I got this from NFL Draft Blitz.Very good article.They mention hester of miami and after reading this no way do I want him at corner!
Oh, how far away August seems from now. It feels like it was just yesterday when everyone with a keyboard was predicting who the best cornerbacks available for the 2006 draft would be; 95% of the time these lists had the same exact 4 or 5 players in some order of personal preference. People cavalierly threw out opinions about how the next group would dwarf the 05 class, which had put 3 CBs in the top 9, and 5 overall in the first round, with no fears of anything standing in the way of the top players who, free from the intense pre-draft inspection that appears to be geared solely to take each guy down a few pegs, seemed untouchable. However, like with everything else in the draft world, weâ€™ve been taught our lesson in a big way that nothing is ever a sure thing.
In terms of potential, athleticism, and pure skill, youâ€™re not going to beat Antonio Cromartie. The Florida State junior corner stands a legit 6-3, weighs in at 200+, and can run with just about any player in the entire country. His smooth, fearless style let him create a name for himself during his sophomore year, gathering four interceptions despite not starting until late in the year, and emerging as a very dangerous return man. Not to mention, his play in the opener against Miami, in which he fought off cramps to score the Noles lone TD on a 61 yard fumble return. A guy like this was bound to shine when given his chance on the big stage during his junior year right? Well, that was the plan, until a torn ACL midway through the summer ended any chance of him playing during the 2005 season, and sent the draftniks in search of the next guy to prop up as a potential top 5 pick at the position. That search didnâ€™t last too long, with the eyes of a nation being cast just down the Florida coast to Miami. On a side note, donâ€™t worry too much about Cromartieâ€™s future. Heâ€™s spending his time as a go between for the players and the defensive coaches up in the press box, and helping the Noles young corners do so well trying to hold down his spot.
Devin Hester started off the 2004 season as an enigma to many. He was an all world recruit as a cornerback in High School, played WR in a limited role his first year at Miami after sitting out a season for academics, then news broke just weeks before the opener against that heâ€™d be moving back to corner for his sophomore year. Cane fans patiently awaited his chance on the defensive side of the ball, in the mean time enjoying him on special teams, not only showing up as perhaps the most dangerous return man in the nation, but also as a demon covering kicks, where he seems to have honed his tackling ability. It wasnâ€™t until an injury to Antrel Rolle that he was put in on defense, and he responded, leading the team in INTs in half the games as the other starters. Of course, all good things come to an end, and Hester just hasnâ€™t been able to recapture the magic he had last year. Heâ€™s no longer starting (though he usually plays in Nickle sets), and has been played all over the offensive side of the ball on occasion. One might expect him to return for his senior year in hopes of upping his stock, but few believe heâ€™ll do so. Heâ€™s already 23 years old and has a fiancÃ©e, so maybe the college life isnâ€™t the best for him, not to mention the fact that his 4.3 40 will get him in the 2nd, at lowest. Plus, he hasnâ€™t developed much in his first three years at Miami, so whoâ€™s to think he will in one more.
Tennesseeâ€™s Jason Allen is a bit more of a hard luck case, if anything, just because heâ€™s now in a situation that leaves him very little room to maneuver. Many thought that Allen, at the beginning of the season, had the best coverage skills of any cornerback in the country, or at the very least, the senior class. His history as a Safety made him versatile and tough in the eyes of some, and a tweener in the minds of others, but if one thing is true, itâ€™s that he can play either spot at a high (think all conference) level. After quietly leading the SEC in tackles, reread that in case anyone wants to question his physicality, he was well on his way again this year to big numbers when it all fell apart. When tackling Georgiaâ€™s 6-8, 260 lb tank of a TE Leonard Pope in the Vols October 8th matchup with UGA, a joint in Allenâ€™s hip popped out of, then back into place. With an expected recovery time of 6-8 weeks, you can guarantee that he wonâ€™t be back for UT during the regular season, and with the way he and the staff seem to be taking the injury, thereâ€™s a very real chance that heâ€™s played his last game in a Volunteer uniform. Now the big question is just how healthy heâ€™ll be by the time NFL workout season roles around, especially with hips being so important to a corner, both in drills and on the field. If he shows that he hasnâ€™t lost anything, and that the injuries arenâ€™t lingering, heâ€™ll be able to solidify his first round grade, but hip injuries have a way of taking serious turns.
At this point, one might start to believe that itâ€™d be better to have not been starting the season with any hype, but there is one player who, to this point, is doing what we all expected/knew he was capable of, Virginia Techâ€™s Jimmy Williams. Itâ€™s not often, especially in a year with as many strong LBs as this, that you hear from many that a cornerback might be the best defensive player in the country, but if you pay attention there are many out there who believe it. He, like Allen, has played safety; he, like Cromartie, has excellent size at 6-3, 215; and he, like Hester, is born to make plays. This year teams are just avoiding him, because they know that their WRs simply arenâ€™t good enough to get anything past him, and if you make a mistake throwing to Jimmy Williams side, you will regret it. The only knock is that he might not be as smooth as some of the smaller guys, but when you need a corner who can shut down a WR of any size, speed, or experience level, you need a player like Jimmy Williams.
So, if youâ€™re concerned about the health of this yearâ€™s corner class, and need some other names to look out for, hereâ€™s a few to keep in mind. Alan Zemaitis, the big, physical corner from Penn St.; Will Blackmon, a guy whose meant to be playing CB, but is moonlighting at WR this year for BC; Cletis Gordon, the token small school corner prospect, and Marcus Maxey, the man that took Hesterâ€™s job at Miami.