posted 75/1/8 before being suspended the following season.

Positives: Outstanding cover corner who made the most of his senior campaign. Smooth back pedaling off the line, fluid turning his hips and loses nothing in transition. Quickly breaks on the pass and gets to the action with a burst of closing speed. Defends the run and mixes it up. Displays good field sense and wherewithal. Quickly picks up assignments in zone.

Negatives: May not have the size or strength to play press coverage. Lacks the great body control and does a lot of slipping. Gambles on occasion, guessing wrong and gets beat.

Analysis: Physically and technically gifted, Poole is one of the more natural cornerbacks in this draft. Best suited to play in a zone-cover-scheme or backed off the line of scrimmage, he is a prospect that should be starting by the end of his rookie campaign in the NFL.

Name: Keith Smith School McNeese State Year 5Sr
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 190 40: 4.45 Pos: CB

Bio: All Conference selection as a senior and junior finishing with 51/4/13 and 33/1/26 respectively.

Positives: Top, small school cornerback with outstanding cover skills. Technically sound in all areas; displays excellent footwork and smooth transitioning to run with opponents. Plays faster than his forty speed and easily runs downfield with opponents or stays step for step with them across the field. Defends an inordinate amount of passes and rarely out of position when the ball is in the air. Displays good awareness and excellent instincts.

Negatives: Not strong and rarely slows receivers with jams at the line. Supports the run though it is not a big priority for him. Gets mentally lazy which costs him on occasion.

Analysis: Coming off the heels of a terrific Senior Bowl, Smith established himself to be an early draft choice. Combines the cover skills, instincts and athletic abilities necessary to be a starting player in the NFL.

Name: Ricardo Colclough School Tusculum Year 4Sr
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 186 40: 4.48 Pos: CB

Bio: All Conference and All American selection as a senior after totaling 59/11/13 while averaging 29.1 yards on 19 kick returns with two scores. Also averaged 10.1 yards on 11 punt returns with another touchdown. Junior totals included 47/4/12 with an average of 25 yards on 4 kick returns and 15 yards on 5 punt returns.

Positives: Outstanding athlete with terrific size/speed numbers for the next level. Technically sound defensive back that gets off the line with a smooth backpedal and loses nothing in transition. Plays with a good degree of explosion, quickly breaks on the throw and flashes onto the scene making the play. Displays good reaction to the ball and gets vertical defending the pass. Outstanding range as well as closing speed. Aggressive run defender that wraps-up ball carriers. Displays tremendous speed as a returner with the ability to run to daylight if given open space.

Negatives: Started off very slowly at the Senior Bowl and seemed confused against a higher level of competition.

Analysis: Possessing natural skills and football intelligence, Colclough is an outstanding small school prospect that should fall into the top sixty picks this April. Will need time to mentally adjust at the next level but can be a starting for a team by the late part of next season.

Name: Ahmad Carroll School Arkansas Year 3Jr
Ht: 5-9.5 Wt: 195 40: 4.40 Pos: CB

Bio: Two year starter and a NCAA sprint champion. Posted 38/3/6 as a junior after sophomore totals of 60 tackles and 6 pass defenses.

Positives: Explosive corner that shuts down opposing receivers. Fluid transitioning off the, fast and stays with receivers step for step anywhere on the field. Possesses an explosive break on the pass and nicely positions himself to make a play on the ball. Physical and likes to mix it up. Bumps opponents throughout the route or gets off blocks and lays a hard lick on ball carriers. Possesses both closing and recovery speed.

Negatives: Slow locating the ball and lacks top corner instincts. Hesitant reacting to receivers off the line of scrimmage.

Analysis: One of the most physically gifted cornerbacks in this draft, Carroll plays with great intensity, speed and quickness. Has improved his overall game the past three seasons and possesses a high upside for the next level.

Name: Jeremy LeSueur School Michigan Year 5Sr
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 200 40: 4.51 Pos: CB

Bio: Became a full-time starter as a senior and posted 48/2/12. Started seven games as a junior and finished the year with 52/7/1, also averaging 22.4 yards on 26 kick returns.

Positives: Nice sized cornerback that improved his total game as a senior. Solid footwork moving in reverse, keeps the action in front of him and displays a nice break on the pass. Possesses both recovery and closing speed, easily runs downfield with opponents then positions himself to break up the throw. Offers a lot of explosion and suddenness in his game.

Negatives: Does not slow opponents off the line of scrimmage with a jam and must learn to use his size as an advantage.

Analysis: Though LeSueur must improve the technical points of his game he could very well be one of the most improved cornerbacks in the senior class. Merging his speed and athleticism into playmaking ability, he capped off a terrific 2003 campaign with a fine showing at the Senior Bowl and solidified himself as a first day pick.

Name: Nathan Vasher School Texas Year 4Sr
Ht: 5-10 Wt: 177 40: 4.49 Pos: CB

Bio: Used at both safety and cornerback. All Conference selection as a Senior totals included 43/6/26 which came after 33/4/15 as a junior when he was named to several All American. Started thirteen games at safety as a sophomore finishing with 56/7/18. Explosive punt returner who averaged 13 yards on 28 returns last season.

Positives: Competitive secondary prospect that can fill a number of roles in the NFL. Quickly diagnoses the action, displays top football instincts and works hard to shut down opponents. Fundamentally sound and immediately locates the ball or reads opposing receivers eyes then positions himself to make a play on the throw. Possesses both recovery and catch up speed. Physical and likes to mix it up defending screenplays or supporting the run.

Negatives: Undersized and has trouble handling big receivers.

Analysis: Possessing the skills and wherewithal to be a shut down corner, Vasher is only limited by a lack of size. The ability to return punts is added value and a cornerback that should see significant action as a rookie in the NFL.

2004 Cornerback Rankings

Rank Round Full Name School Year
1 1B DeAngelo Hall Virginia Tech 3Jr
2 1B Derrick Strait Oklahoma 5Sr
3 1B Dunta Robinson South Carolina 4Sr
4 1C Chris Gamble Ohio State 3Jr
5 2A Will Poole USC 5Sr
6 2A Keith Smith McNeese State 5Sr
7 2B Ricardo Colclough Tusculum 4Sr
8 2B Ahmad Carroll Arkansas 3Jr
9 2C Jeremy LeSueur Michigan 5Sr
10 2C Nathan Vasher Texas 4Sr
11 3A Joey Thomas Montana State 5Sr
12 3A Keiwan Ratliff Florida 4Sr
13 3C Greg Brooks Southern Mississippi 5Sr
14 4B Bruce Thornton Georgia 5Sr
15 4C Lawrence Richardson Arkansas 4Sr
16 5A Randy Jordan Kansas State 5Sr
17 5A Rufus Brown Florida State 5Sr
18 5B Vontez Duff Notre Dame 4Sr
19 5C Rich Gardner Penn State 5Sr
20 5C Dexter Wynn Colorado State 5Sr
21 6A Chris Thompson Nicholls State 4Sr
22 6A Stanford Samuels Florida State 6Sr
23 6B Johnny Lamar Florida 5Sr
24 7A Leonard Burress Kentucky 4Sr
25 7A Marvin Jackson Chadron State 5Sr
26 7C Jason David Washington State 4Sr
27 FA Michael Waddell North Carolina 5Sr
28 FA Roc Alexander Washington 4Sr
29 FA Jonas Rutledge SMU 5Sr
30 FA Jeff Shoate San Diego State 5Sr
31 FA Curome Cox Maryland 5Sr
32 FA Jabari Greer Tennessee 4Sr
33 FA Benny Sapp Northern Iowa 4Sr
34 FA Josh Minkins Louisville 5Sr
35 FA Von Hutchins Mississippi 5Sr
36 FA Marcell Allmond USC 5Sr
37 FA Alfonso Marshall Miami-Fl 4Sr
38 FA Nathan Jones Rutgers 5Sr
39 FA Janssen Patton Bowling Green 4Sr
40 FA Corey Yates Southern Mississippi 6Sr
41 FA Jenaro Gilford BYU 5Sr
42 FA Lawrence Williams Lehigh 4Sr
43 FA Jacques Reeves Purdue 4Sr
44 FA Christian Morton Illinois 4Sr
45 FA Kelvin Millhouse Hawaii 4Sr
46 FA Zach Norton Cincinnati 4Sr
47 FA James Bethea California 4Sr
48 FA Roland Cola Houston 4Sr

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