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2023 NFL Draft: Scouting The Top Cornerback Prospects

Scouting the cornerback prospects on the Football Scout 365 NFL Draft board.

Click here to check out the full 2023 NFL Draft Big Board rankings.

Top 10 Overall Grade

Devon Witherspoon CB Illinois: At 6-0 180lbs, Witherspoon has excellent size and length for a cornerback, making him effective in press coverage and contested catch situations. He has good ball skills and can make plays on the ball in coverage. He is a physical cornerback who can disrupt routes. He has good strength and can be effective in run support. Witherspoon might need to dial back his aggressiveness at the next level. He can be handsy in coverage, and his aggressiveness to make a highlight reel hit in the run game could lead to explosive plays vs. better backs and receivers in the NFL if he is not careful.

Christian Gonzalez CB Oregon: At 6-2 201lbs, Christian Gonzalez has what it takes to be the top corner in his draft class. He provides the scheme versatility you want from a DB, with the length needed to defend against the NFL's bigger-bodied receivers on the outside. His athleticism is high-end. Anytime you can get a DB with excellent closing speed, a trait required to play at a high level in a zone-based scheme combined with the quick hips and the fluidity needed to stay in phase with receivers in man-to-man defense, you do not pass on them.

Mid to Late 1st Round Grade

Joey Porter Jr. CB Penn State: At 6-2 195lbs, Joey Porter Jr. is excellent in man coverage on the outside, but a role in the slot might be warranted for a few reasons. His ability to body bigger receivers and TE's in the slot and his presence in the run game will be discussed ad nausea during the NFL draft combine season. But his ability to play vs. bigger outside receivers makes it a more difficult decision due to his elite length and fluid hips. There are some negatives. He could be more solid in zone defense. At times on film, he lacks the closing speed needed in the NFL to play in a zone-based scheme. He can also be a little too aggressive in coverage, an area he needed to clean up in 2022 after a rocky 2021 season where he was flagged in coverage ten times vs. three times in 2022.

Cam Smith CB South Carolina: At 6-0 185lbs, Cam Smith is a competitive player who exhibits all the key traits you look for in a starting NFL DB. His physicality in route or at the catch point sets him apart. His aggressiveness can sometimes get the best of him, but you will take the good with the bad with a player as talented as Cam Smith.

Kelee Ringo CB Georgia: At 6-2 205lbs, Ringo is another Georgia Bulldog with top-ten NFL Draft potential. Ringo is a lengthy press man corner at 6-2 205lbs; he plays aggressively. Ringo uses his strength and long arms to attack the catch point with good body control muscling the football away from the receiver. The former 10.43sec 100M track star can run with the fastest receivers on the field. In addition, he possesses the twitchiness and fluidity needed to play at a high level in the NFL. Ringo does not allow receivers to gain a step often; when they do, he has the explosiveness to close fast. Ringo must learn to use his aggression as needed at the NFL level. His physicality in the NFL might be deemed too aggressive and lead to penalties in coverage. He will need to improve eye discipline; he can get caught off guard by play action, pump fakes, and double moves by receivers.

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