I did a post last week about the linebackers that I think the Lions will be interested in, this upcoming draft. So, here is my post on the cornerbacks. We all know this was a mash unit last season. Lots of injuries and a lot of faces came and went. But from that, we found two guys I hope will be here for a long time. Chris Houston and Alphonso "The Phonz "Smith. My concern, Chris Houston as publically said he is going to test the free agent market. He would like to return to the Lions, but wants to see what is out there. Personally I do not like this. I get the feeling that if an offer comes from a better team, that he will jump ship. But then again. His comments were made before the Lions four game winning streak. So I am hoping for a change of heart from Chris. Look, both Houston and Phonz exceeded expectations this season. And both will be pieces of the puzzle as the Lions move forward. It is just that the Lions need one more guy that can line up opposite Houston. Let Smith use his knack for the big interceptions and ball hawking skills in the nickel and dime formations. And bring in a guy that can go one on one with the other teams #2 wideout. So without further ado. Here are the 2011 NFL Draft cornerback prospects for the Detroit Lions.
Should Be First Round Selections:
Patrick Peterson 6’1 212lb LSU- 4.42 40 time
Patterns his game after Charles Woodson. Very fluid and has rare straight line speed for a guy his size. Can get physical in man to man. Or use his instincts and speed in zone coverage. In short, Peterson is the shit. And mostly will be a top 3 pick. Almost guaranteed the only way the Lions can draft him is by moving up in the draft.
Prince Amukamara 6’0 205lb Nebraska – 4.49 40 time
Strong instincts with very quick reactions. Reads the quarterback's eyes and anticipates routes, closing quickly to jump underneath routes. Gets into the flat in a hurry to attack screen plays and outside runs. With his size, strength and speed, he is the perfect press-cover NFL corner. Great in run support and a good open field tackler. And if we all pray to the "football gods" hard enough. He might fall to the Lions at 13.
Brandon is a smaller version of Amukamara. And like Prince, he is a pyshical press-cover corner by nature. He has the speed and agility to stay with any wideout. Harris has quick feet, loose hips, good balance and his pure athleticism lends him to be a much better man to man corner, than a zone guy. His knock, he turns his head around late to locate the ball. With his quick hands he knocks the ball down. But that will lead to more PBU’s than intercerptions. He can recognizes the play quickly and is not afraid to come up and make a hit in run support. Relieable open field tackler. Does not always make the prettiest tackles. Leads with his shoulder a lot, but is not afraid to hit someone. Still, Brandon would be a great draft choice the #13.
Jimmy Smith 6’2 205lb Colorado – 4.49 40 time
Jimmy is another physical press-cover corner. Likes to extend his arms on the receiver. Uses his long arms to his advantage. Has a good back pedal. But stands up straight for too long. Needs to get lower for better balance. Smith is very good in run support. But does get overaggressive sometimes biting hard on the play action. In zone, he has very good awareness. A very heady player. Knows when to come off a receiver to cover the underneath routes. Needs to tighten up his footwork when transitioning from pedal to plant-and-drive. As the faster wideouts will eat up his cushion in a hurry. Overall, Smith is alittle more raw than Harris. Needs to work on his technique little. Especially, his back pedal and getting his hips looser. But with some good coaching and time. He could be one of the best corners in the NFL. With a strong combine and pro day. Smith could be the third or even the second best corner in the draft. But until than, I have just behind Harris in the 4th spot.
Now the best of the rest
Davon House 6’0 184lb New Mexico St. – 4.46 40 time Highlights
Aaron Williams 6’1 195lb Texas – 4.49 40 time Highlights
Curtis Brown 6’0 180lb Texas – 4.42 40 time ( no highlights available )
Johnny Patrick 5’11 185lb Louisville – 4.47 40 time Highlights
Brandon Burton 6’0 185lb Utah – 4.49 40 time Highlights
Ras-I Dowling 6’2 200lb Virgina – 4.54 40 time Highlights
Rashard Carmichael 5’10 185lb Virgina Tech – 4.38 40 time Highlights
Curtis Marsh 6’0 195lb Utah St. – 4.44 40 time Highlights
Chimdi Chekwa5’11 190lb Ohio St. – 4.49 40 time ( no highlights available )
All of the players above should be drafted anywhere from the 2nd round to the 4thround. Note that Dowling and Chekwa could have been late 1st round to early 2ndround picks if did not get injuried during the season.
Some sleeper picks you might not of heard of…
Chykie Brown Texas( broke his foreman ), Ryan Jones NW Missouri St. Mario Butler Georgia Tech, Buster Skrine Chattanooga, and Vance Cuff Georgia. ( note: Check out the Dowling vid. Makes me hope that the Lions draft him)
And I know you want it... here is your 'Phonz fix
I posted this over on the Colorado SB site. Hoping to get alittle more insight on Jimmy Smith. And the mystery why he was always covering the other teams #2 wideout. LINKY. I hope the response will clear a few questions up about Smith.