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Combine Preview: Cornerbacks

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The combine position previews roll on with the cornerbacks

NCAA Football: Miami at Louisiana State Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

If there’s anything all of Bucs Nation can agree on, it’s that Tampa Bay needs cornerback help.

Carlton Davis III had a decent rookie season all things considered. Brent Grimes should be a thing of the past. Vernon Hargreaves III is coming back, but at what capacity and ability after another season ending injury?

Even when VHIII was healthy, most thought he would be – and played – better against the slot than he did on the perimeter.

So, the question remains. Who will start on the outside along with David? If it’s Hargreaves, then who will cover the inside?

All of these questions, and more, could be answered by one of the men on this list.

2019 COMBINE CORNERBACKS

NAME SCHOOL
NAME SCHOOL
BLESSUAN AUSTIN RUTGERS
DERRICK BEITY KENTUCKY
DEANDRE BAKER GEORGIA
COREY BALLENTINE WASHBURN
KRIS BOYD TEXAS
BLACE BROWN TROY
JORDAN BROWN SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
SEAN BUNTING CENTRAL MICHIGAN
HAMP CHEEVERS BOSTON COLLEGE
XAVIER CRAWFORD CENTRAL MICHIGAN
DAVANTE DAVIS TEXAS
JAMEL DEAN AUBURN
RASHAD FENTON SOUTH CAROLINA
MARK FIELDS CLEMSON
MONTRE HARTAGE NORTHWESTERN
ALIJAH HOLDER STANFORD
MIKE JACKSON MIAMI
ISAIAH JOHNSON HOUSTON
LONNIE JOHNSON KENTUCKY
JUSTIN LAYNE MICHIGAN STATE
IMAN LEWIS-MARSHALL USC
DAVID LONG MICHIGAN STATE
JULIAN LOVE NOTRE DAME
JORDAN MILLER WASHINGTON
TRAYVON MULLEN CLEMSON
BYRON MURPHY WASHINGTON
AMANI ORUWARIYE PENN STATE
JAMAL PETERS MISSISSIPPI STATE
RYAN PULLEY ARKANSAS
KENDALL SHEFFIELD OHIO STATE
SAIVION SMITH ALABAMA
DERREK THOMAS BAYLOR
KEN WEBSTER MISSISSIPPI
GREEDY WILLIAMS LSU
JOEJUAN WILLIAMS VANDERBILT
ROCK YA-SIN TEMPLE

BEST IN CLASS: DEANDRE BAKER, GEORGIA

This is definitely not a solidified top-spot. Depending on who you talk to, the top corner could be Baker, Greedy Williams (LSU) or Byron Murphy.

Personally, I’ll take Baker over the other two. Baker is a bit undersized, but that can be changed. What you can’t necessarily coach into some defenders is the aggressiveness and willing to mix it up that Baker possesses.

This, among other things, is what places the Georgia cornerback above the rest for me.

MOST TO PROVE: AMANI ORUWARIYE, PENN STATE

At one point, Oruwariye was flirting with the first round. Now, he looks to be locked in as a day two prospect. Just how early in day two is still up in the air though.

The Penn State defender did not have a good showing in Mobile, Alabama earlier this year at the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

He’s not expected to run great at the combine, but he needs to come in with a respectable time or he’ll slip down the boards even further.

MOST LIKELY BUCS DRAFT PICK: ROCK YA-SIN, TEMPLE

NCAA Football: Tulsa at Temple Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

When you talk about a guy having all the tools and not enough polish, this is him. He’s going to have to get more football savvy on the field but solid coaching and reps in practice will go a long way to getting it all put together.

Bruce Arians and his staff are not going to want to turn away a kid with Ya-Sin’s physical skills just because he needs some good coaching to make it all work on the field. So if he’s still available on day two when the Bucs get back on the clock, this is a name fans need to have in the back of their minds.

He’s a riser though. And if he shows up to the combine and performs at the top of his abilities, he’ll climb into the early day two conversation, which could require a trade for Tampa Bay to nab him.