Tag Archives: 2018 NFL Draft cornerbacks

Bryant’s Beehive: Five Under the Radar Cornerbacks

Chandon Sullivan, Georgia State (5’11, 195, Sr.)

Sullivan presents a physical presence at the LOS, making it difficult for receivers to get an easy release out into their routes. While he will not over-excite in the interception stat column, his run support ability will be something NFL teams take note of in the upcoming draft. Aside from his on-the-field attributes, Sullivan performs extremely well in the classroom. He currently carries a 3.84 GPA and recently became the first ever Georgia State football player to be recognized as a National Scholar-Athlete by the National Football Foundation.

D’Montre Wade, Murray State (6’0, 200, Sr.)

Wade could perhaps be one of the best bump-and-run cornerbacks in this year’s draft class. He is patient and physical at the LOS, but covers enough ground to play his man and other receivers working in his areas.  He’s good at expanding his zone and attacking the football in the 50/50 battles. He’s shown physicality and technique when making tackles. Wade intercepted six passes in 2017 to cap off his career.

Blace Brown, Troy (6’0, 186, RS-Jr.)

Brown has not had trouble finding the football in his hands over the last two seasons. The former walk-on has recorded 11 interceptions the last two seasons, including the game-winning interception versus No. 16 LSU this year.  Brown plays a lot of bail technique and does a good job of baiting quarterbacks when either playing man coverage or a loose cover two zone.  Brown has good bloodlines, as he is the nephew of former University of Georgia Heisman Trophy winner and NFL Pro Bowl running back Herschel Walker.

Tremon Smith, Central Arkansas (5’11, 190, Sr.)

Passion and aggression are just two of the many words that can be used to describe Central Arkansas cornerback Tremon Smith. Smith immediately jumps out on film due to how competitive he is from the start of a play to the end of the down.  Although he doesn’t appear to be a leaper, he places his body in position between the ball and receiver to make it difficult for receivers to bring the ball into their bodies.  He ended his career with 53 passes defended and 15 interceptions.

Ryan Carter, Clemson (5’9, 180, Sr.)

Carter may be one of the shorter corners in the 2018 NFL draft class, but for Clemson he’s the big man on the back end of one of the nation’s best defenses. His pick-six versus South Carolina this season was an example of his football IQ.  The Georgia native has really good feet, which is why you can find him lining up or stemming over the slot receiver in DC Brent Venables’ sub-packages. Carter will look to keep the DB draft tradition alive in 2018.

Miami (Fla.) CB Dee Delaney: Quick Peek

Current Miami (Fla.) cornerback Dee Delaney has contributed just one interception to the Hurricanes now infamous ‘turnover chain’ in 2017. The former Citadel Bulldog and 2015 Walter Camp All-American, however, does not lack ball skills.  DraftNasty national correspondent and NexStep President De’Angelo Bryant gives a quick peek into the 6’1, 193-pound corner’s game in our 2018 NFL Draft preview.

BALL SKILLS

Before making the move to the FBS level, Delaney was regarded as one of the most instinctive ballhawks at the FCS level.  In three seasons at the The Citadel, he posted 13 interceptions and 32 pass break-ups.  Never were these skills more on display than in the fourth quarter of the Hurricanes’ 31-6 victory over Duke in late September.  In the fourth quarter alone, Delaney broke up one pass and nearly intercepted another.   He then went up to high-point an ill-advised pass from Florida State cornerback James Blackman to receive the turnover chain for the first and only time this season.

SIZE

Delaney’s length aids him in either Cover 2 or press-man.  Versus Western Carolina in 2016, he often delivered a punch to put himself in a positive leverage position.  While his motor-press technique is inconsistent, he can be effective when he stays on top of wide receivers.

RUN SUPPORT

He consistently set the edge against South Carolina in 2015 versus stretch or toss sweep concepts.  As the game began to tighten late in the fourth quarter, he threw his body around in run support.  Conversely, his activity versus Tennessee-Chattanooga in 2016 was a bit hit-or-miss.  Aside from being average in crack-and-replace, Delaney stuck to stalk blocks too long on the perimeter.

RECOVERY SPEED

One of the things that has been noticeable has been an inability to stay on top of wide receivers consistently.  Although he can dance at the line of scrimmage with wideouts, he sometimes will get stuck transitioning to open-and-run.  Delaney did not always stay on top of UTC’s C.J. Board in 2016 and former South Carolina WR and current Los Angeles Rams WR/KR Pharoh Cooper challenged him down the field (see above) in 2015.

SYNOPSIS

Delaney’s transition to the FBS level in 2017 has yielded mixed results.  Despite having already proven capable of playing versus SEC-level competition prior to arriving at Miami (Fla.),  a right lower leg injury has forced him to miss four games as a senior.   A legitimate postseason All-Star candidate, the two-time FCS All-American will need a strong close to the season to stay on the radar for NFL scouts.