This is the first version of ATB Network’s 2022 NFL Draft cornerback rankings. This is another great year to get a corner if you need one. The group is strong at the top and pretty deep as well. A lot of them are big corners too, 5’11+ and 190+. The last few spots were difficult, which points to the depth of the class. Our most recent position ranking can be seen here: https://atbnetwork.com/2021/11/30/2022-nfl-draft-linebacker-rankings-1-0/
1. Andrew Booth – Clemson
Booth is an elite athlete on the same level as Stingley. He is a bit rawer in that he is not a lockdown corner at this time. The potential is there for him to be elite. His zone coverage right now is ahead of his man cover skills. He also plays a physical game and is a willing hitter and tackler. Great size and bulk on him already. His instincts need to continue to develop.
2. Derek Stingley Jr – LSU
Elite size and athleticism for the position with massive amount of upside. He has smooth hips to turn and run. His best skill is his man cover and press ability. Ball skills are like a wide receiver. His play has been inconsistent the last two seasons. He also has had some injuries that need to be checked on. His zone cover skills still need a lot of work, but the potential is there.
3. Ahmad Gardner – Cincinnati
“Sauce” has great size and solid athleticism. His man cover skills are elite. He has not given up a touchdown since his freshman year. His frame is a little on the thin side. He has amazing length for his size. Gardner is an excellent press corner. Plays a physical game in coverage and against the run.
With his physical play comes instances of him being a little too physical/grabby. A thin build that may give him problems against more physical receivers. His straight line speed is average which may cause issues against the faster receivers.
4. Kaiir Elam – Florida
An elite size, speed player with good length. Big, strong and physical. His uncle is Matt Elam. He brings great ball skills to the field. He plays the run with out fear. Elam plays hard down in down out. His aggressiveness can get him in trouble at times. He has trouble with double moves. Elam’s agility is only average, and smaller quicker players have given him some trouble.
5. Roger McCreary – Auburn
A good sized corner who has improved each season. His length is lacking a bit for his size. McCreary is another physical corner is this group. He has experience in both man and zone, but is at his best in man. Also he is a solid tackler. He shows fluid hips on film. He does have trouble getting off blocks. Zone coverage still needs some work. He just needs more experience to develop his field awareness.
6. Kyler Gordon – Washington
Gordon is another great athlete with great explosiveness and agility. He was listed on Feldman’s freak list and will probably have a high RAS score. Gordon has been solid in coverage and against the run, but still has a lot of room for growth. He shows fluidity and smooth hips in coverage. An aggressive tackler on film. He has shown better in zone than man right now. His instincts though are still a hair slow. He also can be a little out of control in his tackling.
7. Derion Kendrick – Georgia
A major red flag from when he was at Clemson may take him off some teams boards. Kendrick is still a little raw having came to Clemson as a wide receiver. He is a solid overall athlete with good agility and explosion, long speed is just average. He shows good skills in zone. A willing tackler, but not the most physical tackler and run defender. His background as a receiver shows in his ball skills.
8. Trent McDuffie – Washington
McDuffie like his teammate is a excellent athlete. He grades solid in both man and zone coverage. McDuffie is very fluid on film and does a good job of mirroring receivers. He plays best in zone coverage. While a good overall athlete he lacks elite athleticism, size and length. He plays hard and is a good tackler. Very similar to former Huskie Elijah Molden.
9. Alontae Taylor – Tennessee
Taylor brings good size and length to the field. Taylor has solid experience in both man and zone., but does he best in man. His ball skills are ok, but could be better. He gives good effort as a tackler and against the run. Taylor still could improve in both those areas. Coverage grades have only been average. He still has upside if he can get better coaching.
10. Martin Emerson – Mississippi State
Emerson is another corner with ‘protypical’ size at 6’2 200 and with long arms. He shows good awareness in coverage. Emerson is a tough and physical player. He has also shown to be a solid blitzer. He does struggle in his transitions, not the smoothest. Might move to safety. His straight line speed is just average. Emerson shows good ball skills on film. Backpedal is a bit too high, it looks like its due to him being high cut. Needs to refine the edges of his game.