Secondary Concern

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Secondary Concern
by Warren DeLuca

Note: This is third in a series of college prospect profiles in preparation for the 2005 NFL Draft next April. This time, we take a look at the top ten defensive back prospects.

Unless Charley Casserly takes a pure “best available athlete” approach to next year’s draft, the odds of the Texans picking a defensive back in the first round again are slim.

With Aaron Glenn and Dunta Robinson manning the starting positions, the rapidly improving Demarcus Faggins coming off the bench on passing downs, and Kenny Wright providing depth, the Texans appear well stocked at cornerback. However, the 32-year-old Glenn cannot go on forever (or can he?), and a defense can never have enough quality covermen.

This year’s standout corner prospects are Michigan’s Marlin Jackson, Clemson’s Justin Miller, Auburn’s Carlos Rogers, Miami’s Antrell Rolle, and LSU’s Corey Webster. Rolle, Jackson, and Webster each has a chance to be a high first-round selection in the 2005 draft.

The Houston secondary also appears to be in good shape on the inside. Converted cornerback Marcus Coleman and 2003 acquisition Marlon McCree have turned free safety from the weakest position on the Texan defense a year ago to one of the strongest. Eric Brown is a physical strong safety and is backed up by special teamer Ramon Walker. Casserly likes the long-term potential of 2004 draftees Glenn Earl and Jammal Lord.

Of our top five safety prospects, Central Florida’s Atari Bigby, UNLV’s Jamaal Brimmer, and Oklahoma’s Donte Nicholson are strong safeties, while Nebraska’s Josh Bullocks and Georgia Tech’s James Butler are free safeties. There is not a safety in the Sean Taylor/Roy Williams caliber in this year’s draft, but these five should become solid NFL players.

A few more cornerbacks to consider:

Ronald Bart, Howard
Kelly Jennings, Miami
Karl Payman, Washington State
Antonio Perkins, Oklahoma
Darren Williams, Oklahoma State

And safeties:

Darnell Bing, Southern Cal
Thomas Davis, Georgia
Ben Emanuel, UCLA
Dustin Fox, Ohio State
Jermaine Harris, South Carolina

Corey Webster Corey Webster Home

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