Douglas C. Pizac-US PRESSWIRE
Who is the best cornerback in the 2013 draft, and can the Bucs get value at the position?
According to Dan Pompei of the Natonal Football Post, the 2013 NFL Draft will not have much top end talent at the cornerback spot, but it will have a lot of depth. That is: there aren't any real shutdown cornerbacks in this draft, but there are a lot of decent cornerbacks who could go in the second or third round. To be fair, he's not including Alabama's Dee Milliner, who has yet to declare for the draft. One intriguing fact: he names Utah State's Will Davis as his top cornerback, and Connecticut's Blidi-Wreh Wilson at the number three spot, after talking to scouts.
If we look at Mocking the Draft's rankings, though, we get a bit of a different picture. Obviously that picture is impacted by including Juniors, most obviously Dee Milliner taking the top spot. Milliner and Banks both rank in the top 32, according to Mocking the Draft, but that's about it for top-of-the-line talent. Here's their top 10 cornerbacks:
1. Dee Milliner | 6'1, 196 pounds | Cornerback | Alabama *
2. Johnthan Banks | 6'2, 185 pounds | Cornerback | Mississippi State
3. Logan Ryan | 6'0, 190 pounds | Cornerback | Rutgers *
4. Xavier Rhodes | 6'2, 209 pounds | Cornerback | Florida State *
5. Bradley Roby | 5'11, 190 pounds | Cornerback | Ohio State **
6. Jordan Poyer | 6'0, 190 pounds | Cornerback | Oregon State
7. Desmond Trufant | 6'0, 185 pounds | Cornerback | Washington
8. Will Davis | 6'0, 186 pounds | Cornerback | Utah State
9. David Amerson | 6'3, 194 pounds | Cornerback | North Carolina State *
10. Blidi Wreh-Wilson | 6'2, 190 pounds | Cornerback | Connecticut
One consequence of this development may be a different free agency strategy for the Buccaneers. They must find more talent at cornerback, and they may now look to this free agent class to fill that need while drafting talent at a different position at the top of the draft. Sean Smith may be my favorite of the free agent cornerbacks, but there's not a lot of top end talent at that position, either.
Overall, the Bucs may be stuck between a rock and a hard place. They need to find quality cornerback play to run their defensive scheme, but they'll find it difficult to actually find that talent.