With the 2022 College Football season over and the NFL Season coming to an end, that means Draft Season is upon us. I was recently asked to be a guest on a podcast to discuss some cornerbacks for the 2023 NFL Draft. As I started preparing by watching the film, I also wanted to view various metrics/analytics to see how some of the top cornerbacks stacked up amongst themselves. I came across an article by K.D. Drummond that used Adjusted Net Yards Against per Coverage Snap as a metric to grade cornerbacks in the NFL, so I decided to give it a try.

Adjusted Net Yards Against per Cover Snap, in simple terms, is Passing Yards allowed minus Interception Return Yardage plus Passing Touchdowns allowed minus Interceptions Returned for Touchdown minus Interceptions, all divided by the number of Coverage Snaps. Each of those factors does have a multiplier, and if you are interested in learning more about this metric, I encourage you to read K.D. Drummonds article.
 
For reference purposes, the top NFL corners using this metric were 0.33 for #1 and 2.32 for #2 using this metric for the 2021 NFL Season. I had a difficult time ranking these corners, so I decided to use a tier-based approach instead. I am generally not big into cornerbacks for fantasy purposes so these tiers are more about what I think of them as a football player and not necessarily the impact they may or may not have for fantasy football purposes.

Tier 1

Devon Witherspoon, Illinois – 6’0”, 180 lbs. Not ranked in the high school class of 2019.
The majority of snaps in college were wide corner (outside). He was probably the best lockdown corner in college this year based on the stats, he plays physically, is good in man coverage, is a great blitzer, and defends the run. He looks like he loves to hit, is aggressive (which can result in some penalties), and is a versatile corner. His 2022 season was much better than his previous years, so the question is, can he keep it up, or was it a fluke? He is much more physical than I expected he would be, which is a good thing, in my opinion.
 
Christian Gonzalez Oregon- 6’ 2”, 201 lbs. 4-star Safety in high school, the #31 ranked S in the class of 2020.
A transfer from Colorado, he has great hands and good size. The majority of snaps in college were wide corner (outside). He has smooth/fluid movements and great athleticism. The move to Oregon helped his development and statistics.
 
 

Tier 2

Joey Porter Jr Penn St – 6’2”, 194 lbs. 4-star Cornerback in high school, the #33 ranked CB in the class of 2019.
Porter plays physically, has good size, is very good in coverage, and has NFL/Football pedigree. The majority of snaps in college were wide corner (outside). His size and long arms are a plus; he’s really good against the run, a physical player, and has great athleticism.
 
 

Tier 3

Cam Smith South Carolina – 6’0”, 188 lbs. 4-star Cornerback in high school, the #19 ranked CB in the class of 2019.
The majority of snaps in college were wide corner (outside), but for his senior year, he played about 35% in the slot. He’s a patient defender with really good ball skills, physical but inconsistent in run support. Smith can be an emotional player at times (i.e., jawing/smack talking, etc.).
 
Clark Phillips III Utah – 5’ 10”, 183 lbs. 4-star Cornerback in high school, the #6 ranked CB in the class of 2020. 
The majority of snaps in college were wide corner (outside), but in his senior year, he played about 36% in the slot. He has great ball skills and instincts, but his size is his weakness, and I think he likely ends up as a slot corner. The kid is a baller just wish he was a little bigger.
 
Kelee Ringo Georgia – 6’2”, 210 lbs. 5-star Cornerback in high school, the #1 ranked CB in the class of 2020.
The majority of snaps in college were wide corner (outside). He’s a versatile player, gets caught looking in the backfield at the QB too often, and is aggressive/guesses (gets beat). Ringo uses leverage well and the sidelines/boundary. He’s not technically sound with techniques, his athleticism made up for it in college.
 
Tre’Vius Hodges Tomlinson TCU – 5’9”, 180 lbs. 3-star Safety in high school, the #113 ranked S in the class of 2019.
The majority of snaps in college were wide corner (outside). He’s explosive (Feldman’s Freak List), changes directions well, and is not very physical. Tomlinson is probably a slot corner, but he does well in zone. He is another mighty mite like Clark Phillips, who is a good player but is on the smaller side.
 

Tier 4

Garrett Williams Syracuse – 6’0”, 189 lbs. 3-star Cornerback in high school, the #171 ranked CB in the class of 2019. 
The majority of his snaps in college were wide corner (outside). He’s very fast and athletic, changes directions very well, and is a good tackler for his size. However, his technique and awareness need work, over relies on his athleticism, and is still raw. He suffered a torn ACL in late October this past college football season, but prior to that was probably one of the fastest cornerbacks in college football.
 
I hope you enjoyed the article.  If you are interested in seeing more content from me, you can find it on the Campus2Canton site and on the Devy IDP Grind Podcast.  You can also find me on Twitter @Justice_2318
Glossary:
ANYA/CS – Adjusted Net Yards Against per Coverage Snap
Rec %- Reception Percentage completed against player
YAC – Yards after Catch Allowed
FI% – Percentage of Forced Incompletions
PBU – Passes Broken Up
S/TGT – Snaps per target
S/Rec – Snaps per reception
Tackle Mis % – Percentage of Missed Tackles
 
Credits: Data from PFF

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