The hardest list to narrow down is the underrated cornerbacks. The position might be the deepest of any in the draft and is certainly one of the best classes in the last few years in terms of the type of pure talent the corners have from top to bottom in this group.
Dee Milliner and Xavier Rhodes are the cream of the crop, and while they don't represent the same high-end talent we've seen at cornerback in the last couple of years, the depth of this class shows with some of the players on this list. With our all-underrated cornerbacks, we leaned towards prospects that have the skill set of the NFL's new mold of defensive backs, where length and physicality reigns supreme. Here are the picks.
First team: Blidi Wreh-Wilson
Wreh-Wilson is becoming more of a household name, but he is still underrated in the eyes of many. What separates him from some of the other second-tier cornerbacks is his ability to locate the football in the air and use his long arms to make plays on contested balls. His short-area quickness leaves a little something to be desired, but for the most part, Wreh-Wilson is solid at man-to-man coverage, especially when playing close to the line of scrimmage, where he has a chance to knock receivers off their routes. Don't be surprised if he sneaks into the first round.
Second team: Darius Slay, Mississippi State
Johnthan Banks garnered most of the attention for Mississippi State this season, but the man playing across from him in the Bulldogs' secondary could end up having the better career in the NFL. Slay wasn't as highly regarded as Banks was entering the season, but the athleticism he showed this season gave him some momentum heading into the pre-draft process and he hasn't looked back.
Slay's technique could use some work. He's not all that smooth in his backpedal, but he has the physical tools and aggressive nature to succeed in the NFL. Slay's length and ball skills should translate well to the next level.
Sanders Commings, Georgia
Another physical defensive back that's starting to work his way into the day two picture is Commings. Commings is a guy that is constantly around the football making plays and he is at his best when playing press coverage at the line of scrimmage. Overshadowed by come of the bigger names on Georgia's defense this season, Commings should have every chance to find as much, if not more, NFL success that his Bulldog teammates.
Honorable mention: Aaron Hester, UCLA
One of my biggest pet peeves in a cornerback is the inability for a guy to turn his head and locate the football in the air. Hester struggles with this at times, which doesn't make it easy to make a play on the football. However, Hester's physical tools alone make him an honorable mention candidate on this list.
Leon McFadden, San Diego State
Considered to be a day-two pick throughout the draft process, McFadden has managed to fly under the radar. His size will concern some teams, and it definitely doesn't help when he's matched up against big cornerbacks in press coverage, but McFadden attacks the football well and has the short area quickness that could make him a successful player in a zone scheme.