This year’s NFL Draft class is deep at cornerback which is good news for the cornerback-needy Las Vegas Raiders. There are plenty of corners who are projected to go in the third round and could develop into quality starters in the league. So, even if the Raiders spend a Day 1 pick on the position, they would be wise to double-dip and take advantage of the plethora of talent that’s available.
Let’s take a look at a few of Las Vegas’ options at the end of Day 2 as the players below are projected to be taken in the third round based on NFL Mock Draft Database’s consensus big board as of April 13. Each player’s box score stats, some advanced numbers, a scouting report summary and Relative Athletic Score (RAS) profile are included as well.
NMDD projection: 71st overall
Career stats: 41 games, 115 total tackles (78 solo), 6 TFL, 3 INTs, 21 PD
Very few corners were better at preventing completions last season than Tyrique Stevenson. He surrendered a completion percentage of 42.5 which was the second-lowest among ACC corners, and he forced an incompletion 20 percent of the time he was targeted. However, when the Hurricane did get beat, he got beat badly as he allowed the highest yards per reception in the conference at 20.8 ypc.
Scouting report via The Draft Network (full report):
Stevenson is a big-time height/weight/speed athlete at the cornerback position. He’s big, physical, and effective most in his press coverage opportunities. Those reps are amplified by a lot of length, which offers Stevenson a large area of influence and the ability to re-route receivers early in the rep. I thought Stevenson took a step forward instinctually in 2022 as well, stacking positive years in coverage after making a leap in 2021 while playing more confidently in the Hurricanes’ defense than he was the previous season for the Georgia Bulldogs. His ball production leapt forward in 2022 with nearly twice the number of plays on the ball this year than his previous career high.
NMDD projection: 81st overall
Career stats: 28 games, 152 total tackles (115 solo), 9.5 TFL, 4 INTs (1 TD), 21 PD
Garrett Williams’ 2022 season got cut short due to a torn ACL, but he put together a strong campaign in 2021. That year, he forced six incompletions and logged 20 defensive stops. The latter ranked fourth among ACC cornerbacks.
Scouting report via Bleacher Report (full report):
He has a smooth, controlled pedal and does a very good job of keeping his leverage and cushion while showing quick feet to get out of breaks and drive downhill. While in zone, he shows to have good football IQ and vision to understand route concepts and how he is being attacked. He has also shown to play with good anticipation to jump routes, getting his head around to locate the ball and staying calm with the ball in the air. Williams has struggled with his speed at times. He lacks the elite top-end speed needed to carry deep routes, often getting overextended
NMDD projection: 83rd overall
Career stats: 29 games, 75 total tackles (61 solo), 5 TFL, 3 INTs, 15 PD
Darius Rush excelled in man coverage last season, earning the third-highest PFF coverage grade among SEC cornerbacks with a mark of 77.6. That was partially due to him forcing incompletions on 29 percent of targets.
Scouting report via NFL Media (full report):
Two-year starter at cornerback after moving from wide receiver in his redshirt freshman season. Rush is big, long and physical. He struggles to stay connected with routes from both press and off coverages but could improve with more technique work. He will never have the short area foot quickness to mirror and match routes but has impressive ball skills to disrupt the catch when he’s in position.
NMDD projection: 92nd overall
Career stats: 23 games, 44 total tackles (28 solo), 2 TFL, 5 INTs (2 TD), 10 PD
Over the last two years, injuries have kept Eli Ricks from reaching his full potential and significantly limited his time on the field. However, he did rank second at his position in the country with a 31.6 percent completion percentage surrendered this past season.
Scouting report via B/R (full report):
When playing against the pass, Ricks does a good job of disrupting routes from press. He moves his feet well while using his long arms to control receivers off the line. He can lose his position at times, but he does a good job of sinking his hips and breaking on short routes. His length and great timing allows him to blanket receivers on routes that he can stay square on.
NMDD projection: 98th overall
Career stats: 48 games, 125 total tackles (93 solo), 4 TFL, 5 INTs (1 TD), 36 PD
If it weren’t for his size, Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson would be a much more highlight-touted prospect. He forced more incompletions (21) than any other FBS corner and ranked sixth with a 34.6 perception percentage when targeted despite being thrown at 81 times.
Scouting report via TDN (full report):
Hodges-Tomlinson is an extremely athletically-gifted player with impressive man coverage skills. As TCU plays mostly man coverage in their defense, he is tested many times a game and his skills show greatly. His ability to stay square and mirror a receiver as they stem to try and open his hips is a credit to his footwork. He is smooth in and out of breaks and is able to flip his hips with ease when necessary. His speed is a huge advantage to him, as he has the ability to quickly close the distance if a receiver has beat him and gotten separation. However, his eyes can get him in trouble, as he can get caught looking in the backfield for a run and give up the crack-and-go or other deep, double-move shots. Still, he is extremely versatile and has played multiple reps at corner, nickel, and safety against high-powered Big 12 offenses. At the point of attack, when the ball is in the air, he is a high-energy competitor who has great ball skills to make a play and force a breakup.