Joseph Yun's 2020 DB Big Board

Joseph Yun's 2020 DB Big Board


(image courtesy of detroit free press)


Written By: Joseph Yun

Twitter: @ItsDuckinTooYun


The 2020 NFL Draft is just a couple of hours away now. In the final edition of the big board series, we will be taking a look at some of the best overall prospects in the country that patrol the back end of the defense. Who are some of the lesser known and hyped secondary defenders in the class? If you missed the previous articles in the series, you can find them below.


Quarterback

Running Back

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Line

Front Seven


Note: All RAS scores are courtesy of Kent Lee Platte of Pro Football Network (@mathbomb). Blitzalytics scores are a result of a comprehensive grading system within the scouting network.


CB


1. Jeffery Okudah / Ohio State


- By far the top cornerback prospect in the class, Okudah is the total package. Whoever drafts him will get the alpha CB1 right off the bat. He has elite lateral quickness and can keep up vertically with a 4.48 40. He often runs the route for the receiver at times and is physical in press. Great ball skills and a willing tackler as well. Classic height/weight/length. His physical traits closely mirror that of Aqib Talib.

BA Grade: 8.03

Round Grade Top 5


2. C.J. Henderson / Florida


- As the RAS score indicates, Henderson is an ATHLETE. He has great lateral explosion, agility, and speed for days. Also, his instincts in both man and zone coverage are points in his favor. He often out thinks the receiver and breaks the route before it forms. Lightning quick off the snap and has awesome recovery speed. There’s been talk of him jumping into the top ten after being solidly in the first round for all of 2019. However, he has some tackling issues aka making some business decisions. He has similar physical traits to Desmond Trufant.

BA Grade: 7.47

Round Grade: Top 15


3. Jeff Gladney / TCU


- Despite the average athletic score, he’s a speed demon on the tape. He’s a willing tackler and the production backs it up. Has great recovery speed and impressive lateral quickness. However, his slight frame will generate inevitable questions about run support and contested catch situations against bigger receivers. Although he was primarily used as an outside corner, his true calling could come inside the slot as a much faster Logan Ryan type.

BA Grade: 7.47

Round Grade: First


4. Kristian Fulton / LSU


- Fulton was a late entrant into the CB top-five derby due to a tampered urine test sample that resulted in a mandated suspension. He has size, speed, and the lateral agility to be CB1 on the right team. Really physical when jamming receivers in press coverage, he doesn’t get beat often. Footwork is improving with every rep. A dude that’s willing to scrap.

BA Grade: 7.49

Round Grade: First


5. A.J. Terrell / Clemson


- I love his size. He has really fluid hip control, the footwork is really good, and he doesn’t care who is in front of him; he’ll give 100% to stop that dude. Physical at the point of attack when jamming receivers and a willing tackler as well, he’s got some of the same traits as Marshon Lattimore. Based on his tape and potential, he should be a solid first round selection.

BA Grade: 7.49

Round Grade: First


6. Noah Igbinoghene / Auburn


- Athletic corner who transitioned to the position after two years as a receiver, he’s still fundamentally raw and learning the finer points. The receiver experience will help hone his corner skills by knowing the tricks of the route tree. Speed is not an issue with him; he’s got that in spades. Also has special teams experience as a returner, so that’s a plus. If he gets beat in press, it’s a near automatic flag with him. Could he pull off the Richard Sherman transition and make it?

BA Grade: 7.47

Round Grade: Second to Third


7. Damon Arnette / Ohio State


- The “other” draft eligible corner of the Buckeyes’ triumvirate is a good one. I don’t say this lightly, but Arnette could be one of the best man coverage corners in the class. He’s really good at getting physical at the line and is like white on rice on his matchup. He played well against national runner-up Clemson and should fit in as a nickel corner to begin his career. Wasn’t asked to be CB1, so can he be that dude?


BA Grade: 7.13

Round Grade: Second


8. Cam Dantzler / Mississippi State


- He’s one of the bigger corners in the class and didn’t test well at the Combine but reportedly ran a sub 4.4 40 at a subsequent workout. He’s very physical and has the size to match up against the taller receivers in the league. He projects as an outside corner with the ability to go inside if coached right. Ideal zone cover man. Profiles similarly to Dre Kirkpatrick.

BA Grade: 7.2

Round Grade: Third


9. Trevon Diggs / Alabama


- Diggs has had a tumble down the boards after a so-so 2019 campaign. He didn’t test at the Combine. That said, he’s got great lateral skills, is physical at the line, a willing tackler and has the short area burst to contest even the best of pass attempts. Injury history as he missed most of 2018 with a foot injury so teams will dig into that further.


BA Grade: 7.32

Round Grade: Third


10. Jaylon Johnson / Utah


- Johnson had an inconsistent 2018 due to injury before finally becoming consistent in 2019. He was CB1 for the vaunted Utes defense that got exposed in several games. He’s not the most willing tackler but tries on occasion. He has the prerequisite physical measurables to play on the outside. Has good ball skills to supplement his quickness. Injury concerns abound with multiple shoulder issues, however.

BA Grade: 7.37

Round Grade: Third


11. Amik Robertson / Louisiana Tech


- The darling of many draft analysts. Lateral agility is a major plus and a willingness to get physical in both the run and pass game with plus ball skills. The only question is his frame; he’s rather small at just 5’8”, 187. Traits wise, he profiles similar to former Valdosta State and Florida State corner/return man Greg Reid.


BA Grade: 7.48

Round Grade: Fourth


12. Bryce Hall / Virginia


- Hall was on track to being one of the top corners selected before his unfortunate injury that knocked him out for a majority of the 2019 season. Ball skills, tackling, and a good football IQ are a major plus. He has the prototypical H/W/L to stack up as a CB1 for someone who knows what’s coming.

BA Grade: 7.45

Round Grade: Fourth


13. Darnay Holmes / UCLA


- Holmes has been rising up the boards since the season ended with a stellar offseason process that included a great Senior Bowl effort. He didn’t test well at the Combine but possesses plus lateral agility, quick feet, and good ball skills. His hips are fluid enough to where he can rotate them on a dime to keep up with the faster receivers. Not the most willing tackler out there. Traits wise, he profiles about the same to longtime NFL veteran Kareem Jackson.

BA Grade: N/A

Round Grade: Fourth


14. Troy Pride, Jr Notre Dame


- Another Senior Bowl standout makes the board here. Lateral agility, loose hips, and short area quickness are all positives. TPJ is a dude that gives zero cares in the world who his assignment is and is willing to fight. Ball skills are above average. The RAS score isn’t ideal, but the tape belies a different viewing. Darqueze Dennard 2.0.

BA Grade: N/A

Round Grade: Fourth


15. Dane Jackson / Pittsburgh


- If you’re sensing a theme on this board, you’re onto something. Jackson is another Senior Bowl sensation. It’s noted that he isn’t the best of lateral athletes; he’s better off playing press coverage.

BA Grade: 5.92

Round Grade: Fifth


16. Reggie Robinson / Tulsa


- Robinson is one of the more underrated corners that hardly anyone talks about in this class. With excellent ball skills, he was productive in the passes defensed department. He’s physical in the press but gets a wee bit too grabby at times. Fluid hips and lateral agility is a major plus. Mockdraftable has his closest physical traits compared to CJ Henderson.

17. Javelin Guidry / Utah


- The “other” corner for the Utes has some burst and speed as the RAS shows below. Guidry can run with any receiver without losing a step. A twitched up athlete who can go laterally just as well as vertically, he was the unknown of the Utah secondary and came on strong in 2019. Length and frame will be an issue as he’s just 5’9” and built. That speed will get him places.

BA Grade: N/A

Round Grade: Sixth to Seventh


S


1. Xavier McKinney / Alabama


- The top safety on the board, McKinney’s a versatile athlete that has been used nearly everywhere for the Tide defense, including corner on some reps. McKinney profiles as a strong safety at the next level, though. He’s been coached well and has plus instincts to go with that athleticism. While he isn’t Simmons or even Minkah Fitzpatrick, he can be a serviceable Johnathan Cyprien type.

BA Grade: 7.85

Round Grade: First


2. Grant Delpit / LSU


- Here we are at the most polarizing safety prospect in recent memory. Delpit wore the legendary #7 jersey for LSU, but did he really live up to that standard? He’s the total package of what teams want in a modern-day free safety; the instincts, athleticism, and ball skills are all in the plus or even elite category. However, he has issues with tackling, even if that take might be overblown. Can he turn into taller Tyrann Mathieu 2.0 or Jamal Adams?


BA Grade: 7.67

Round Grade: First


3. Jeremy Chinn / Southern Illinois


- Dude is a versatile weapon. He played everywhere on defense but the line. Athleticism is at a premium at safety, and he’s got a ton of it. Explosive off the snap and quite instinctive as well. Perhaps he can settle into a hybrid role like Deone Bucannon or Mark Barron in the NFL. Ball skills are a plus. Athletic traits profile similar to Obi Melifonwu.

BA Grade: 7.99

Round Grade: Second


4. Antonie Winfield, Jr / Minnesota


- The son of the long-time veteran defensive back of the same name stayed close to home for college. He’s a bit undersized, so while offenses will look to exploit that, his instincts are really good. Terrific ball skills and athleticism to make up for the size difference. Jack of all trades, master of none here? I think so. Very loose hips and COD skills on a dime, it’s clear that his dad taught him well. A slightly bigger and faster Lamarcus Joyner?

BA Grade: 7.96

Round Grade: Second


5. Kyle Dugger / Lenoir-Rhyne


- The second small safety who blew up at the Senior Bowl. As the RAS shows below, he’s a special athlete with great overall ball skills. Played a lot as a single high in Cover 1 on tape. Dude is just a baller all over the field. He played a majority of snaps at free safety, demonstrating elite production levels. Kevin Byard 2.0?

BA Grade: 7.5

Round Grade: Second to Third


6. Ashytn Davis / Cal


- Track star with some development work needed on instincts and tackling. Athleticism is up there as expected, and that will get him drafted early in a particularly not deep safety class.


BA Grade: 7.63

Round Grade: Third


7. Terrell Burgess / Utah


- He only played one season of starter’s minutes, so production is limited. He was transitioned to safety from cornerback, so the coverage ability is there. Athleticism is a plus as the RAS indicates. There was some speculation in Mobile that some teams were looking at him as a fourth or fifth cornerback instead of safety. I can see it with his athleticism. More versatility to make the back end of the roster helps.

BA Grade: 6.99

Round Grade: Fourth


8. K’Von Wallace / Clemson


- The hidden gem of the Tigers defense, Wallace is an athlete that could fit as the third safety in certain packages due to the versatility that was required of him in college. Demonstrating plus athleticism in space situations, he won’t embarrass himself there.

BA Grade: 6.52

Round Grade: Fifth


9. Julian Blackmon / Utah


- Blackmon would be higher on the list if he didn’t get hurt in the Pac-12 title game against Oregon with a significant knee injury. He found a home at safety after moving there from cornerback. He has the coverage skills and plus athleticism for the safety position once he’s healthy. Ball skills are a major positive. Solid production in four years. He could be an excellent star aka the big nickel position at the next level.


BA Grade: 7.22

Round Grade: Fourth


10. Kenny Robinson / XFL + West Virginia


- Robinson took an unique route to the NFL when he signed up for the XFL this past spring. He got pro level coaching on top of his college experience, so he should be on the second-year pro level once he’s drafted. Has great coverage and ball skills. Fundamentally sound tackler as well. Instinctual defender at the highest level.


BA Grade: 7.42

Round Grade: Fifth to Sixth


11. Khaleke Hudson / Michigan


- Hudson projects as a hybrid linebacker/strong safety in the pros after playing in that role throughout his career at Michigan. He had an interesting process in Mobile. Given his size, he should handle special teams to begin his career and eventually get to third safety roles.

BA Grade: N/A

Round Grade: Fifth


12. Antoine Brooks, Jr / Maryland


- Obviously size will be somewhat of an issue here with him as he doesn’t have ideal lateral explosiveness to play safety full-time. It’s certainly possible that he needs to expand his role to linebacker to stay on the field. He’s a ferocious tackler.

BA Grade: N/A

Round Grade: Sixth to Seventh


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