College football is a passion of mine, and as we continue to grow our brand and expand our reach with football fans in the UK and Europe, I want to make it my mission to introduce as much college football to all of you as possible. So this week, I’ve got College Footballs Top 10 Corner Backs heading into the 2021 season. These are ranked in order for me personally, tweet us @UndraftedTN and let us know what you think of the list.
If you’re new to college football and want to get involved, and you love to watch some incredible defence, then these are the guys to look out for at the corner position this year…
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Disclaimer – We use the data from PFFs premium stat site, along with various other elements of research to put together our very own Undrafted Top 10s
1. Derek Stingley Jr – LSU Tigers – Junior (Year 3 – draft eligible)
Stingley jumped onto the scene in the 2019 season as a true freshman, starting all 15 games during the incredible National Championship season for LSU. Stingley was one of the highest ranked recruits to ever sign with the program and was widely recognised as the best talent in the country coming out of high school.
Coming out of high school and starting every single week in the SEC, against the likes of power house programs like Auburn, Florida and Alabama, is not easy to do. But Stingley ended the season tied 5th in the nation for interceptions (5), and totally held his own as a true freshman.
2020 was a slightly tougher year for Stingley, but he still more than showed what he’s capable of, and had opposition QBs having to think about where he was all season long.
2. Eli Ricks – LSU Tigers – Sophomore (Year 2)
Yes that’s right. LSU have both the number 1 and the number 2 corner in the nation this season. Eli Ricks, in very similar fashion, showed out in 2020 as a freshman. in fact, he was targeted more, because he played on the opposite side to Stingley, and gave quarterbacks and wide receivers just as many problems. His anticipation of a play is excellent, and he possesses great ball skills.
Ricks is slightly bigger, standing at 6’2, and has elite length and size for a cornerback, especially if he transitions well into the NFL. He’s physical off the line and knows how to knock a receiver off of his route. Now going into his sophomore season, year two, Ricks will play at least another two seasons, before entering the draft. The ceiling for him is crazy, and teams are not going to enjoy trying to throw the ball on these LSU corners this year…
3. Kaiir Elam – Florida Gators – Junior (Year 3 – draft eligible)
Elam has now played two seasons for the Gators, and lined up in 2019 on the opposite side to now NFL corner and top 10 draft pick CJ Henderson, so was targeted heavily his freshman year. Elam graded in the top 10 corners in the country, behind guys such as Caleb Farley and Trevon Diggs, who were since drafted in the first two rounds of the NFL draft. Elam has 5 picks in his college career so far, and always finds himself in a strong position to make a play.
Elam could leave Florida a more polished NFL talent than CJ Henderson was when he was selected 9th overall, and that’s a scary thought. His consistency is fantastic, and he again possesses the elite size at 6’2, to transition into an NFL corner. Elam will be eligible to enter the draft this year if he so wishes, so keep an eye on him this upcoming season.
4. Tre’Vius Hodges Tomlinson – TCU Horned Frogs – Junior (Year 3 – draft eligible)
Nephew of NFL Hall of Famer Ladainian Tomlinson! Hodges-Tomlinson has a little work to do to become a more all round polished talent, but as a pure coverage corner, he’s one of the best. He lands at number four on my list because of his trajectory from 2019 to 2020, and if he continues on that path from 2020 to 2021, we could hear his name called pretty early in the draft. He could declare this year, so a big season for him will be pivotal.
Hodges-Tomlinson possesses great speed, which allow him to succeed despite the fact that he’s 5’9. He gets around the field a little like Tyrann Mathieu, and isn’t afraid to come up and fire his whole body through a ball carrier, including big tight ends. He closes gaps on receiver routes effortlessly, and managed 14 pass break ups in 2020. Just another of the great talent to come out of the TCU secondary in recent years, Tre’Vius Hodges Tomlinson is a very interesting prospect this season.
5. Ahmad Gardner – Cincinnati Bearcats – Junior (Year 3 – draft eligible)
Gardner is yet another guy on this list to came out firing as a freshman, and put his name into the conversation early. There’s a pattern emerging with the talent on this list, and Gardner is no different. This guy is LONG, long arms, long legs, stands at 6’2, and comes with the nickname ‘Sauce’.
Gardner improved as a tackler in 2020, to add to his elite coverage skills in 2019, and could be one of the most well rounded talents on this list as he heads into his third season for the Bearcats. With 3 picks each season so far, Gardner has already done plenty of work to encourage NFL teams to pay attention, and I’d expect no different this upcoming season.
6. Roger McCreary – Auburn Tigers – Senior (Year 4 – Upcoming 2022 Draft)
This is a guy who is somewhat underrated, considering the amount of times he’s been targeted in the red zone. He’s a guy who deserves more credit than he’s getting and that’s why McCreary is number six on my list. Another guy who earns his dues in the SEC, against notoriously difficult opponents week in week out, Roger McCreary is a serious talent with athletic speed and burst.
McCreary has 4 interceptions over the last two seasons, not including a pick six from his own endzone, which he ran back the full 100 yards, that was unfortunately called back for targeting. McCreary is playing his senior year this season, so he’s a guy we will absolutely see in the draft come April.
7. Josh Jobe – Alabama Crimson Tide – Senior (Year 4 – Upcoming 2022 Draft)
Josh Jobe has now played for three years with the Tide, his contribution increasing year on year, as he earns his way into more reps at college footballs most respected programme. The Tide are a factory for NFL talent, and with Patrick Surtain coming out this year, and Trevon Diggs the year before, Josh Jobe could be the next guy to grace the league in the early rounds.
I feel like he’s not yet shown his full potential, which is exciting considering his production has improved year on year, and he’ll have the biggest opportunity yet in 2021. As a senior, he’ll be draft eligible this off season, so it’s an important year for him. Jobe is aggressive, physical, and plays with some serious energy. 8 pass break ups in 2020, he’s difficult to line up against, and I’m looking forward to seeing that potential rise even higher this season.
8. Martin Emerson – Mississippi State Bulldogs – Junior (Year 3 – draft eligible)
Emerson was a little inconsistent in 2019 as a freshman, but showed flashes of what he was capable of with great performances against Southern Miss & Kentucky. In 2020, he patched up his game and remained consistent throughout the season. He had his best game of the year against Georgia, one of the Bulldogs toughest opponents, and adds some serious value as a tackler.
Emerson hasn’t hit it potential yet, and looking at what he’s done so far, the skys the limit. This season, he’s going to be bigger, stronger, more aggressive, and continue to show his game against tough opposition on a weekly basis.
9. Jarrick Bernard-Converse – Oklahoma State Cowboys – Senior (Year 4 – Upcoming 2022 Draft)
This is a big, strong, powerful cornerback. Out of all the guys on this list I thin Bernard-Converse has the most to prove this year, but one of the highest potentials. Again 6’2, and 205 pounds, Jarrick makes his presence known out on the field. A couple of forced fumbles to his name, and a couple of picks, he’s a well rounded talent. One of the more premium tacklers on this list, while also showing great consistency in coverage.
Jarrick has steadily allowed less receptions as he’s developed at OSU, and is another of this years senior class, so will most definitely feature in the draft in 2022. I love the upside with this young man, and have serious appreciation for the way he’s developed over the course of his college career so far.
10. Trent McDuffie – Washington Huskies – Junior (Year 3 – draft eligible)
McDuffie has been consistent since arriving on campus with the Huskies, and showed out in his freshman year with 43 tackles, 2 forced fumbles and an interception. The Huskies only had a four game season in 2020 due to COVID, in which McDuffie started all four games. He was part of a great DB duo with Elijah Molden, who was drafted in the third round by the Titans this past off season.
McDuffie will now step into the number 1 role, and continue to show why he’s a hard hitting, premium athlete for the Huskies. McDuffie returns punts for Washington too, so possesses excellent athleticism, and his tackling is the best part of his game, where he’s been elite since he first stepped onto a college football field. He attend St John Bosco high school, one of the best and most well respected high school football programs in the country.
So there you have it, our very own list of College Footballs Top 10 Corner Backs. Three more guys to do your homework on, Malachi Moore from Alabama, Avery Young from Rutgers, and Noah Daniels from TCU, who all narrowly missed out on the list!
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