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2014 NFL Draft cornerback rankings

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Jason Verrett of TCU may not be the most physically imposing, but he's still the draft's best cornerback.

If teams start copying the Seattle Seahawks way with big cornerbacks, our top cover man could find himself in trouble on draft weekend. That would be TCU's Jason Verrett, who is neither tall or overly physical. As important as those traits are, instincts and the ability to make plays trumps them. That's where Verrett excels. He plays a lot like Brandon Flowers did when he was at his best for the Kansas City Chiefs.

What Verrett has in instincts and playmaking ability, Darqueze Dennard of Michigan State has in physicality and the ability to play press coverage. Dennard likes to reroute receivers and shows good burst to make a play on the ball at the last second.

Bradley Roby of Ohio State and Justin Gilbert of Oklahoma State may be the draft's two most talented cornerbacks, but both have flaws in their play. Kyle Fuller and Antone Exum of Virginia Tech would rate higher if there weren't questions about injuries with both players.

If teams are going for the Seahawks-style cornerbacks – those that are big, physical and can play man – players like Utah's Keith McGills, Nebraska's Stanley Jean-Baptiste and even Lindenwood's Pierre Desire could get overdrafted in May.

Overall, the cornerback class in the 2014 NFL Draft is excellent. In fact, it may be the best group this year. Of course there will be some late-round standouts, but it's conceivable that several starters will be found after the first two rounds.

1. Jason Verrett | 5'9 1/2, 189 pounds | Cornerback | TCU
2. Darqueze Dennard | 5'10 7/8 199 pounds | Cornerback | Michigan State
3. Bradley Roby | 5'11 1/4, 194 pounds | Cornerback | Ohio State *
4. Justin Gilbert | 6'0 1/8, 202 pounds | Cornerback | Oklahoma State
5. Kyle Fuller | 5'11 3/4, 190 pounds | Cornerback | Virginia Tech
6. Andre Hal | 5'10 3/8, 188 pounds | Cornerback | Vanderbilt
7. Antone Exum | 5'11 5/8, 213 pounds | Cornerback | Virginia Tech
8. Victor Hampton | 5'9, 197 pounds | Cornerback | South Carolina *
9. Bashaud Breeland | 5'11 3/8, 197 pounds | Cornerback | Clemson *
10. Marcus Roberson | 6'0 1/4, 191 pounds | Cornerback | Florida *
11. Pierre Desir | 6'1, 191 pounds | Cornerback | Lindenwood
12. Terrance Mitchell | 5'11 1/8, 192 pounds | Cornerback | Oregon *
13. Aaron Colvin | 5'11, 177 pounds | Cornerback | Oklahoma
14. Keith McGill | 6'3 3/8, 211 pounds | Cornerback | Utah
15. Stanley Jean-Baptiste | 6'2 5/8, 218 pounds | Cornerback | Nebraska
16. E.J. Gaines | 5'10, 190 pounds | Cornerback | Missouri
17. Jaylen Watkins | 5'11 1/2, 194 pounds | Cornerback | Florida
18. Phillip Gaines | 6'0 3/8, 193 pounds | Cornerback | Rice
19. Ross Cockrell | 6'0, 191 pounds | Cornerback | Duke
20. Nevin Lawson | 5'9 1/2, 190 pounds | Cornerback | Utah State
21. Loucheiz Purifoy | 5'11 1/2, 190 pounds | Cornerback | Florida *
22. Jemea Thomas | 5'9 1/4, 192 pounds | Cornerback | Georgia Tech
23. Kenneth Acker | 6'0, 195 pounds | Cornerback | SMU
24. Walt Aikens | 6'0 5/8, 205 pounds | Cornerback | Liberty
25. Charles Sawyer | 5'11, 178 pounds | Cornerback | Ole Miss
26. Ricardo Allen | 5'9 1/8, 187 pounds | Cornerback | Purdue
27. Chris Davis | 5'10, 203 pounds | Cornerback | Auburn
28. Dezmen Southward | 6'0, 211 pounds | Cornerback | Wisconsin
29. Bennett Jackson | 5'11 7/8, 195 pounds | Cornerback | Notre Dame
30. Carrington Byndom | 6'0, 180 pounds | Cornerback | Texas
31. Bene Benwikere | 5'10 3/4, 195 pounds | Cornerback | San Jose State
32. Ciante Evans | 5'11, 190 pounds | Cornerback | Nebraska
33. Deion Belue | 5'11, 182 pounds | Cornerback | Alabama