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2019 NFL Draft: Defensive Back Big Board

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Who are some of the best defensive backs in the 2019 class?

NCAA Football: UCLA at Oregon
Ugo Amadi running towards the NFL
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Cornerback

1. Greedy Williams 6’1 185 LSU

  • Williams was one of the best corners entering the 2018 season but suffered a “down” year. He still is my top corner on the board despite this.

Grade: Round 1

2. Byron Murphy 6’1 185 Washington

  • Washington’s other starter at corner is pretty good in his own right. He’s a solid athlete that tested well during the Combine. Pops off the screen when I watch him play. Doesn’t get beat often but when he does, he makes up for it. He’s very technically sound.

Grade: Round 1

3. Amani Oruwariye 6’1 205 Penn State

  • AO had a so-so Senior Bowl week but had several plays here and there. He didn’t do much to stand out, however. He’s been getting a lot more love when the community did more research on him. Rising up the boards to CB3 on mine. He’s a bigger corner so teams will love that.

Grade: Round 2

4. Julian Love 5’11 193 Notre Dame

  • Love is one of the better corners that some aren’t talking about. He’s an instinctive corner that’s always around the ball. Shutdown one side of the field for the Irish last season. Work ethic and character are pluses.

Grade: Round 2

5. DeAndre Baker 5’11 193 Georgia

  • It can be argued that Baker is the best cornerback prospect in the class. He’s always around the ball it seems. Plays hard every play. Has great athleticism and generally keeps up with opposing receivers. Ball skills are improving. Fundamentally sound.

Grade: Round 2

6. Trayvon Mullen 6’1 199 Clemson

  • A corner that hardly anyone talks about due to the guys ahead of him in the front seven. Has the size and athleticism to thrive as a pro. Teams will covet him for his size.

Grade: Round 3

7. Justin Layne 6’3 185 Michigan State

  • Layne has been a draft darling for many teams due to his size and length. He stood out against Oregon in the bowl game. A legit 6’3 so bigger receivers won’t be an issue.

Grade: Round 2

8. Mike Jackson 6’0 210 Miami

  • A taller corner that NFL teams will covet. He didn’t do much as a senior but has the athleticism and talent to make things interesting. Miami fibbed on the media guide a bit so he came in shorter than expected. The junior tape was interesting. East-West Shrine Game participant.

Grade: Round 4

9. Iman Lewis-Marshall 6’0 207 USC

  • Marshall had a lot of prove entering the Senior Bowl week after a so-so 2018 season. Boy, did he ever. He was one of the few to contain standout receiver Terry McLaurin. He won nearly every rep in practice and made a few plays in the game. Stock has been pointing north for a long time now.

Grade: Round 4

10. Lonnie Johnson 6’1 213 Kentucky

  • He’s a big physical corner that had multiple great reps in Mobile, winning his one on ones handily. Didn’t look overmatched by the faster receivers as well. Steadily rising up the boards and he’s every bit of 6’1. Had a good Combine.

Grade: Round 3

11. Joejaun Williams 6’3 211 Vanderbilt

  • Williams has been getting a lot of hype from the community as of late and the tape backs it up. He’s really good. Teams will love his size. He reportedly blew away everyone at his Pro Day after a less than ideal Combine.

Grade: Round 4

12. Sean Bunting 6’1 180 Central Michigan

  • Bunting really impressed at the Combine after a stellar 2018 season for the Chippewas. He’s all of 6’1 so teams will love that about him. Fast rising up the boards.

Grade: Round 4

13. Rock Ya-Sin 6’1 190 Temple

  • He has been a standout corner prospect for the Owls. Work ethic and character will carry the day for him in Mobile. Production is a plus as well. Underrated and left Mobile as a CB4. Had a good Combine perfomance.

Grade: Round 5

14. Corey Ballentine 5’11 196 Washburn

  • Ballentine had a mixed Senior Bowl week but by winning several one on one reps, he proved that he belongs on this level. I like him as a late round prospect but he moved up with a good Combine.

Grade: Round 5

15. Derrick Baity, Jr. 6’2 197 Kentucky

  • Baity is a really talented prospect that blew up on the radar this year. He has the length that NFL teams will drool over at 6’2 197. Underrated due to the depth of this class.

Grade: Round 5

Safety

1. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson 5’10 210 Florida

  • CGJ is one of the top safety prospects in the class after a great 2018 season leading the Gators secondary. He tested very well at the Combine. He’s my S1.

Grade: Round 1

2. Juan Thornhill 6’0 205 Virginia

  • Thornhill is a good safety without a defined role at the next level due to experience at both corner and safety. From what I’ve seen of Virginia, he stands out as a well schooled defensive back and fundamentally sound. He had a mixed Senior Bowl experience. He tested well at the Combine with a sub 4.5 40.

Grade: Round 2

3. Nasir Adderley 5’11 206 Delaware

  • He more than lived up to the hype during the Senior Bowl practices even though he was a fish out of water sometimes playing corner rather than his natural safety. Adderley improved every practice, which is great to see. Proved that he belonged on the field.

Grade: Round 2

4. Darnell Savage 5’11 191 Maryland

  • Savage stood out at the Senior Bowl in every aspect. He’s a playmaker that was always around the ball with the Terps. Very good athleticism. One of my favorite safeties in the class. He should go high in the draft.

Grade: Round 2

5. Johnathan Abram 5’11 205 Mississippi State

  • Abram has really come on as a senior during the 2018 campaign. He profiles as a more of a in the box strong safety but can play free safety in small doses without being exposed. Fundamentally sound as a run defender. Pass defense needs some work. Athletically, he’s above average. Senior Bowl participant.

Grade: Round 3

6. Mike Edwards 5’10 205 Kentucky

  • Could be one of the top safety prospects in the country. I haven’t seen him much but when I do watch Kentucky, he really shows up. Football IQ is up there. Instinctive safety that can bait QBs into throwing his direction. Had a solid week at the Senior Bowl.

Grade: Round 3

7. Will Harris 6’1 207 Boston College

  • Harris was excellent in one on ones, showing that he can play a bit of corner if needed during the Senior Bowl practices. He was fluid to the ball, showed the range to cover sideline to sideline, and footwork to keep up with faster receivers. He was all over the place making plays every rep. Rarely beaten on reps. Showed a lot more than he did on tape. Combine was rinse and repeat.

Grade: Round 3

8. Ugo Amadi 5’9 199 Oregon

  • The do everything safety for the Ducks has had a great year in terms of draft projection so far. He’s been a clutch play machine for the defense. Teams will love his versatility of playing both corner and safety. Somehow, he wasn’t invited to any of the postseason all star events. He has special teams ability as well. Had an excellent Combine.

Grade: Round 4

9. Lukas Denis 5’11 190 Boston College

  • He was the leader of the always reliable to be stingy secondary this past season. An athlete who looks natural as a ball hawk. Didn’t play as much as a senior due to health. Reportedly had a good week at East-West Shrine.

Grade: Round 5

10. Sheldrick Redwine 6’1 205 Miami

  • Redwine was part of an intimidating Hurricanes secondary. He’s an athlete that can cover a lot of space. Can stay with receivers step for step as well as play the run relatively well. A safety by trade but can play corner in a pinch. One of a few prospects who took part in both Shrine and Senior.

Grade: Round 4

11. Taylor Rapp 5’11 208 Washington

  • He was the best safety in the Pac-12 and possibly among the best in the nation. His 2018 season is just more evidence of this. He’s simply a play maker that flies around the field with calculative abandon. Versatile stat sheet as Rapp has posted 58 tackles, five tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles.

Grade: Round 5

12. Jaquan Johnson 5’10 191 Miami

  • Johnson lived up to the hype and then some in 2018. He didn’t look lost at all in coverage. Was one of the best safeties in the ACC the past two years running. Excellent in space player and projects as a free safety type.

Grade: Round 6

13. Evan Worthington 6’1 212 Colorado

  • He had a good senior season for an underwhelming Buffaloes squad in 2018. He’s an excellent athlete and it shows in pass coverage. Was a top prospect at the East-West Shrine Game.

Grade: Round 5