Three Draft Prospects for 2017 to Watch: Cornerbacks Part Two

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Keep An Eye On These Potential Draft Prospects During The Saturday Games.

The Lions need more quality cornerbacks, the depth at the position isn’t great. Behind Darius Slay the performance of the other corners have been inconsistent. Nevin Lawson and Quandre Diggs have both showed some promise throughout their careers, but they’ve also struggled at times.

The Lions have also dealt with quite a few injuries at the cornerback position this season. The Lions could probably benefit by adding a young, talented, and dependable corner to play opposite of Slay. After all, the NFL is a passing league for the most part so it is smart to have as many quality c0ver guys as possible.

2017 Draft Class: Cornerbacks Part Two

There are too many talented cornerbacks in the 2017 draft class to limit it to mentioning only three, hence why the part two is needed in edition to the original look at cornerback prospects. Even after the three guys talked about in the original article, narrowing it down to three players for part two still wasn’t easy.

The cornerbacks that this article will examine are a duo of cornerbacks from the university of Florida, Quincy Wilson and Teez Tabor, and also Ohio State’s Gareon Conley.

Quincy Wilson- Florida

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Wilson came into the season as an unknown for the most part. He spent last season behind Jalen Tabor and Vernon Hargreaves. Hargreaves went as the 11th pick overall in last years draft to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This allowed Wilson, who is in his junior year, to slide into the starting lineup.

So far this season Wilson has definitely taken full advantage of the opportunity. In the eight games the Florida Gators have played this season Wilson has played well enough to catapult his stock from late round to arguably the top corner in the draft class.

One thing that Wilson has in his favor is his size at 6’1” 213 pounds. He has the size and length that NFL teams look for in a cornerback. Wilson is also a very good athlete. He uses his size to be physical with receivers, especially at the line of scrimmage. In addition to his ability to play press coverage, he also does well in off coverage. He does a great job of identifying the receivers route quickly and has very good instincts. Wilson plays well in man and zone coverage, however he is at his best in man where he uses his size, athleticism, and instincts to shut down opposing receivers.

It is really difficult to find a weakness in Wilson’s game. He is a well-rounded cornerback prospect who does seemingly everything well on and off the field. The only thing that may concern draft scouts is that the Florida defense is so talented that it may be making Wilson’s job a little easier. Quarterbacks who are playing against Florida don’t usually have a ton of time to throw which means Wilson doesn’t have to cover as long as corners on most other teams do. This concern will likely not hurt Wilson’s draft stock.

A good game to see Wilson’s cover skills for yourself is November 26th when the Gators take on Florida State.

Teez Tabor- Florida

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Tabor, who is a junior, entered the season projected to be the best cornerback in the 2017 draft class. At this point in the season however he may not be the best corner on his team due to the guy mentioned above.  The good news for Tabor is that he has played well this season, and is still one of the best cornerbacks in college football.

Through the seven games he has played this season Tabor has grabbed four interceptions, which leads the Gators (Wilson has three). He also had four interceptions last season. Of those eight interceptions he scored touchdowns on three of them. Tabor has shown that he has the ability to make game-changing plays.

Tabor stands at six feet tall and weighs around 200 pounds. He has the size, speed, and ball skills that teams want in a cornerback prospect. NFL teams will also like the fact that he is versatile. He plays well on the outside and as a slot corner. Tabor does his best work playing off-coverage where he shows excellent awareness as to where the ball is. After he locates the ball he uses his impressive burst to get to the receiver to break up the pass.

Tabor is far from a perfect prospect. He struggles defending the run mostly due to the fact that he misses too many tackles. Also he can sometimes be too sloppy while in press coverage.

The biggest downside about Tabor as a prospect probably come off the field. He was suspended for the first game of this season because of a fight with a teammate in practice where helmets were reportedly used as weapons. He was also suspended for a game last season because he refused to take a drug test, which is considered as failed by the university. NFL teams are usually cautious when it comes to players who have problems off the field, so these suspensions might make teams question whether or not selecting Tabor is worth the risk.

Just like his teammate Quincy Wilson, the best game to watch Tabor is November 26th against Florida State.

Gareon Conley- Ohio State

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Conley didn’t enter the season getting a lot of buzz as a draft prospect. His play this season has changed that however. He spent last year mostly in the shadow of his teammate Eli Apple who was taken 10th overall by the New York Giants in last years draft. This season Conley took over the role of the Buckeyes top corner and hasn’t disappointed.

At 6’1” and 195 pounds Conley has the size and length NFL teams love in cornerbacks. The Buckeyes cornerback also is a very good athlete. In addition to his size and physical abilities Conley also shows good technique in his game which will help him transition to the NFL. Ohio State plays a lot of press man coverage and trust Conley to cover guys one-on-one. He doesn’t allow much separation and makes receivers work hard to get anything done against him.

The biggest negative in Conley’s game is that he needs to show more consistency in tackling and being physical while defending the run. He has shown the ability to do both so it is just something he has to do all of the time instead of just some of the time.

The best game to watch Conley is November 26th when Ohio State take on the Michigan Wolverines.

I really hope you enjoyed the article! Follow me on twitter @CHayes95 and join the discussion on the Lions subreddit!

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About the Author

Cory Hayes
I attend Central Michigan University, I am majoring in Journalism and minoring in Sport Management. I am a junior. I am from Marysville, MI. I love following sports, both professional and collegiate. I follow the Lions, Pistons, and Tigers very closely, and the college team that I choose to cheer for is Ohio State.