Once you get past the top three cornerback in the draft, South Carolina's Stephon Gilmore is right there in the next bunch. Now that he's declared for the 2012 NFL Draft, there are any number of teams that might even consider taking a chance on him in the first round. Hardly a consensus pick there, his name has started to pop up in mock drafts, like Pick 256's at Mocking the Draft. The pick at No. 25 by the Denver Broncos was explained this way:
Champ Bailey is old, though still productive. The rest of Denver's CB's aren't starter material. Andre Goodman has been targeted frequently and effectively by opposing QB's. Cassius Vaughn, Jonathan Wilhite and Chris Harris are spare parts and not suited for a starting role. Gilmore is a smart, athletic CB with good size who would be an excellent fit in Dennis Allen's scheme.
Gilmore does bring some pretty strong credentials. First off, he has some decent size, something that more and more defensive coordinators are looking for. At 6-foo-1, 190 pounds he's one of the bigger corner backs available. He was also a three-year starter at South Carolina, often covered his opponent's top receiver and posted a career-high four interceptions in 2011. He was considered an instrumental part of a Gamecocks defense that allowed just 18.4 points per game (11th best in the country).