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2016 Draft Prospect Highlights: Cornerbacks

We're bringing you college highlights of the top cornerback prospects entering the 2016 NFL Draft based on Mike Mayock's top five position-by-position post-combine rankings.

VERNON HARGREAVES, FLORIDA
Height: 510, Weight: 204

OVERVIEW FROM NFL.COM
Hargreaves carries the football genes of his father, Vernon II, who was on UConn's 100th anniversary's team and has coached linebackers and special teams for multiple schools (USF, Houston, Arkansas). He was the National Defensive Player of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus as a senior high school, a finalist for the Florida Mr. Football award, and the Most Valuable Player of the Under Armour All-American game. So it was no surprise that he worked his way on the field as a true freshman, ranking among the leaders in the SEC with 14 passes defended, including three interceptions. Hargreaves not only earned first-team All-SEC honors in all three of his seasons in Gainesville, but also lined up multiple All-American honors in 2014 (three interceptions, 13 pass breakups) and 2015 (four interceptions, four pass break-ups) due to his playmaking ability.

ELI APPLE, OHIO STATE
Height: 6-1, Weight: 199

OVERVIEW FROM NFL.COM
Though Apple was highly-recruited out of high school, Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer wasn't sure of what he had during the New Jersey native's first year on campus. But Apple was diagnosed with an iron deficiency that prevented him from giving full effort on the field, in the weight room, and in the classroom. Once that was under control, Meyer and the rest of the coaches saw Apple begin to fulfill his potential. Apple (whose given surname was Woodard, but changed it to honor his stepfather) started 14 of 15 games as a redshirt freshman during Ohio State's run to a national title. In fact, he sealed the Buckeyes' win over Oregon in the championship game, intercepting Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota's final collegiate pass. For the season, he totaled 53 tackles, 5.5 for loss, three interceptions and 10 pass breakups. Although Apple's statistical production decreased in 2015 (33 tackles, two for loss, one interception, eight pass breakups), Big Ten coaches recognized his ability to shut down opposing receivers by voting him second-team all-conference.

ARTIE BURNS, MIAMI
Height: 6-0, Weight: 193

OVERVIEW FROM NFL.COM
Burns has been as successful a two-sport athlete as any football player has been in the last 20 years. He came to "The U" with a pedigree on the football field and the track, earning four-star recruit status while winning a state title in the 110 meter hurdles three times during his high school career (he had the top 110 meter and 300 meter hurdles times in the nation in his junior year). Burns translated that dual success in high school to the Hurricanes, winning All-American and All-Conference honors as a hurdler for the track and field squad and becoming one of the top corners in the ACC. Burns played in a reserve role as a freshman in 2013 (17 tackles, two sacks, three pass breakups) before becoming a starter in his sophomore year (40 tackles, six pass breakups). He flourished in 2015, intercepting six passes (most by a Miami player since Sean Taylor had 10 in 2003) and breaking up five others on his way to consensus second-team All-ACC honors. Unfortunately, Burns also suffered a great loss during his junior year, losing his mother after she suffered a heart attack. Since his father has been incarcerated for some time, the University of Miami started a donation fund to help his family get through the rough period -- they raised $40,000 in six hours. It was not surprising, therefore, that he wanted to declare for the 2016 NFL Draft as an early entrant.

WILLIAM JACKSON III, HOUSTON
Height: 6-0, Weight: 189

OVERVIEW FROM NFL.COM
Jackson started his career at Trinity Valley Junior College, and found himself a regular starter by the end of his first year with the Cougars in 2013. He stepped up his game as a junior to become a second-team American Athletic Conference pick (two interceptions, 10 pass breakups), ranking among the national leaders in pass breakups before suffering a sprained MCL late in the year. Jackson tweaked a knee during 2015, but started 12 of 13 games, again was named second-team all-conference and finished with five interceptions and 23 pass breakups, leading the nation in passes defended.

MACKENSIE ALEXANDER, CLEMSON
Height: 5-10, Weight: 190

OVERVIEW FROM NFL.COM
One of the most highly sought-after recruits in Clemson history, Alexander was ranked the fourth-best prospect in the country by ESPN coming out of high school. His work ethic and football acumen would have gotten him on the field as a true freshman in 2013 season, but he redshirted instead with a groin injury. Once Alexander got on the field, opponents found out why he was rated so highly. In 2014, he was named Freshman All-American and honorable mention All-ACC honors as a full-time starter. As a redshirt sophomore, he earned third-team All-American and first-team all-conference notice for locking down receivers. In fact, his lack of statistical production over the past two years (no interceptions, 11 pass breakups in 2014-2015) shows how little opponents challenged him.

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