Analysis

2023 NFL Draft Watch List: Tiering the Best College Cornerbacks

Best College Cornerbacks

The conclusion of the 2022 NFL Draft means that teams and fans alike can start looking forward to next year’s crop of players. While it is far too early to have conclusive opinions on where each player will rank due to a full season of games and the player development ahead of us, this tier ranking previews how these players go into the season ranked against their position group. These tiers are subject to change but give a quick outlook on the expectations of these players.

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Running Back Tier List Here
Read our 2023 NFL Draft Quarterback Tier List Here
Read our 2023 NFL Draft Wide Receiver Tier List Here
Read our 2023 NFL Draft Tight End Tier List Here
Read our 2023 NFL Draft Offensive Line Tier List Here
Read our 2023 NFL Draft Defensive Line Tier List Here
Read our 2023 NFL Draft Edge Rusher Tier List Here
Read our 2023 NFL Draft Linebacker Tier List Here
Read our 2023 NFL Draft Safety Tier List Here

Tier 1: The Top Talents

Kelee Ringo, Georgia
Eli Ricks, Alabama
Cam Smith, South Carolina

Tier 1 consists of the best college cornerbacks who have shown the most athleticism and coverage skills out of the entire class thus far. These players can excel in press-man and show the twitch to stick with the best receivers in college football. High level cornerback play in the NFL requires extreme explosiveness, footwork, and football intelligence to be successful. These players have shown the potential to be high-level starters in the league. The 2022 season will show just how high they can climb in the overall draft rankings.

Tier 2: Elite Traits or Play Style

Joey Porter Jr., Penn State
Malachi Moore, Alabama
Clark Phillips III, Utah
Tony Grimes, UNC

Tier 2 of this group has some elite traits that give them the potential to be good players in the NFL. These players have varying trait combinations of instincts, speed, agility, and ball skills that make them play makers. This group has the physical tools to have an above average ceiling at the next level. They will be looking to show their development during this season to propel their draft stock into the first tier.

Tier 3: Potential Draft Picks

Noah Daniels, TCU
Garrett Williams, Syracuse
Kyu Blu Kelly, Stanford
Jaylen Jones, Texas A&M

Tier 3 consists of players who have most of the athleticism to excel but are missing some of the instincts and natural ball skills to be considered towards the top. These players tend to struggle more in man coverage due to some deficiencies in twitch and technique. This season will be the time for them to prove to NFL teams they can play at a high level in order to boost their draft stock.

Tier 4: Next Year’s Sleepers

Brian Branch, Alabama
Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU
Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State
Julius Brents, Kansas State
Riley Moss, Iowa

Tier 4 cornerbacks are considered the sleepers of this season who are stepping into bigger roles in 2022. These players have good enough athleticism and some coverage traits that make them valuable to NFL teams. They should be stepping into larger roles that will showcase their talents better than in previous seasons. Jumps in draft value may be high in this group due to the lack of film or snaps played in previous seasons.

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