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2016 NFL Draft rankings: Top 10 cornerbacks

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Ranking the top 10 cornerback prospects in this year's NFL Draft class.

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
1. Jalen Ramsey (Florida State) | 6-foot-1, 209 pounds

Jalen Ramsey is one of the most exciting prospects to watch this year. Whether you have him listed as a cornerback or safety, it doesn't matter. He's at the top of either list and is arguably the top prospect in this year's class. Ramsey may be a better safety right now, but I believe his upside at CB is even higher and if he can perfect his technique, then he has the opportunity to shut down an entire side of the field.

Mmmm.

2. William Jackson III (Houston) | 6-foot-0, 189 pounds

WJ3's 4.37 40-yard dash opened up some eyes at the combine and had everyone scrambling to re-look at his tape. The Houston product is a personal favorite of mine and resembles a more athletic version of Kevin Johnson from last year's crop. He's got the height and length to play on the outside and is incredibly quick to close in off-man coverage. Once he adds some muscle and refines his technique, I can see him being a top CB in the NFL.

3. Eli Apple (Ohio State) | 6-foot-1, 199 pounds

Admittedly, I'm pretty partial to taller CB prospects and this year is no different. Apple's combination of size, speed and strength have caused his draft stock to skyrocket and he's now deservedly being labeled as a first rounder. To reach his full potential, Apple needs to develop better instincts to mitigate his grabbiness and slow change of direction in coverage.

4. Sean Davis (Maryland) | 6-foot-1, 201 pounds

I'll be honest, I've only recently discovered Sean Davis, but needless to say I'm an enormous fan of his skillset. For those that know me well, you'll completely understand why I'm so high on Davis when you see his top pro comparison via Mockdraftable. Davis has the quickest feet I've ever seen from a CB of his stature and his closing speed in off-man coverage is outstanding. Teams are split on whether they want Davis to play safety or corner, but he has the versatility to play either position and become a three-down player in the NFL.

5. Vernon Hargreaves III (Florida) | 5-foot-10, 204 pounds

VH3 is unfortunately burdened with being short for the position, but that doesn't mean he plays small. VH3 is thickly built for his size and loves to get physical in coverage as well as get involved in run support. He might be limited to playing mostly slot corner in the NFL, but VH3 is an impact player wherever you put him and will be a steal if he ends up sliding to the end of the first round.

6. Xavian Howard (Baylor) | 6-foot-0, 201 pounds
The gap between Xavian Howard's combine and pro day measurables are a bit bizarre, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for being such a physical presence in press-coverage. Howard is constantly in his receiver's hip pocket while in man-coverage and does a fantastic job of always putting himself in perfect position to make a play. Conversely, Howard often struggles to play the ball while it's in the air and gave up the occasional deep ball while at Baylor. I'd like to see him improve on his ball skills and work on his tackling technique in the pros.
7. Mackensie Alexander (Clemson) | 5-foot-10, 190 pounds

Alexander is a prospect that I do not value as highly as others. His small physique and poor testing concerns me a lot and, unless you're a Tyrann Mathieu or a Jason Verrett type prospect, then it's tough for me to put a ton of value on a slot-only CB.

Still, with some refinement in his technique, Alexander can prove to be a valuable pickup on Day 2 for any team that's looking for a starting nickel.
8. Will Redmond (Mississippi State) | 5-foot-11, 182 pounds

Redmond had his season cut short after tearing his ACL in late October, but remains a valuable option in the early/mid rounds due to his plus-athleticism and high upside. Redmond's Achilles' heel is his rail-thin body and inability to get off blocks and wrap up in the run game. Though he has all the tools in the world to become a top cover corner in the NFL, Redmond is going to need to work out the kinks as a run defender and add some muscle to his frame to become a solid all-around player.

9. Artie Burns (Miami [FL]) | 6-foot-0, 193 pounds

Artie Burns is arguably the biggest project on this list, but with teams constantly looking to add bigger and faster CBs to their secondary, this leads me to believe that Burns will be highly sought after. Burns' tape is a rough watch, but he shows flashes of dominance in press-coverage and has the potential to turn into a shut-down corner with the right coaching.

10. Harlan Miller (SE Louisiana) | 6-foot-0, 182 pounds

What you see is what you get with Harlan Miller. He's an average athlete with an extremely thin frame, but he's one of the stickiest cover corners in the draft. Despite his skinny physique, Miller is the type of player that loves to get in on the action and is almost always around the ball. You've gotta love this kid's competitiveness and toughness.

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2016 Positional Rankings: Quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end,offensive tackle, interior O-line, edge rusher, interior D-lineoff-ball linebacker