Well-Rounded Corners

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Well-Rounded Corners
by Keith Weiland

Note: This is sixth in a series of college prospect profiles in preparation for the 2006 NFL Draft next April. This time we take a look at the top five prospects at cornerback.

If there has been a recent theme to the top cornerback prospects of recent years, it has been the multi-dimensional ability that several of them have shown on the collegiate level. These are the children of the Deion Sanders Generation, where just being a shutdown corner doesn’t seem to be good enough on its own anymore.

Sanders of course played pro baseball in addition to pro football, but it was on the football field where he wasn’t satisfied enough with just playing defense. Perhaps he was bored since no one threw his direction? Sanders dropped jaws when he took snaps as a receiver for the Cowboys, and the world seems changed ever since.

His success begat the likes of DeAngelo Hall and Chris Gamble two years ago, younger players that would also show that they were capable of more than just unbelievable pass breakups and fluid backpedaling. This year, witness Boston College’s Will Blackmon lead the Eagles as a receiver and see Kansas’ Charles Gordon be the most electrifying player on the field regardless of which team has the football. Clemson’s Tye Hill was once a freshman running back, and while Virginia Tech’s Jimmy Williams and Penn State’s Alan Zemaitis didn’t play much on offense this season, they have enough interceptions between them to come close.

Other cornerback prospects to watch:

Devin Hester, Miami (Fl)*
Kelly Jennings, Miami (Fl)
Tim Jennings, Georgia
DeMario Minter, Georgia
Ashton Youboty, Ohio State*
Anwar Phillips, Penn State

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