Being one of the four premium positions* good cornerbacks will always be in demand in teh NFL. Fortunately for teams that were unable to fill their needs in this year's deep draft class, 2017 offers similar depth and talent. I believe three of the cornerbacks on this list would have been drafted in the first round last year and another 3-4 on the second day - had they been eligible. Fortunes can change quickly for cornerbacks who, along with quarterbacks, have to constantly prove themselves. Here is a list of the top prospects on my board heading into 2017.
Tarvarus McFadden, Florida State - McFadden appears to have all of the tools needed to be a shutdown cornerback. At this point he must be considered the best cornerback in this class.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama - Fitzpatrick will likely be moved to safety unless he improves dramatically in 2017. He’s listed as a cornerback because that is the position he has played up until now, and will continue to play.
Jordan Thomas, Oklahoma - Thomas has good ball skills but struggled in coverage last season. His 2015 tape was better so the potential is there, but he needs to show that he can maintain consistent ability over the course of a season.
Jaire Alexander, Louisville - Smaller than the other corners on this list, Alexander is one of the more explosive punt returners. His coverage ability is best described as ‘aggressive’ and he’ll never be a shutdown guy, but he’ll be a threat to score whenever he touches the ball.
Kevin Toliver II, LSU - Tolliver is on my short list to be a top ten selection. He has the size, speed, and ball skills to develop into a top corner in the NFL. His tape is less polished than some other corners at the moment but a strong 2017 will rectify that.
Carlton Davis, Auburn - Davis is another corner that I believe has the potential to skyrocket in this next draft. He might choose to play another year if he doesn’t. He might also be the fastest player in the draft. He reportedly consistently runs in the 4.2’s.
Tony Brown, Alabama - Brown was a highly regarded recruit. Alabama corner’s have a tendency to rise if they have decent years. I could make a strong argument that Alabama cornerbacks are over drafted more than any other collegiate unit. Brown probably will be too.
Donovan Wilson, Texas, A&M - Wilson has quietly put together some solid tape over his career. He has good size and has held his own against some strong competition.
Alijah Holder, Stanford - Holder has impressive size, and will draw comparisons to Richard Sherman. He doesn’t have the tape to live up to that comparison at the moment.
Quenton Meeks, Stanford - I like his overall game. I’d like to see more consistency.
Jamar Summers, Connecticut - Summers has improved over time. He’ll get some looks as a late bloomer.
Brandon Facyson, Virginia Tech - His size and skills have him on the radar of NFL scouts. He is very raw though.
* Quarterback, left tackle, pass rushing ends, and cornerbacks are considered premium positions by NFL scouts - meaning they are always in demand.