1. Marcus Peters (Washington) | 6-foot-0, 197 pounds
If it weren’t for Marcus Peters’ off-the-field concerns, there would be no dispute over which cornerback would be selected first in the 2015 NFL Draft. Peters is a phenomenal talent and he’ll be the first to tell you that he’s the No. 1 CB in this draft. He’s a confident kid with a knack for getting physical and getting in your face about it. If he keeps his head screwed on tight, he will be an elite shutdown CB for years to come.
2. Kevin Johnson (Wake Forest) | 6-foot-0, 188 pounds
If you ask me, Kevin Johnson may be one of the safest picks in the entire draft. He has the best footwork in the class, and you could plug him into any scheme and he’ll succeed. He has the ability to play in off-man, press and zone coverage, and he’s a confident kid on and off the field. His closing speed is top notch, and he’s going to get his hands on a lot of balls in the NFL.
3. Eric Rowe (Utah) | 6-foot-1, 205 pounds
Rowe is a guy I’ve been pounding the table for dating back to last year. He’s done everything he can to raise his draft stock, and it appears that there is a strong possibility that he may be a Day 1 selection. He’s an impressive athlete and has experience at both safety and CB. Rowe has a knack for getting physical and will thrive in a press-heavy scheme.
4. Trae Waynes (Michigan State) | 6-foot-0, 186 pounds
It may come to you as a shock that I’m not as high on Trae Waynes as most are (Go Green!). I even considered dropping him below Byron Jones, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like him. Waynes is a great athlete with solid technique and does a spectacular job of mirroring his opponents in man coverage. However, I really worry about his stiff hips and tendency to get a little too grabby in coverage.
5. Byron Jones (Connecticut) | 6-foot-1, 199 pounds
Jones set the draft world on fire with his world-record-setting 147-inch broad jump. His shoulder injury prevented him from being a household name, but his tape alone warrants early round consideration. Jones is extremely physical and has the quintessential frame for an outside CB. He starts low in his stance and does a nice job of jamming at the line of scrimmage, but will need to work on his footwork if he wants a smooth transition at the next level.
6. Quinten Rollins (Miami [OH]) | 5-foot-11, 195 pounds
Rollins played just one year of college football, but is surprisingly instinctive and shows great ball skills. He’s at his best with his eyes on the quarterback, which leads me to believe that he’s a better fit for zone-heavy defenses. Rollins has below-average athleticism and does a nice job of shedding blocks and finishing tackles, so there are some teams that may view him as more of a safety prospect than a CB.
7. Steven Nelson (Oregon State) | 5-foot-10, 197 pounds
Nelson is my No. 1 nickelback prospect in the class and one of the scrappiest players you'll see on the field. He made a name for himself after a nice showing throughout Senior Bowl practices and also broke up two passes during the game. Nelson is great in run support and wins when he’s able to see plays develop in front of him.
8. Ronald Darby (Florida State) | 5-foot-11, 193 pounds
Between the two FSU CBs in this draft, I believe Darby has the most upside. His technique isn’t perfect, and his physicality may be put in question, but he’s explosive out of his stance and has the speed to make up for it. Another concern with Darby would have to be his poor ball skills and lack of interceptions in 2014. He had a few throws go right off his hands and a couple of pick-six opportunities he couldn’t cash in.
9. Jalen Collins (LSU) | 6-foot-1, 203 pounds
Collins has the frame and athleticism that teams are continuing to look for in an outside corner. However, he's as raw as it gets and has just 10 career starts under his belt. He plays with tightness in his hips and tends to get a little too high in his stance, which led to him getting consistently abused on underneath routes. Still, Collins is very good in run support, and with the right coaching, he can turn into one of the best CBs in this class.
10. Jacoby Glenn (UCF) | 6-foot-0, 179 pounds
My major knock on Glenn is the fact that he was unable to add any weight when measured at the NFL Combine. He has great closing speed and exceptional ball skills, and if he's able to gain some weight and work with the right coaches, I see him as a nice sleeper pick in this year’s draft.