2021 NFL Draft
Alabama product Patrick Surtain II tops the 2021 NFL Draft cornerback rankings. Who else makes the list? (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

2021 NFL Draft Cornerback Rankings: Daubert’s List

We move to the defensive side of the ball with our positional rankings for the 2021 NFL Draft. The cornerback group heading into the draft feels like the deepest we’ve seen in a long time. You almost can’t go wrong with a number of these guys. Let’s get right into it. Who are the top 10 cornerbacks heading into the 2021 NFL Draft?

1: Patrick Surtain Jr. (Alabama)

I just think this one is obvious. Surtain was the number one cornerback recruit in the country coming out of Alabama. He was the best cornerback in the country two years in a row. He played meaningful snaps as a true freshman at Alabama. His father was a Pro Bowl corner. Surtain has all the measurables you would want. Teams refused to throw the ball to his side of the field. Do I need to keep going?

2: Jaycee Horn (South Carolina)

Like Surtain, Jaycee Horn also has those NFL bloodlines. Joe Horn’s son should be pretty good, right?

Horn is a baller. Guy can cover anybody with more than ideal size and athletic traits for the position. More so than anything, his resume in the SEC speaks for itself.

  • Jaylen Waddle 1/1, 12 yards
  • Jerry Jeudy 1/1, 7 yards
  • Justyn Ross 2/4, 14 yards
  • Kyle Pitts 1/3, 20 yards
  • Seth Williams 1/9, 44 yards
  • 2 INTs Elijah Moore 7/10, 47 yards (2 games)

Proven SEC corner with NFL bloodlines and that resume? Yeah, where do I sign?

3: Eric Stokes (Georgia)

I love me some Eric Stokes. I already wrote a pretty lengthy draft profile post on him. Stokes is crazy fast with size. Best of all, that dude just beats people up and comes with ball production. I said a lot of my thoughts in my draft profile so check that out. I love Stokes. So much so I was tempted to put him at two.

4: Asante Samuel Jr. (Florida State)

Chad raised some eye brows when he selected Asante Samuel Jr. in our sitewide mock draft. I’m on the same wave length as him. I’ll buy the Samuel stock all day for whoever wants to sell. My profile on him will get done sometime prior to the draft.

If Florida State wasn’t down in the dumps, people would be higher on him. The NFL bloodlines in this draft are crazy. Did you guys all forget how dominant the old Asante Samuel was? No, he’s not the biggest corner in the world but he’s a hell of a football player.

I think the size is what people are hung up on. 5-foot-10, 183… so what? His dad was literally the exact same size and multiple time Pro Bowler. What are we doing here.

He runs in the 4.4 range, has super quick feet, has outstanding ball skills. Whoever drafts Samuel will get a really good football player.

5: Tyson Campbell (Georgia)

I love Tyson Campbell. He’s really the more heralded Georgia corner. Campbell was a big time recruit and was playing a ton of snaps right away as a freshman. Campbell went to American Heritage High School in Florida, where he was coached by none other than Patrick Surtain.

Campbell’s size and length makes him so intriguing. 32 inch arms at 6-foot-2 gives Campbell an enormous ceiling. It doesn’t take long to see why Campbell has a bright NFL future. There was a game against Auburn this year where Campbell essentially took Seth Williams out of the game. Changed the whole game by himself.

I love his short area quickness and change of direction ability. For a big corner, Campbell moves more than fine. He’s going to be able to beat people up in press too. Proven SEC corner with a ton of experience. I’m in.

6: Greg Newsome II (Northwestern)

Greg Newsome really proved he belonged in that Ohio State game. Newsome essentially whiped out Garrett Wilson and caused Justin Fields to have the worst game of his collegiate career. Newsome is a dog. He’s 6-foot-1 running a 4.38 and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.

Newsome was a first team All-Big 10 corner notching one interception and breaking up 10 passes. Newsome allowed 31.6% completion rate and just 7.8 yards per catch in 2020. Playing in the Big 10, those are impressive numbers. He’s clearly a smart football player too playing at Northwestern.

7: Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech)

Yes, I know. Caleb Farley at seven will raise some eyebrows. No hair, don’t care. I’ve sort of went in depth on this already but this is a loaded cornerback class. Sorry, but Farley is too damn risky to pull the trigger on him ahead of some of these other corners.

Two back surgeries, an ACL tear, limited experience at the position, opting out of the season? The size and speed combo gives Farley a high ceiling. I also see a potential bust on our hands. One of the hardest players to figure out in this entire class.

8: Kelvin Joseph (Kentucky)

I’m probably too low on Kelvin Joseph but it speaks to how gifted this class is. Joseph has some character concerns transferring from LSU. However, this past year for Kentucky, Joseph was a rockstar. His game against Tennessee was tough to ignore.

Joseph had four interceptions this year including one against Alabama. In fact, Joseph more than held his own against Bama. He was dominant. He has prototypical size and length. The ball skills were obvious. Great in press and has fun tackling.

9: Aaron Robinson (Central Florida)

I didn’t watch a ton of UCF this year but a great Senior Bowl outing was enough for me. Robinson went to mobile and was probably the best cornerback on the field. Robinson was also a big recruit and originally went to Alabama before transferring to UCF. His Senior Bowl performance felt real.

He looks like someone that’s going to dominant in the slot for years. Not the biggest guy in the world but has plenty of strength for the position and is uber quick. Good cover skills and a fluid athlete. I’m in.

10: Paulson Adebo (Stanford)

Paulson Adebo saw his stock drop a bit. There were times at Stanford he looked like a first round pick. Adebo opted out of the 2020 season. For some reason, his stock dropped much further than Farley’s did. Adebo notched four interceptions as a redshirt freshman earning first team All-Pac 12 honors. He basically repeated that season in 2019. Four picks, first team All-Pac 12.

Where is the love for Adebo? His stock dropped for him opting out but for some reason he’s suffered way more than others.

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