News & Analysis

PFF's top-15 cornerbacks in the 2019 NFL Draft

Much like the wide receiver position, cornerbacks vary in size and style, and this class offers something for everyone. Washington’s Byron Murphy excelled in their zone-heavy scheme on his way to the top PFF grade in the nation in 2018. LSU’s Greedy Williams has the size and straight-line speed to play press man coverage as well as anyone in the class, and Georgia’s Deandre Baker has the movement and ball skills to handle multiple schemes. There may be value in the late first round and into Day 2 between Penn State’s Amani Oruwariye, Michigan State’s Justin Layne and Notre Dame’s Julian Love. Keep an eye on Iowa’s Amani Hooker who has experience at safety and does a fine job playing zone and covering tight ends.

[Editor’s Note: To view all of Pro Football Focus’ advanced stats and grades for draft-eligible players, check out our 2019 NFL Draft Guide. All EDGE and ELITE subscribers already have access to the guide, and for those who don’t, you can get your copy for as low as $9.99!]

1. CB Byron Murphy, Washington

A 47.7% completion percentage against and 17 forced incompletions made Murphy the highest-graded corner in the country this past year.

Related Article: Physicality, passion, run defense: Washington CB Byron Murphy has it all

2. CB Greedy Williams, LSU

His sophomore campaign wasn't quite as dominant as his freshman season, but he still only allowed 27 of his 74 targets to be completed.

3. CB Deandre Baker, Georgia

Baker has posted back-to-back 90.0-plus graded seasons in coverage. This past year, he allowed all of 10 first downs all season and no touchdowns.

4. CB David Long, Michigan

Long allowed all of 18 catches on 595 coverage snaps in his entire college career at Michigan.

5. CB Amani Oruwariye, Penn State

Oruwariye had the best week of any corner at the Senior Bowl, notching the highest win rate among all defenders in the one-on-ones.

6. CB Justin Layne, Michigan State

Layne's 89.5 coverage grade last year was ninth-best among Power-5 corners in the nation. He also dabbled at receiver where he took 36 snaps this past season.

7. CB Julian Love, Notre Dame

Love's 21 forced incompletions were the sixth-most in college football last season, and his 14 coverage stops ranked 10th.

8. CB Rock Ya-Sin, Temple

Ya-Sin has the size and length NFL teams covet at the cornerback position. The longest reception he allowed all season was only 17 yards.

9. CB Jamel Dean, Auburn

Dean is an absurdly large cornerback who you might even mistake for a linebacker on tape. That's before he starts moving, though, as Dean tested as one of the best athletes at the position in Indy.

10. CB Sean Bunting, Central Michigan

Bunting gave up all of 17 catches this past season on 374 coverage snaps while picking off two passes and breaking up five more.

11. CB Jimmy Moreland, James Madison

Moreland leaves JMU as their all-time leader in interceptions with 18. He's as physical as you'll see a 5-10 corner.

12. CB Isaiah Johnson, Houston

If you were to put together what a perfect cornerback would look like physically, you'd get Johnson. He's only been playing the position for two years and shown marked improvement over that time.

13. CB Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt

Williams has prodigious size and length, but his on-field performance vacillated wildly week to week.

14. CB Brian Peavy, Iowa State

Peavy's 90.3 overall grade in 2018 ranked fourth in the class at cornerback, and his 86.6 coverage grade ranked 12th.

15. CB Xavier Crawford, Central Michigan

Crawford earned an impressive 82.4 coverage grade across his 331 coverage snaps in 2018, allowing just 15 receptions from 38 targets for 162 yards and one touchdown in the process.

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