With just ten days until the 2021 NFL draft, all 32 teams will be deep into the evaluation of areas on the roster that they need to address and the talent available in the draft.
Cornerbacks will be in demand during the 2021 NFL draft as at least 12 teams are in the hunt for a starter in that position ahead of the new season. With several teams in need of a fresh injection of talent in their secondary, we take a look at the top 10 CBs heading into the 2021 NFL draft:
Top 10 CBs available in the 2021 NFL Draft
#1 - Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
The son of former Miami Dolphins CB Patrick Surtain, Alabama's Patrick Surtain ll clearly takes after his father and is the best prospect available in at cornerback in the 2021 NFL draft.
Surtain II has great discipline as evident from the low number of holding penalties called against him during his college career. Despite not getting too physical with receivers, he is able to stick with them in both zonal and man coverage.
Surtain II wasn't flagged even once in 2020, showcasing self-restraint and experience that you don't often see in college football. He improved in each year of his college career. In 2018, PFF gave him a coverage grade of 78.7, followed by 84.6 in 2019 and then 88.6 in 2020.
Given his excellent temperament and technique, most analysts expect Surtain ll to go off the board early, with many penciling him in as one of the top 10 picks at the 2021 NFL draft.
#2 - Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
South Carolina's Jaycee Horn has a fine habit of landing big hits in the defensive backfield. As such, I'd have to consider him less of a disciple of Patrick Peterson and more an apostle of Jalen Ramsey when it comes to playing the cornerback position.
Playing in the SEC, which is a tough college division, Horn allowed the second-lowest pass completion percentage of any cornerback to opposing QBs and receivers.
The only issue with Horn is that he will need to improve his discipline once he gets to the NFL. He gave away too many penalties during Carolina's 2020 campaign. Assuming he improves that area of his game, Horn looks every bit an NFL player and is likely to go off the board in the first round of the NFL draft.
3. Greg Newsome II, Northwestern
I didn't get to see too much of Greg Newsome ll last season, but PFF's draft scouts seem to be very high on the player, writing:
Newsome is a super-long and super-smooth cornerback who makes the not-so-easy look easy. His hip-flipping ability is truly second to none in the draft class. It’s that ability to alter course on a dime that led to him allowing only 12 catches from 34 targets for 93 yards in six games this season.
While we’d have loved to have seen more of Newsome against top competition — he left midway through the Ohio State game this year — we saw enough to know he has the movement skills to be a top-flight corner.
Newsome II is one of the best CBs available in the 2021 NFL draft.