The draft is fast approaching and all of the unoriginal journalists out there mock Justin Gilbert to the Detroit Lions. I am a firm believer in moving up for Watkins, Clowney or Mack, but what if we didn't? Justin Gilbert has the potential to be a star and solidify our secondary for years to come, he produced in college, at the combine, no character concerns, has a great work ethic and physical attributes.
Something people are bound to say in the comments is that 'first round corners don't work out I.e Dee Milliner and Morris Claibourne', but that argument is not as valid as most might think. I did a fairly large amount of research on the first corners taken since 2007 and here are the results:
2007: Leodis McKelvin was drafted 11th by Buffalo, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 15th best corner in the league this past season. 2008: Darrell Revis, was taken 14th by the New York Jets, we all know how that went. 2009: Malcom Jenkins was taken 14th by the New Orleans Saints, he moved to safety and signed a 3/$16M deal with Philly this offseason. 2010: Joe Haden was taken 6th Overall by the Cleveland Browns, he turned out great. 2011: Patrick Peterson was taken 5th Overall by the Arizona Cardinals, now he is a top 5 corner in the league. 2012: Morris Claibourne was taken 6th Overall by the
Jerry Jones' Dallas Cowboys, although he has undergone his fair share of problems on the field, the class was weak at the corner back position and his combine was shocking: at 5'11, 188lbs, he had a 4.5 40, 118" broad and 34.5" vertical, Gilbert smashed those numbers. 2013: Dee Milliner was taken 9th Overall by the Jets, he has just finished his rookie year, so it is too early to judge, but the next CB taken was Desmond Trufant who was a Top 10 CB in his rookie year.
So the only poor selection was Morris Claibourne and even that was a poor decision after his poor combine, besides Jerry Jones is the Cowboy's GM/Owner, so that explains the pick.
Besides, rookie CB always struggle, Patrick Peterson was ranked as the 102nd CB in the league by Pro Football Focus after his rookie campaign.
But, the whole point of this article is Justin Gilbert, who had 7 picks last year, has no character concerns, is well spoken, has ideal height and arm length scouts love, plus he posted almost identical combine numbers to Patrick Peterson, one of the most athletic comers in the league and Joe Haden stated the he feels Justin Gilbert is the best corner in this entire draft.
Overall, we have large needs at OLB and CB, and in a deep class, unless we trade up for Watkins, Clowney or Mack, Justin Gilbert would be a great option to fill our need at CB for years to come.