The 2011 NFL Draft is very unlikely to be remembered as a great safety class, with Rahim Moore being the top safety of a very weak class. The cornerback class looks a lot better though, with two top-15 talents and likely a 3rd CB going late in the 1st round. Patrick Peterson is the highlight, and possibly the best player in the draft. For me it’s Peterson, Von Miller and AJ Green at the top of my board. Here’s my top 10 corners and top 5 safeties in the draft:
- Patrick Peterson – LSU
Has the speed, great size for a corner and experience of playing press coverage. Great ball skills and adds immediate return ability. Projection – Should be a top 5 pick but might slip to the 49ers at #7 due to urgent needs for the teams above.
- Prince Amukamara – Nebraska
Another physical guy but slower and smaller. Didn’t have any INTs in 2010 but clearly a top prospect. Projection – Top 10 pick.
- Jimmy Smith – Colorado
Reports are out there that Smith is maturing after some character issues, and he’s another guy with experience of press coverage and he’s certainly a top talent. Projection – 1st round.
- Ras-I Dowling – Virginia
Injuries in 2010 drop Dowling down the board but a year ago he was in the conversation for being a 1st round talent at least. Prototypical size and great value. Projection – 2nd round.
- Brandon Harris – Miami (Fla.)
5-10 burner that has plenty of upside but might have to be a slot corner. Projection – 2nd round.
- Aaron Williams – Texas
Quick feet but it has been said he might be better as a FS and that’s always worrying. Projection – 2nd round.
- Davon House – New Mexico State
Physical corner from a lower level of competition. Needs some technique work. Projection – 3rd round.
- Chimdi Chekwa – Ohio State
Good speed and size, makes some mental mistakes. Projection – 4th round.
- Brandon Burton – Utah
Pretty solid developmental pick. Projection – 4th round.
- Johnny Patrick – Louisville
Great tackler for a CB. Off-field problems. Projection – 4th round.
- Rahim Moore – UCLA
Top safety in a poor class. Supports the run well. Projection – 2nd round.
- Quinton Carter – Oklahoma
Very aggressive safety. Projection – 2nd round.
- Tyler Sash – Iowa
Good vs run, always seems to be in the right place. Projection – 3rd round.
- Ahmad Black – Florida
Undersized, but he’s an instinctive football player. Projection – 4th-5th round.
- DeAndre McDaniel – Clemson
Good tackler that would be useful on special teams right away. Projection – 5th round.