Browns, NFL Draft

2019 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings: Cornerbacks

Kristin M. Bradshaw/UGA

The Cleveland Browns had a really promising 2018 NFL season. This offseason will be an important moment for the future of the franchise. The Browns will use the 2019 NFL Draft to continue the development of the team and hopefully catapult the franchise to the next level.

Here at WFNY, we will be getting you ready for the upcoming draft. In particular, Joe Gilbert and John Colosimo will examine each of the positions in the draft, giving their top five prospects in each position group, while also giving their thoughts on the overall class at each position.

After starting the position rankings series with the safety class, John and Joe are now moving to the cornerback class. So, let’s take a look at what the duo has to say about the cornerbacks in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Gilbert and Colosimo’s 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings Series: Safeties

Joe Gilbert’s Top 5 Cornerbacks John Colosimo’s Top 5 Cornerbacks
1. Deandre Baker, Georgia 1. Byron Murphy, Washington
2. Greedy Williams, LSU 2. Greedy Williams, LSU
3. Byron Murphy, Washington 3. Deandre Baker, Georgia
4. Amani Oruwariye, Penn State 4. Julian Love, Notre Dame
5. Trayvon Mullen, Clemson 5. Amani Oruwariye, Penn State

Best of the rest: Joejuan Williams (Vanderbilt), Rock Ya-Sin (Temple) and Michael Jackson, (Miami (FL))

Which cornerback do you feel stronger about than most people?

Joe: I really like Amani Oruwariye of Penn State. He shows patient and good feet, which allows him to be strong in mirroring receivers. He also has shown the ability to cover in zone. He possesses good size at corner. Oruwariye is just a really good corner who I believe is right there with the corners at the top of the class.

John: Julian Love of Notre Dame. He’s not an elite athlete, but he’s very well rounded as a corner and will fit in most schemes. He will have a lot riding on his athletic testing at the combine.

Who is your No. 1 cornerback in the class and why do you believe he is the best cornerback?

Joe: Deandre Baker is my No. 1 cornerback in the 2019 class. He is a player with an all-around game. He is excellent in zone coverage, while also showing strong mirroring skills in man coverage. He is built well for corner, giving him the ability to be physical when needed. And, when the ball is in the air, he shows strong ball skills to fight for the ball against the opposing receiver.

John: Byron Murphy is my top cornerback this year. He is outstanding in man coverage, intelligent in zone, and is good in run support as well. Very fluid athlete who should test very well. Like Ward last season, his low weight is the only real knock on him.

What are your thoughts on the overall cornerback class? How would you rate the class? 

Joe: I really like this class of corners. I think my top five corners are guys who can contribute right away next season in the NFL. Deandre Baker and Greedy Williams are a strong duo at the top of the class. I think Denzel Ward is better than both of those players, but I would have Baker and Williams right after Ward in my rankings of the last two drafts. I think compared to last season this class is quite similar in depth. This is a really strong class.

John: This is a solid group of corners, and there is good depth as well. Its a tough call on where I would have Murphy compared to last years group, we will see how he tests but I would have him right there with Ward and Alexander vying for the top spot. This class compares well to last seasons which was very good as well.

Who has the best single skill set and what is that skill set?

Joe: I think the versatility of coverage skills that Deandre Baker possesses is the best skill in this year’s class. Baker is strong in both zone and man coverage, allowing him to play for any defensive scheme in the NFL. He gives the secondary a player who can play in a number of different roles.

John: Byron Murphy. As previously stated, for me he is just short of an elite CB prospect due to his size, but he is a complete package other than that.

Who is a sleeper cornerback who you are keeping an eye on?

Joe: I think people should keep an eye on Rock Ya-Sin of Temple. He was right outside of my top five. He is a player who should be considered as one of the top corners in the class. I think he deserves a Day 2 selection.

John: Joejuan Williams isn’t exactly a sleeper, but he’s a guy that could present good value on Day 2 and is one of the corners that give this class quality depth. Excellent size and is more fluid than you would expect for a 6-2 CB. Highly productive as well.

What is the impact of this cornerback class to the Browns? 

Joe: The Browns could look to add a starting corner to go along with Denzel Ward. So, if a top corner like Baker or Williams falls to No. 17 in the first round, the Browns could look to nab one of these talented corners. Otherwise, the Browns could just look to add some depth at corner with a mid-round selection.

John: I expect the Browns to add at minimum one corner and I expect it to be within the first 3 rounds. I wouldn’t hesitate to take Murphy at 17 if he slipped to pair him with Ward for the next 4 seasons.