The Elite Eighteen Cornerbacks for the 2012 NFL Draft!
By Super Scout Max Emfinger
The 2012 NFL Draft has some outstanding cornerbacks who every NFL Scout knows about, but there are a few cornerbacks who either came to the 2012 Scouting Combine and shocked the NFL Scouts or showed-up at a School Pro-Day and put on an impressive show with some incredible measurables.
There are probably three cornerbacks that will go in the NFL First Round of the 2012 NFL Draft and another three cornerbacks who will probably go in the Second Round. Those in the First Round, include Josh Robinson (5-10, 199, 4.33) of Central Florida; Morris Claiborne (5-11, 188, 4.41) of LSU; and Stephon Gilmore (6-1, 190, 4.32) of South Carolina. Robinson did an amazing 4.33 in the forty; 133 Standing Broad Jump and a 3.97 in the pro-shuttle; while Gilmore did a 4.32 in the forty and a 3.94 in the pro-shuttle. Claiborne did do a 4.39 and a 4.43 at LSU Pro-Day and I gave him a legit 4.41 in the forty; but you have got to remember that Claiborne is one of the best Playmakers in the country.
Those in the NFL Second Round include Brandon Boykin of Georgia; Ron Brooks of LSU; Jamell Fleming of Oklahoma; Casey Hayward of Vanderbilt; and Chris Greenwood of Albion. Also, Dre Kirkpatrick of Alabama did not perform well at the 2012 Scouting Combine, but he has been a Crimson Tide Super-Star and he had 11 career interceptions for The Tide. Kirkpatrick could surprise us all and go in either the first or second rounds.
Boykin is a Super Freak, but he broke his right fibula at the Senior Bowl and he has not been able to work out for the NFL Scouts. All that you have to do is to remember what kind of feats that he did for the Bulldogs. As a sophomore, Boykin returned two kickoffs for touchdowns that covered 100-yards. Then as a junior, he returned an interception for another touchdown that also covered 100-yards. This enabled Boykin to become the only player in SEC History to have three 100-yard touchdowns.
Boykin also finished his Bulldog career with 2,663 career-yards which places him second on the All-Time SEC Career Yards list. Boykin also had 159 career tackles; had 20 career tackles for a loss; 9 career interceptions; and a 24.2-yard return average. For his efforts, Boykin received the 2011 Paul Horning Award.
Fleming (5-11, 206, 4.39) did an outstanding 3.97 in the pro-shuttle; Brooks did a 38-inch vertical jump and a 4.17 in the pro-shuttle; Hayward (5-11, 192, 4.45) did a great 39-inch vertical jump and an incredible 3.9 in the pro-shuttle; while Greenwood (6-1, 193, 4.34) did an amazing 43-inch vertical jump and an outstanding 134 Standing Broad Jump. Hayward joins the 39-Club and he is probably the only football player on the planet that is a member.
In the Tennessee game, CB Morris Claiborne (5-11, 188, 4.41) electrified the 101,822-crowd and TV audience when he made a spectacular, acrobatic interception near the LSU six-yard line and ran it 89-yards back the other way down to the LSU six-yard line. It was a Six-to-Six Claiborne Run and it really ignited the LSU crowd. The Tennessee offense could NEVER get anything going because of the great LSU defense. Coach John Chavis who is the LSU Defensive Coordinator must be given credit for most of this LSU victory, because of the way that his defense played and Coach Chavis was going back to play the first game against his Alma Mater and the place that he played and coached for around three decades. In this game, Coach Chavis literally received an LSU game ball.
Claiborne spent the Wednesday morning, before the 2012 NFL Draft, in a New York Elementary School coaching some elementary and middle school students at the NFL Play 60 Youth Football Festival. These kids are kids that dream that one day their name will be called in the NFL Draft.
On the following Thursday night, that dream will come true for Claiborne himself and he will not have to wait long to hear his name called.
In high school, at Shreveport Fair Park, Claiborne played for Coach Lent Bursey and he was a fabulous wide receiver and great athlete. Claiborne immediately found a home at wide receiver where he remained for two years before Coach Bursey, wanting to upgrade his offensive unit, shifted him to quarterback, as a senior, in an effort to give his biggest threat additional opportunities.
“I wanted to get the ball in his hands at least 99 percent of the time,” Coach Bursey said. “He was a valuable leader for me. Not really a vocal leader, but more by example. Just go out on the field and he would give 120-percent to prove what he could do. That’s what made him so special.”
“LSU was recruiting a wide receiver named Rueben Randle, but I would take Claiborne every time over Randle. Whatever he needed to do to win is what he would do,” Coach Bursey said. “He would step in if you need him at wide receiver, quarterback, running back, defensive back. It didn’t matter. He wanted to win and he loved to compete.”
Claiborne accounted for more than 2,000-yards of offense and 30 touchdowns, rushing for 1,023-yards and 16 touchdowns and passing for 1,009-yards and 14 scores. Clairborne helped Fair Park to a 4-7 overall record after a 24-18 loss to Haughton in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs. Claiborne earned All-State honors in basketball two years ago as a sophomore after he averaged 22 points from his off guard position.
Claiborne only ran a 4.5 in the forty at the 2012 Scouting Combine, but he did do a 4.39 and a 4.43 at LSU Pro-Day and I gave him a legit 4.41 in the forty. Claiborne was never considered to be a speed-burner, but he has adequate speed and he also has great “makeup” speed. Claiborne is a tremendous “Playmaker” who is always around the football and he is an extremely gifted pure cover corner with incredible cover-corner skills.
In that game against Tennessee, SS Brandon Taylor led the Tigers in tackles with 10, including three solo tackles and a tackle for a three-yard loss as the Tigers remained undefeated with a 38-7 victory over Tennessee. This victory vaulted the Tigers into a #1 spot in the first BCS Rankings. SS Eric Reid was next with four tackles, including two solo tackles and an interception; and LB Ryan Baker also had four tackles, including two solo tackles.
The Crimson Tide Defense scored a touchdown; along with the Special Teams as they dominated the Arkansas Razorbacks in a 38-14 victory. The Crimson Tide defense looked like the 2009 BCS National Championship Defense as they recorded 10 tackles behind the line of scrimmage; had two interceptions; had six pass breakups; and four pass hurries. Alabama was fourth in the nation in rush defense going into the game against Arkansas, giving up only 55-yards per game and 1.95 yards per carry. Those numbers will get better after this victory. CB DeQuan Menzie returned an interception, 25-yards for a touchdown and Marquis Maze also returned punt 83-yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. It looked like Maze gave every Arkansas tackler a chance to tackle him, on his way into the end zone. CB Dre Kirkpatrick (6-2, 186, 4.51) recorded six solo tackles, including one tackle for a minus 3-yard loss; and had three pass breakups. LB Don’t’a Hightower recorded 9 tackles, including 4 solo; SS Mark Barron recorded 6 tackles, including 5 solo and a pass breakup; and FS Robert Lester recorded 5 tackles, including 3 solo and a pass breakup.
The Sooner Defense was one of the best that I have ever seen and that includes both LSU and Alabama, this year. The Sooner Defense was so physically dominant; they actually outscored the Texas offense by itself with a school record three defensive touchdowns. The Sooner Defense also forced five Longhorn turnovers. I don’t remember an Oklahoma team that had so much dominance over the Longhorns as this Oklahoma Defense this year. CB Jamell Fleming (5-11, 206, 4.39) was sensational for the dominating Oklahoma Defense as he recorded a career-high 13 tackles; including 11 solo tackles; had two other tackles for a loss; and had a 56-yard fumble return for a touchdown. If you didn’t see the game, you would probably think that Fleming picked-up a fumble and returned it 56-yards for a touchdown, but he didn’t do that. Fleming actually took the ball out of the Texas wide receivers hands and raced 56-yards for the touchdown.
Against Ole Miss, Ronald Brooks recorded four tackles, but one was a sack for minus 11-yards; forced a fumble and then recovered it; and returned an interception, 46-yards for a touchdown on the third play of the game as LSU beat Ole Miss by a 52-3 victory. Brooks has two interceptions and seven pass deflections on the season.
DT Fletcher Cox recorded a career-best seven tackles; including 3.5 tackles for loss; and a pair of quarterback sacks in the 28-16 victory over Kentucky. In the first quarter alone, Cox was credited with four tackles, three tackles for loss and a pair of sacks as the Bulldogs’ defense held Kentucky to a total of 12-yards on their final two possessions of the quarter. His first tackle for a loss came on second-and-1, pushing Kentucky back and forcing a punt on the first possession. Cox then posted back-to-back sacks to force another Kentucky punt. Cox had some defensive teammates that were outstanding in FS Charles Mitchell (2008 AABG) recorded 11 tackles, including 7 solo tackles; MLB Brandon Maye (2007 AABG) recorded 6 tackles; and CB Johnathan Banks (Jim Thorpe Award Candidate) recorded 6 tackles, including 4 solo tackles and a quarterback sack.
OLB Barkevious Mingo was pretty outstanding in the 45-10 win over Auburn as he recorded four tackles, including two solo tackle that were both quarterback sacks for a minus 21-yards. Mingo also had quarterback hurry as he led a defense that registered six sacks and ten tackles for losses against Auburn. SS Eric Reid and FS Craig Loston led the Tigers with seven tackles apiece. DE Sam Montgomery recorded six tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss of minus 15-yards; LB Ryan Baker who recorded six tackles, including a tackle for a one-yard loss; FS Derrick Bryant recorded five tackles, including a sack for a minus seven-yards; while DT Michael Brockers (6-6, 322, 4.97) recorded four tackles, including two tackles for a loss of two-yards. CB Ron Brooks got a chance to start in this game and responded with four tackles; forced a fumble; and had a pass interceptions that he ran 28-yards for a touchdown to end the third quarter scoring.
In the fifth game of the 2011 season, against arch-rival Texas, the Oklahoma Defense was sensational as DE Ronnell Lewis and CB Jamell Fleming were a dominant force for the Sooners. Lewis recorded a team-high nine tackles in the 41-25 victory over Texas A&M. Of his nine tackles, two tackles were for a loss of minus 8-yards; had one pass break-up; and one interception, which he returned 11 yards. Lewis had a key interception that set up the Sooners at the A&M 28-yard line and they immediately scored. Jamell Fleming was also outstanding as he recorded six tackles, including five solo tackles; had a key interception; and two pass breakups. Oklahoma led 41-10 after three quarters and won 41-25.
The South Carolina Defense was impressive in their second game of the season against Georgia. DE Melvin Ingram scored two touchdowns as he raced 68-yards for a touchdown on a fake-punt and then after true freshman DE Jadeveon Clowney threw Georgia QB Aaron Murray to the ground and he fumbled, Ingram picked-up the fumble and stepped into the end zone for another touchdown. CB Stephon Gilmore picked up a fumble and raced 56-yards to set-up another touchdown; and Spur Back Antonio Allen returned an interception, 25-yards for another touchdown as the Gamecocks beat Georgia 45-42. Ingram (6-2, 276) was also on the “Hands” kickoff return team and he jumped up and caught the on-side kick to preserve the victory.
In the second game of the 2011 season, the Vanderbilt Defense was outstanding. In that game, DT Ron Lohr only recorded four tackles, but they all were for tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including a sack as the Commodores UPSET Connecticut 24-21. Lohr became the first Commodore defender in more than a decade to post four tackles for loss. His four tackles for a loss was the most by a Commodore defender since cornerback Casey Hayward contributed four such tackles at LSU in 2009. DE Tim Fugger was also super dominant from his position, producing two quarterback sacks among four total tackles. Hayward produced one of the biggest plays in the Vanderbilt win, returning a fourth quarter interception 50 yards for a touchdown to knot the score at 21-21.
The Elite Eighteen Cornerbacks for the 2012 NFL Draft!
By Max Emfinger
1. Josh Robinson, 5-10, 199, 4.33, 38.5, 3.97, 133, 17 reps, Cen Florida – 2,013 MEARS
2. Morris Claiborne, 5-11, 188, 4.41, 36, 4.12, 118, NA, LSU – 1,996 MEARS
3. Stephon Gilmore, 6-1, 190, 4.32, 36, 3.94, 123, 15 reps, S Carolina – 1,985 MEARS
4. Chris Greenwood, 6-1, 193, 4.34, 43, 4.15, 134, 16 reps, Albion – 1,946 MEARS
5T. Brandon Boykin, 5-10, 185, 4.4, 40, 4.09, 122, 12 reps, Georgia – 1,940 MEARS
5T. Ron Brooks, 5-10, 190, 4.37, 38, 4.17, 122, 12, LSU – 1,940 MEARS
6. Dre Kirkpatrick, 6-2, 186, 4,51, 35, NA, 120, NA, Alabama – 1,902 MEARS
7. Jamell Fleming, 5-11, 206, 4.39, 34, 3.97, 125, 23 reps, Oklahoma – 1,897 MEARS
8. Casey Hayward, 5-11, 192, 4.45, 34, 3.9, 119, 19 reps, Vanderbilt – 1,879 MEARS
9. Cody Sensabaugh, 5-11, 189, 4.42, 37, 4.06, 122, 15 reps, Clemson – 1,876 MEARS
10. Jayron Hosley, 5-10, 178, 4.34, 34.5, 4.31, 121, 11 reps, Vir Tech – 1,871 MEARS
11. Trevin Wade, 5-10, 192, 4.45, 34.5, 4.0, 116, 18 reps, Arizona – 1,864 MEARS
12. Janoris Jenkins, 5-10, 193, 4.46, 33.5, 4.13, 121, NA, N Alabama – 1,861 MEARS
13. Trumaine Johnson, 6-2,204,4.48,35.5, 4.15,122,19 reps, Montana – 1,848 MEARS
14. Alfonzo Dennard, 5-10, 204, 4,55, 37, NA, NA, NA, Nebraska – 1,843 MEARS
15. Omar Bolden, 5-10, 202, 4.42, 33, 4.12, 119, 24 reps, Arizona State – 1,798 MEARS
16. Dwight Bentley, 5-10, 182, 4.43, 35.5, 4.5, 114, 13 reps, ULL – 1,774 MEARS
17. Leonard Johnson, 5-10, 196,4.56, 35, 4.17, 120, 15 reps, Iowa St – 1,772 MEARS
18. Chase Minnifield, 5-10, 183, 4.41, 32.5, NA, 117, 8 reps, Virginia – 1,771 MEARS
2012 DRAFT: http://maxemfinger.sharepointsite.com/Lists/2007%20Database/2012%20NFL%20DRAFT.aspx?SortField=WorkFax&SortDir=Desc&View=%7b511B2429%2d968B%2d459C%2d942E%2d75820B1576AF%7d