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2013 NFL Draft: Dee Milliner, Xavier Rhodes top cornerback class

Posted Apr 8, 2013

With the 2013 NFL Draft set for April 25-27 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, NFL.com draft analyst Josh Norris is identifying the top prospects available at every position. Today, he presents an overview of the best cornerbacks.

1. Dee Milliner, Alabama: It's no surprise when an Alabama defender is described as smart, disciplined and physical, but Milliner possesses these qualities on the edge. His technique isn't always great -- specifically in his back-pedal -- but that will be a small issue if Milliner is allowed to press on the outside. Projection: First round

2. Xavier Rhodes, Florida State: Rhodes' game doesn't fit every system, but the Seminole would give opposing receivers fits in a press-man scheme. Blessed with great length and an aggressive mindset, Rhodes loves to jam at the line of scrimmage and stick in his opponent's hip pocket downfield. Projection: First round

3. Jamar Taylor, Boise State: Taylor brings outstanding versatility, with experience in off-man and zone coverages. Still, lining up the Boise State product as a press corner will produce the best results. The way in which he constantly disrupts the catch point with little wasted movement will translate very well to the NFL. Projection: First round

4. Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State: Despite playing plenty of Cover 3 in college, Banks has a frame that lends to tight coverage. He took a lot of chances in zone coverage, routinely looking to undercut passes. Banks could struggle with quick breaks in routes and vertical shots downfield. Projection: Second round

5. Desmond Trufant, Washington: Trufant's extraordinarily quick feet -- which help him mirror breaking routes downfield -- will serve him well in the NFL. He lacks a physical nature in his game when it comes to attacking the run on the edge or dealing with strong receivers in routes, but he can close in a flash. Projection: First round

6. Jordan Poyer, Oregon State: If you're looking for a corner who is not flashy in any particular area but very consistent with his technique and awareness, Poyer is your man. He was successful in a variety of coverages and obviously studies his opposition, but some will question his long speed. Projection: Second round

7. D.J. Hayden, Houston: Looking past the freak heart injury that took place in November, Hayden's talent is worthy of a second-day pick. Locating the football after it leaves the quarterback's hand is an overlooked skill; Hayden consistently gains vision and closes quickly to disrupt the catch point. Projection: Third round

8. Robert Alford, Southeastern Louisiana: There are many questions with Alford. In fact, his Southeastern Louisiana defensive coordinator said he is "a long way away mentally." But this raw corner has the natural closing speed and return ability that -- if harnessed -- could result in something special. Projection: Second round



Like to do your own draft scouting? We have prospect highlight videos of all the top players entering the 2013 NFL Draft. Watch them now in our Draft section.

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