Top 10 cornerbacks in the 2024 NFL draft

Here are the top 10 cornerback prospects (with height, weight and projected round) for the NFL draft, which is set for April 25-27 in Detroit:

1. Terrion Arnold, So., Alabama (6-foot, 196 pounds, first): Benefitted from teams staying away from Kool-Aid McKinstry. He tied for sixth in the FBS with five interceptions, along with 17 passes defensed. He started all 14 games last season and was named first-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-SEC.

2. Nate Wiggins, Jr., Clemson (6-2, 195, first): He played at Westlake High. Completed his career and was credited by the coaching staff with 50 tackles (three for loss), 24 pass breakups, three interceptions (including two returned for touchdowns), two forced fumbles, a sack and a blocked field-goal attempt in 1,377 career snaps over 34 games (18 starts) from 2021-23. Considered an elite cover corner who was a first-team All-ACC pick in 2023.

3. Quinyon Mitchell, Jr., Toledo (6-0, 195, first): Physical corner who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine. He was named second-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-MAC. Led the team with 18 pass breakups and has six career interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns.

4. Kool-Aid McKinstry, Jr., (6-1, 195, first): A three-year starter and strong cover-corner prospect, who’s been compared with Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell. Has been accused of making “business decisions” in run support.

5. Cooper DeJean, Jr., Iowa (6-1, 207, first): He was named first-team Associated Press All-American and the Big Ten’s defensive back of the year. He had seven career interceptions.

6. Kamari Lassiter, Jr., Georgia (6-0, 180, first or second): He started at cornerback in every game last season and led the team with eight pass breakups. He made 37 total tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss (minus-11 yards).

7. Ennis Rakestraw, Jr., Missouri (6-0, 188, second): He missed four games last season with a groin injury. He was a physical tackler over his career, with 107 tackles and three forced fumbles.

8. Kalen King, Jr., Penn State (5-11, 189, second): Physical corner who had a down season after having 15 pass break-ups and three interceptions in 2022.

9. T.J. Tampa, Sr., Iowa State (6-1, 200, second): Stays connected to receivers and is disruptive when the ball arrives. Good within press coverage and is a strong man-to-man defender.

10. Qwan’Tez Stiggers, CFL, B.E.S.T. Academy (5-11 3/8, 204, third or fourth): Representatives from 29 of 32 NFL teams, including Dolphins senior personnel executive Reggie McKenzie, were on hand for the Pro Day workout for the reigning Canadian Football League rookie of the year. An Atlanta native, Stiggers didn’t play in college and was discovered in Fan Controlled Football by CFL scout John Jenkins.

Qwan'Tez Stiggers was a standout of the Toronto Argonauts in the CFL.

Credit: Courtesy of the Toronto Argonau

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Credit: Courtesy of the Toronto Argonau

Best of the rest: Mississippi State’s Decamerion Richardson, Michigan’s Mike Sainristil, Wake Forest’s Caelen Carson, Missouri’s Kris Abrams-Draine, Auburn’s D.J. James, Texas Christian’s Josh Newton, Rutgers’ Max Melton, Auburn’s Nehemiah Pritchett, Mississippi’s Deantre Prince and Kentucky’s Andru Phillips.

Local prospect

Marcellas Dial, 6-0,190, South Carolina (Georgia Military College): He spent three seasons with the Gamecocks, and he appeared in 38 games and made 29 starts. He finished with 114 tackles, three interceptions and 28 pass breakups. He was selected by the coaches for the Overcoming Adversity Award at the postseason senior banquet.

Teams in need: Eagles, Ravens, Texans, Lions, Cardinals, Bills and Panthers.

Need area for Falcons: Yes. The Falcons allowed last season’s preferred starter Jeff Okudah to leave during free agency. Clark Phillips III ended the season as the starter.

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