As the 2019 NFL Draft draws near, Patriots.com looks at prospects at each position that might make sense for New England.
Stephon Gilmore is now entrenched as the Patriots No. 1 Pro Bowl corner, while New England also has some impressive overall depth at the position. Veteran Jason McCourty re-signed for another go-round and former undrafted rookie J.C. Jackson is coming off an impressive rookie season. Experienced young vet Jonathan Jones, and second-year draft picks Duke Dawson and Keion Crossen round out the returning talent. Cornerback is a pretty well-stocked position.
1 – DeAndre Baker, Georgia: College football's best cornerback last fall, Baker did not allow a TD over his final two seasons for the Bulldogs. He's calm and confident in coverage and not afraid to throw his body around in the run game or coming up on short passes. Though the need may not warrant it, Baker would be a high-end option with major long-term upside.
2 – Julian Love, Notre Dame: Another cornerback who might come off the board in the first two rounds, there is a lot to like about Love. He seems to have great instincts and was always around the ball for the Irish as a quick cover corner.
3 – JoeJuan Williams, Vanderbilt: If New England is looking to add size to the cornerback spot, the 6-4 Williams would be a good day-two option. He's not a burner by any means but makes up for it with size and length.
4 – Jamel Dean, Auburn: Dean has a history of bad knees and impressive 4.3 speed. Some rate him as a latter-round pick, and given his size, speed and coverage ability he might just be a day-three steal even with the health concerns.
5 – Justin Layne, Michigan State: Layne is a well-rounded package of size, quickness and technique despite being relatively new to the cornerback position as a converted wide receiver. He may not be an NFL starter, but could be a nice backup and special teams type.
OTHER NAMES TO KEEP AN EYE ON:
- Trayvon Mullen, Clemson
- Rock Ya-Sin, Temple
- Saivion Smith, Alabama
- Hamp Cheevers, Boston College