’s 2022 Draft Preview + Bucs Best Bets: CBs analyzes the highest gamers within the 2022 NFL Draft with its’ place previews. Jon Ledyard retains issues rolling by previewing the cornerback place, with a complete have a look at what the Bucs have and what they want at nook. Ledyard additionally offers an in depth record of this 12 months’s prime cornerbacks. As well as, Scott Reynolds presents up the group wants and the annual Bucs’ Greatest Bets – the most definitely cornerback for the Bucs to pick in Rounds 1-3, and in Rounds 4-7.

What The Bucs Have At Cornerback

Bucs CBs Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

The Bucs have among the finest cornerbacks within the league in Carlton Davis III. He was re-signed this offseason to a three-year take care of simply over $14.833 million per season. Davis, who missed half the season with a quad damage, primarily mans the left cornerback spot reverse Jamel Dean. A former third-round choose, Dean performs proper cornerback and is getting into a contract 12 months. Dean battled some accidents to have his finest season in 2021. Sean Murphy-Bunting, the group’s beginning slot cornerback, can also be getting into a contract 12 months. Picked a spherical sooner than Dean in 2019, Murphy-Bunting had a implausible 2020 postseason, however has underwhelmed within the common season. He missed half of the 2021 marketing campaign with a dislocated elbow.

Ross Cockrell, Dee Delaney and particular teamer Rashard Robinson return as reserves and can battle for depth chart positions in coaching camp. The Bucs additionally added veteran defensive again Logan Ryan, who will might play security or nickel nook. Cockrell had an amazing camp final 12 months, however disillusioned when pressed into common obligation attributable to accidents. Tampa Bay wound up utilizing reserve security Mike Edwards within the slot forward of Cockrell down the stretch. The Bucs didn’t re-sign Pierre Desir and Richard Sherman, who had been two damage alternative signees final 12 months when Tampa Bay was rocked with accidents on the cornerback spot.

What The Bucs Want At Cornerback

The Bucs have six cornerbacks on their roster and will head into the 2022 season with simply these gamers. Tampa Bay might want to add extra our bodies for camp and competitors, however drafting a cornerback this 12 months will not be an absolute necessity. The group needs to present Dean and Murphy-Bunting ample enjoying time this 12 months to guage them. The Bucs will seemingly solely be capable of afford to re-sign certainly one of them subsequent March. Proper now it’s most likely Dean over Murphy-Bunting.

If Tampa Bay goes to draft a cornerback, it’s going to seemingly be one that may compete inside on the slot place with the pliability to additionally play exterior. Todd Bowles prefers massive, lengthy, bodily corners, so don’t count on the Bucs to draft a participant smaller than 5-foot-11. Tampa Bay has had a number of in for High 30 visits, together with Auburn’s Roger McCreary and Nebraska’s Cam Taylor-Britt. Each are Day 2 alternatives.

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High Cornerbacks In 2022 NFL Draft

*Vital Word: These gamers are NOT listed within the order of Pewter Report’s rating for them. Quite, the numbers are supplied to point out you the tough order during which we count on them to return off the board through the draft.

1. Cincinnati CB Sauce Gardner – Junior – 6-3, 190, 4.41

Per PFF, Gardner allowed 131 yards in 14 video games this previous season. In his whole faculty profession, Gardner by no means surrendered a landing. And the tape matches the numbers. You can argue he wasn’t examined as typically as different cornerbacks. That’s honest to say. However when Gardner squared up with Alabama within the Faculty Soccer Playoff, he was fully dominant. Gardner will face higher competitors within the NFL, and like all cornerbacks he’ll have his struggles. However his psychological toughness, confidence and ball abilities to create splash performs will assist him bounce again. Press-man schemes must be excited so as to add Gardner into the fold.

2. LSU CB Derek Stingley, Jr. – Junior – 6-0, 190, 4.44

In protection, maybe no cornerback has the upside or playmaking of Stingley. He’s a silky clean mover with glorious athleticism and the ball abilities you need on the place. He can play in press or off protection, and has sufficient size and power to battle receivers in contested spots too. However questions abound. Stingley performed simply three video games this previous season, and 7 the 12 months earlier than. Neither marketing campaign was as spectacular as his freshman 12 months, as Stingley struggled as a tackler and didn’t make as many performs on the ball. There are well being, run protection toughness and tackling issues.

However even in protection, Stingley’s tape was pretty boom-or-bust in 2019. He compelled a ton of incompletions, and in addition gave up a ton of massive performs. Stingley will be overwhelmed on the line of scrimmage, and doesn’t have elite restoration velocity down the sphere. Devonta Smith and Van Jefferson each gave him points in press. Stingley surrendered nearly 18 yards per catch on the receptions he did permit, together with 5 touchdowns. He’s a splash play machine, however he offers up loads too.

Any group drafting Stingley will likely be placing a whole lot of inventory in his 2019 tape, when he had 21 go breakups, six interceptions and allowed solely 34 receptions all season. However in 10 video games over the previous two years, Stingley has 5 go breakups and nil picks. Which participant is the NFL getting? I’m unsure, however I wouldn’t wish to spend a prime 5 choose to seek out out.

3. Washington CB Kyler Gordon – RS Junior – 5-11, 194, 4.52

Washington CB Kyler Gordon

Washington CB Kyler Gordon – Picture by: USA At the moment

Actually, there’s not a lot to dislike about Kyler Gordon. Sure, his processing can nonetheless enhance a bit, particularly in zone protection. There’s nonetheless a faster stage he can play at when attacking routes and even studying run keys in entrance of him. However Gordon has all of the motion abilities, measurement, power and ferocity you need in a younger cornerback. Few cornerbacks possess his potential to reflect receivers off the road of scrimmage and shut on the ball with explosiveness.

Gordon ran a 4.52 on the Mix, however performs even quicker. He constantly disrupted the catch level down the sphere and prevented massive performs. And he’s energetic in run help too, displaying perfect physicality for the place. In contrast to McDuffie, Gordon can play in man or zone heavy schemes, though his size and approach ought to translate properly to press-man protection within the NFL. The subsequent step for Gordon is mastering the IQ aspect of issues, which ought to permit him to make extra performs on the ball. He has some tough edges to clean out, however Gordon’s ceiling is impressively excessive. And his ground isn’t too low both.

4. Washington CB Trent McDuffie – Junior – 5-11, 193, 4.44

All through all the course of, McDuffie has been anticipated to be a prime ten choose. However we haven’t heard a lot of something from the sourced up members of the media on his draft inventory. It’s uncommon for smaller cornerbacks to get that sort of buzz with out some excellent tape or ball manufacturing. McDuffie merely doesn’t have both. He’s a strong zone cornerback with spectacular route consciousness and good temperament in opposition to the run.

However there’s solely worth in these talents for a handful of schemes. McDuffie’s lack of expertise and talent in press man protection, particularly with sub-30 inch arms, is a priority. He has glorious fluidity and athleticism, however not often made performs on the ball in off protection. Via 28 profession video games, McDuffie has simply 9 go breakups and two interceptions. Each picks had been on underthrown deep balls, however McDuffie did elevate for each catches. In the suitable scheme, McDuffie is usually a strong starter. However the limitations to his recreation are most likely being undersold proper now.

5. Michigan CB/S Dax Hill – Junior – 6-0, 191, 4.38

Hill is what occurs when elite efficiency in a selected position converges with projection into different roles and unbelievable athleticism. He performed predominantly within the slot for Michigan, and he was dominant in that position. When given the chance to maneuver into the field or play deep he additionally excelled regardless of restricted reps. He combines nice velocity with elite motion. And with all of the hype about Hamilton’s measurement, Hill’s wingspan is just half an inch shorter. The manufacturing Hill created over his three-year profession was spectacular with 151 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, half a sack, 20 passes defensed and 4 interceptions. Search for Hill to be drafted late within the first spherical.

– Josh Queipo

6. Clemson CB Andrew Sales space – Junior – 6-0, 194, DNP

Sales space is the upside play of the highest cornerbacks on this class. His transitions and footwork are lightning fast, and he’s able to enjoying in a number of schemes. Sure, his approach in press and as a tackler want work. Per PFF, Sales space’s practically 24 p.c missed deal with common was 326th in faculty soccer final 12 months. That’s brutal. Typically his ft transfer quicker than his thoughts, and he will get off steadiness too simply.

However Sales space is a very keen and aggressive tackler. He flies downhill in run help and performs with spectacular depth. Proper now, consistency is the largest situation in his recreation. The hope is that with additional growth he can stage out at his peaks. Final season, Sales space had eight go breakups and three interceptions in 11 video games. Accidents may even want vetting, as Sales space was banged up fairly a bit throughout his faculty profession.

7. Florida CB Kaiir Elam – Junior – 6-1, 191, 4.52

Florida CB Kaiir Elam Bucs

Florida CB Kaiir Elam – Picture by: USA At the moment

Elam is a giant, lengthy nook with the power and approach to jam up receivers on the line of scrimmage. He’s affected person too, not often getting caught in a foul place on a receiver’s launch. Nonetheless, down the sphere issues can get questionable. Elam struggles to play together with his again to the ball, committing a bunch of penalties final season. If he can clear that up, he’ll be an excellent starter within the NFL.

Exterior of 1 tough efficiency as a tackler in opposition to Alabama, Elam confirmed he’s in a position to lay the lumber, too. Elam has to make extra performs on the ball too, as he broke up six passes and intercepted only one final season. However the picks he’s had over his profession counsel actual ball abilities are part of his recreation. There are some very actual comparisons to Carlton Davis III on Elam’s tape. He’s a Bucs match who could possibly be a shock choice at No. 27 total.

7. Baylor CB Jalen Pitre – Senior – 5-11, 198, 4.46

Pitre is an distinctive slot cornerback who will always carry the combat in opposition to the run. Few gamers work top-down on the ball with higher execution than Pitre does. He’s a ferocious tackler, however will miss stops attributable to his measurement/over-aggressiveness. The trick with Pitre will likely be his worth. What number of defenses will worth a slot solely defender within the first spherical? I feel Pitre will seemingly be a Day 2 choose, however no matter group provides him will likely be getting a baller. Pitre had 18 tackles for loss, three sacks, three compelled fumbles, 9 go breakups and two interceptions final 12 months.

8. Nebraska CB Cam Taylor-Britt – Senior – 5-11, 207, 4.38

Taylor-Britt is a stocky, long-armed cornerback with a body that might finally transfer to security. In truth, Taylor-Britt began seven video games at robust security again in 2019. He’s often called a tough work and nice chief who exemplified professional work ethic for his teammates at Nebraska. The senior can also be one of many extra bodily defensive backs within the class, with some enormous hits on tape.

However Taylor-Britt doesn’t come with out issues, too. After enjoying in a zone-heavy scheme at Nebraska, Taylor-Britt is underdeveloped in man protection. He’s additionally not particularly instinctive in zone, permitting receptions in entrance of him with regularity. And for all his physicality, Taylor-Britt nonetheless missed quite a lot of stops in house. Tayl0r-Britt has the bodily traits to be a press nook, however didn’t do it quite a bit in faculty. Throughout his ultimate season, Taylor-Britt broke up 12 passes, however had only one interception.

9. Auburn CB Roger McCreary – Senior – 5-11, 190, 4.50

McCreary’s tape is superb, however a whole lot of his peripheral info makes him a questionable choose. Already often called a smaller cornerback, McCreary’s arm size and wingspan could be the shortest within the NFL at his place. He additionally did not impress in his athletic testing, with simply 31.5-inch vertical bounce and a good-not-great 4.50 40-yard sprint. Given his measurement, he’ll seemingly have to maneuver to the slot within the NFL. However McCreary by no means performed inside in faculty, and mentioned on the Senior Bowl that he’s nonetheless studying zone coverages from scratch.

These weaknesses may have him off the board of a number of NFL groups. However McCreary makes a whole lot of performs on the ball and is sticky in man protection. But, in opposition to Alabama’s John Metchie, McCreary received greater than he misplaced. There’s a really finite match for McCreary within the NFL, and I’m unsure his tape is dominant sufficient to take him as excessive because the rumors have him. However the senior did break up 16 passes final 12 months and snagged two interceptions.

10. UTSA CB Tariq Woolen – RS Senior – 6-4, 205, 4.26

Primarily based on pure measurables, Woolen is perhaps the best upside undertaking cornerback in NFL historical past. He’s 6-foot-4, 205 kilos with 34-inch arms and runs a 4.26 40 with a 42-inch vertical and a ten’11” broad bounce. Simply jaw-dropping stuff. However Woolen is stiff and leggy, as many taller cornerbacks are typically. These motion deficiencies got here out in his athletic testing too, as Woolen’s shuttle and 3-cone had been poor.

He’s additionally one of many worst tacklers within the draft, lacking an unbelievable 39 p.c of his stops, per PFF! Woolen has solely performed cornerback for 2 seasons, recording 11 go breakups and two interceptions in 20 video games. The soon-to-be 23-year outdated wants appreciable work earlier than he’s able to play. However in press-zone schemes, Woolen’s finest ball could possibly be forward of him.

11. Sam Houston State CB Zyon McCollum – RS Senior – 6-1, 199, 4.33

Sam Houston State CB Zyon McCollum

Sam Houston State CB Zyon McCollum – Picture courtesy of Sam Houston State

McCollum is the opposite upside play of the mid-tier cornerbacks on this class. No matter group selects him will likely be hoping they’ll flip among the finest athletes to ever play the place right into a baller. At 6-f0ot-1, 199 kilos, McCollum is a legit 4.3 blazer with practically 40-inch hops and absurd agility drill outcomes. In 5 seasons at Sam Houston State, McCollum broke up 54 passes and picked off 13! Sadly, he’s already 23 and his approach is much from pro-ready. He’ll want ample growth within the NFL after being picked on regularly by FCS competitors.

12. Houston CB Marcus Jones – RS Senior – 5-8, 174, DNP

Jones will instantly compete with McCreary for shortest arms on an NFL cornerback. However Jones’ wingspan is by some means even smaller. At 5-foot-8, 174 kilos, he’s abnormally tiny for a cornerback, even within the slot. Surgical procedures on each shoulders have hindered him over the previous two seasons, and saved him from figuring out on the Mix or his professional day. However he’s a monster kick and punt returner who presents distinctive athleticism as a nickel. Jones is fearless too, sticking his nostril into run protection typically. His 18 go breakups and 5 interceptions final 12 months are among the many finest within the class at his place.

Greatest Of The Relaxation

13. Cincinnati CB Coby Bryant – RS Senior – 6-1, 193, 4.47

In a category stuffed with toolsy cornerbacks, Bryant comes up somewhat bit brief in that regard. He’s not as quick, lengthy or explosive as gamers like Woolen or McCollum. However he might simply have a greater profession. Bryant performed reverse Sauce Gardner in Cincinnati, which meant he noticed a whole lot of targets. And Bryant was extremely productive too, with 25 go breakups and 7 interceptions over the previous two years. He’s an elite tackler with legit ball abilities, however his lack of athleticism might pigeonhole the redshirt senior to particular scheme matches. Nonetheless, I feel Bryant has an opportunity to have a greater profession than a whole lot of the opposite Day 3 cornerbacks.

14. Fayetteville CB Joshua Williams – RS Senior – 6-3, 195, 4.51

Williams has the dimensions and size groups are searching for, however you’re not going to be taught a lot from his tape. D-II opponents didn’t give him the problems NFL receivers will. We noticed this firsthand in Cell, the place Williams spent the week getting torched by a mediocre group of go catchers. I’m unsure he has the velocity or fluidity to play in man protection within the NFL. Maybe a press-zone scheme will take Williams beneath the wing and develop him. The 22-year outdated did have three interceptions and 9 go breakups in 9 video games final season.

15. Alabama CB Jalyn Armour-Davis – RS Senior – 6-1, 197, 4.39

For 3 seasons at Alabama, Armour-Davis barely noticed the sphere. Attributable to a knee damage, Armour-Davis redshirted in 2018. Then in 2019 he performed simply 59 snaps, earlier than enjoying 33 in 2020. So, with 92 profession snaps and nil begins to his title, Armour-Davis used 11 video games in 2021 to vault his manner into consideration to be a prime 100 choose. Armour-Davis broke up seven passes, picked off three others and surrendered zero touchdowns.

However he barely performed over the ultimate 4 video games of the season as accidents sprang up as soon as once more. Nonetheless, the tape he put out in 2021 could be very spectacular. He performs like a much more skilled cornerback, in protection and as a tackler.  If Armour-Davis can keep wholesome, he could possibly be the steal of the draft.

16. Pitt CB Damarri Mathis – RS Senior – 5-11, 196, 4.39

Mathis is a boom-or-bust cornerback who offers up too many massive performs and commits too many penalties. Having mentioned that, there’s important athleticism and catch level competitiveness to his recreation. If Mathis can turn out to be extra disciplined, his finest soccer could possibly be forward of him. The 23-year outdated broke up eight passes and intercepted two final season, including 44 tackles. Mathis missed the 2020 season following a shoulder damage that required surgical procedure.

17. Mississippi State CB Martin Emerson – Junior – 6-2, 201, 4.51

Mississippi State CB Martin Emerson Bucs

Mississippi State CB Martin Emerson – Picture by: USA At the moment

Emerson is likely one of the largest, longest cornerbacks within the draft, with over 33-inch arms! He must play in a press scheme within the NFL, even when he’s re-routing earlier than his zone drops. That’s the place Emerson will likely be at his finest, as he lacks the mirror-and-match quickness to shadow receivers in man. And regardless of huge measurement benefits and 11-inch arms, Emerson rarely made a play on the ball. The junior had simply three go breakups final season and hasn’t intercepted a go since 2019. However he’s an excellent tackler and run defender that could possibly be a Bucs goal on Day 3 of the draft.

18. Missouri CB Akayleb Evans – RS Senior – 6-2, 197, 4.46

Evans is a measurement/velocity/size cornerback who will likely be an intriguing Day 3 pickup. He’ll win the interview course of with groups, displaying a powerful disposition on the podium through the NFL Mix. However Evans’ approach will be missing, making him gradual to assault routes/the ball at instances. He will also be a penalty machine, with too many flags over the previous couple seasons. In 11 video games final 12 months, Evans broke up seven passes and grabbed his first and solely profession interception.

19. Penn State CB Tariq Castro-Fields – RS Senior – 6-1, 197, 4.38

Castro-Fields is massive and bodily, but by some means nonetheless unwatchable as a tackler. His testing stunned on the Mix, however on the sphere there are very actual issues. Functionally, Castro-Fields doesn’t transition in his actions like a beginning NFL cornerbacks. That’s disappointing, since his finest schematic utilization is in press protection. He’s bodily with good approach on the line of scrimmage.

However Castro-Fields can’t match shiftier receiver as soon as the route is underway. The 23-year outdated may have a really slim scheme match within the NFL. And there’s little or no upside contemplating how poor his ball abilities are. Over his previous 15 faculty video games, Castro-Fields managed simply seven go breakups and nil interceptions.

20. Alabama CB Josh Jobe – Senior – 5-11, 182, DNP

Early in his Alabama profession, there was hope that Jobe would turn out to be the subsequent nice Crimson Tide cornerback. That by no means got here to fruition, nonetheless. As an alternative, Jobe struggled with penalties and matching receivers in man protection. Then Jobe was injured close to the top of his faculty profession, lacking the pre-draft course of.

The senior is aggressive and bodily, competing on the catch level regularly.  He’ll additionally fly round in opposition to the run, however missed tackles are a giant situation. Jobe struggling via the worst season of his profession as a 23-year outdated (now 24) is a foul signal for his NFL inventory. In 12 video games, Jobe had 38 tackles, six go breakups and two interceptions.

Bucs’ Greatest Bets: Cornerbacks

Bucs’ Greatest Guess – Rounds 1-3: Nebraska CB Cam Taylor-Britt

Nebraska CB Cam Taylor-Britt Bucs

Nebraska CB Cam Taylor-Britt – Picture by: USA At the moment

The 5-foot-11, 207-pound Taylor-Britt is a bodily ball of power on the sphere. The hard-hitting cornerback is a forceful tackler when utilizing good approach, and hard and aggressive in protection as properly. Lauded by his coaches for his super work ethic, Taylor-Britt was voted as a group captain throughout his ultimate 12 months at Nebraska. His lengthy arms, 4.38 velocity and athleticism helped him break up 27 passes and choose off six others in his 4 years with the Cornhuskers. Taylor-Britt’s physicality was additionally used close to the road of scrimmage as he’s recorded 2.5 profession sacks.

Whereas Taylor-Britt will be responsible of lacking some tackles and biting on double strikes as a result of he’s over-eager, NFL coaches would a lot somewhat inform gamers to decelerate than hurry up. Taylor-Britt has an alpha persona and has been a sturdy starter. He’s began 29 out of the final 30 video games, together with seven at robust security in 2019 when he compelled a team-high 4 fumbles. Taylor-Britt’s tape screams “Bucs cornerback” and the group introduced him in for a High 30 pre-draft go to. He figures to be drafted within the third or fourth spherical.

Bucs’ Greatest Guess – Rounds 4-7: Mississippi State CB Martin Emerson

Emerson is a tall, lengthy cornerback with nice measurement (6-2, 201) that may be an excellent slot in Todd Bowles’ scheme. Tampa Bay likes massive cornerbacks to play on the surface. The Bucs had been ravaged with accidents on the cornerback place final 12 months. They misplaced Carlton Davis III and Sean Murphy-Bunting for half the season and Jamel Dean for a number of video games. Drafting Emerson would give the Bucs a younger exterior cornerback that might assistance on particular groups as a rookie whereas he learns the protection.

Emerson is battle-tested within the SEC. He ran a 4.53 within the 40-yard sprint, which is on par with Davis’ time popping out of Auburn. Emerson’s lack of ball abilities make him a mid-round choose. He had only one interception in three years for the Bulldogs, which got here throughout his freshman season. Emerson broke up 15 passes at Mississippi State, together with 11 in 2020 and three final 12 months. He could by no means be a starting-caliber cornerback in Tampa Bay, however may supply high quality depth as a fourth-round choose.