2009 Draft Countdown: Cornerbacks

With the 2009 NFL draft only days away, we offer our extensive position-by-position breakdown. Each report includes an analysis of the Dolphins' status at the position, the likelihood of a draft pick being spent at the position, a look at which prospects the Dolphins have worked out or visited with, a list of the top prospects, and the sleepers. We continue with the cornerbacks.

Where the Dolphins stand: The Dolphins lost Andre' Goodman in free agency and replaced him with free agent pick-up Eric Green, who came over from Arizona. Beyond those two moves, it's pretty much the same group of cornerbacks as last year, with Jason Allen, Nathan Jones, Joey Thomas joined by former practice squad members Will Billingsley and Scorpio Babers.

Likelihood of the Dolphins using a pick at the position: Clearly, the Dolphins' biggest priority heading into the draft, more so than a pure No. 1 wide receiver, is finding a starting cornerback. Green has potential, but he never showed a lot of consistency in Arizona and the Dolphins need to do better him to start opposite Will Allen. If the first-round pick isn't spent on a cornerback, then one of the two second-rounders needs to be.

The top prospects: 1. Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State; 2. Vontae Davis, Illinois; 3. Darius Butler, UConn; 4. Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest; 5. Sean Smith, Utah; 6. D.J. Moore, Vanderbilt; 7. Jairus Byrd, Oregon; 8. Coye Francies, San Jose State; 9. Kevin Barnes, Maryland; 10. Mike Mickens, Cincinnati

Summary: Unfortunately, it's not considered a great year for cornerbacks in terms of top-end talent. The problem more often than not is a lack of pure speed, a problem afflicting top prospects Jenkins, Moore and Byrd. There is some depth at the position, so the Dolphins should be able to come up with a good prospect at No. 25 (Butler or either of the two Smiths) if they decide to go that route in Round 1.

Sleepers: Lardarius Webb, Nicholls State; Don Carey, Norfolk State; Greg Toler, St. Paul's; Domonique Johnson, Jackson State

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