We covered receivers, quarterbacks, and edge rushers. What do we know about the class of cornerbacks this year? The corners haven’t received as much coverage as the other positions in the NFL draft. What do the cornerbacks of 2022 bring to the table?
Tight man-to-man coverage is one of the first things you look for in a dominant cornerback. McDuffie excels at tight man-to-man coverage and constantly looks to make a play on the ball. He was one of the few high spots on the Huskies’ dismal 2021 season. McDuffie has tons of speed too and will look to give receivers a hard time. He is more of a play-the-ball corner than a hit the receiver kind of corner.
McDuffie ran a 4.44 seconds 40-yard dash. He has the speed to test any wide receiver in the NFL. However, tall, physical receivers may be able to win contested catches against him because he doesn’t have a height advantage. McDuffie is 5’11” tall which could be an issue at times.
Derek Stingley-Cornerback- LSU
Stingley has good instincts and a high football IQ. It’s important to notice that he doesn’t typically bite on fake moves that receivers employ to deceive corners into making them think a receiver is running a different route. Stingley is good at making sure he stays with the receiver for the entire play. He is 6’1″ tall so he can get physical with the receivers.
Stingley knows when to back off of a receiver and give himself a chance to locate the football to force an incompletion or pick it off.
However, there were times in which Stingley wasn’t consistent in pass coverage which is something that he needs to improve on.
Gardner is an interception machine, plain and simple. His football IQ is off the charts and he uses his instincts to perfection when locating the football and picking it off. Quarterbacks need to be aware of his presence on the field. There aren’t many safe throws to make against Gardner. His man coverage is too good to test.
Even though he flashes athletic potential, some scouts do not like his overall technique. He needs to improve the use of his hands and avoid pass interference penalties. He also needs to build more muscle in his legs.
Gardner is actually a bit faster than McDuffie and his 4.41 seconds 40-yard dash proves it. He’s also 6’3″ tall, therefore providing the best combination of size and speed of any corner in this draft.
This group of cornerbacks isn’t necessarily one of the top classes of all time but they are solid playmakers.