NFL Draft Central

2021 NFL Draft: Cornerback Steals

Jord is back with his 2021 NFL Draft steals before Draft weekend. It is time we headed for the Cornerback position. Which talents could prove to be 2021 NFL Draft cornerback steals?

Paulson Adebo, Stanford (Senior, 6′ 1″, 190 lbs)

Adebo is the first of our 2021 NFL Draft cornerback steals. After a great RS freshman year, Paulson Adebo saw his draft stock take a hit, due to a decline in form and opting out in 2020. He had shown flashes of quality in his RS Freshman season. Adebo is a good sized CB that showcases high end explosiveness. This helps him close the distances quickly. These skills are shown in full effect on tape. He makes numerous plays on the ball and grabs his fair share of interceptions. His footwork is something that needs addressing when playing at the next level. Adebo’s hip alignment can also be suspect. NFL coaches will be hopeful that these problem areas can be coached out of him at the next level.

Paulson Adebo could easily have been a Day One draft pick in 2018. The drop off in his game in 2019 and opting out in 2020 has raised question marks over his ability. If a NFL team picks Adebo up in the late rounds and helps him progress, they could have unearthed a top player in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Kary Vincent Jr, LSU (Senior, 5′ 10″, 189 lbs)

Kary Vincent Jr lines up as a nickel CB, but has also seen some snaps at safety. Although not one of the biggest corners, Vincent Jr packs a punch in his tackles. His speed and hip fluidity help him close on ball carriers. Vincent Jr is well-rounded in man coverage. He would have limitations in a zone scheme. He has an eye for the football, where his speed gets him into positions to gobble up any bad throws. A negative is that he does allow receivers too much space. Good QBs will punish this flaw in the NFL.

Kary Vincent Jr has the ability to be a top CB in the slot. Most of his flaws can be worked on. NFL teams looking for a potential starting slot corner with some uptake at safety, could pick up Vincent Jr in the late rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Shakur Brown, Michigan State (RS Senior, 6′ 0″, 180 lbs)

Spartan CB Shakur Brown burst onto the scene with a breakout 2020 season. In just 7 games he recorded 25 tackles, 5 interceptions and 4 pass breakups. His awareness and anticipation helps him make plays. His intention is always to target the ball before the man. He loves to be physical, but needs to slow everything down at times. Brown has shown his ability to line up inside or outside at CB. He is sticky in coverage, but can get caught out of position when defending double moves. He is strong in the run game, breaking off blocks to engage with ball carriers.

NFL teams don’t have a lot to go on. The tape they do have however is exciting. Brown’s ability to play in lots of different roles is a big positive, along with his untapped potential. NFL teams could take a chance on Brown on Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft. In a few years time, we could be looking back at a steal of the Draft.

Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon (Senior, 5′ 11″, 202 lbs)

Deommodore Lenoir is a good sized cornerback. He can align as an outside corner as well as in the slot. Lenoir has a great explosion out of his stance. This helps him break and make plays in the run game and break up throws. Lenoir is also great in coverage. He is always trying to make sure plays develop in front of him so he can respond accordingly. This is compensation for his lack of speed. Receivers can get past him, and he struggles to make up for lost ground. Lenoir has strong hands and uses them to knock receivers out of their route within the 5 yards of contact.

The tape NFL teams have on Lenoir is impressive. Lenoir could be picked up on Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft. His qualities at nickel cornerback will be well utilised in the NFL.

Robert Rochell, Central Arkansas (RS Senior, 6′ 0″, 195 lbs)

The final player in our 2021 NFL Draft cornerback steals is Robert Rochell. He is an interesting corner talent in the 2021 NFL Draft. After an ACL tear in his last year of high school, Rochell went from a top ranked prospect going into college to playing at the FCS level. It took a while for him to get going in the college game, but a switch to CB showcased the athletic potential seen in his high school days. Rochell is a physical player that possesses good speed. Rochell is very good in coverage, a consequence of his knowledge of route concepts. Whether it’s coming down the field to meet runners, closing on receivers and making plays at the catch point, Rochell can do it all. Of course he does have areas that need work, but his football IQ would suggest he can work on those.

The issue with Rochell is whether he can make the big jump from FCS football to the NFL. He is a wild card player. He is likely to land on an NFL practice squad if he goes undrafted in April.

Catch all of Jord’s work, and the rest of the 5YC crew, over @5yardcollege on Twitter. Also, check out the team’s 5 Yard Film Sessions over on our YouTube channel!

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