Much has been made about several positions in the 2018 NFL Draft. Obviously the quarterback position dominates the conversation, but other position groups, such as the interior offensive line and running backs have been lauded for their depth.
The cornerback position, by comparison, has flown under the radar despite boasting a deep and talented pool of players. There are players who can play in almost any coverage scheme used in the league, and could be available on the second day of the draft.
The New York Giants will need to add talent to their secondary for their new defense, which is predicated on aggressive blitzes and press-man coverage. That means they could be looking at Carlton Davis of Auburn.
- Great frame. Tall with long arms let him play with big receivers.
- Very physical corner. Tough at the line of scrimmage, reroutes receivers, refuses to be bullied at the catch point.
- Unafraid to mix it up in run support and is a sound tackler.
- Hips and feet are good enough to stick with most receivers.
- Played at a high level against top competition.
- Plays both left and right cornerback.
- Hips are a bit stiff and can struggle in off coverage.
- Can get grabby if he is beaten, might be prone to pass interference penalties.
- Lacks elite speed to run with deep threat receivers.
What They’re Saying
SOURCES TELL US
“His own quarterback (Jarrett Stidham) stayed away from throwing to his side in practice from what a scout told me. I need to find out if he can catch it because he just knocks them down and doesn’t take them away. You’ve got to take them away.” -- NFC defensive back coach
Davis doesn’t have the elite athleticism that scouts typically like to see in highly drafted defensive backs, but he is still a very good prospect.
He will be something of a “system” corner who will be at his best when allowed to spend most of the game in press-man coverage. Davis excels when he is able to get his hands on receivers early in the route and disrupt their routes and the timing of the play. He can struggle when playing off coverage, when his lack of “twitchy” athleticism and slightly sluggish hips can be exposed by quicker receivers in space.
Between cutting Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and allowing Ross Cockrell to leave via free agency, the New York Giants have lost a significant part of their cornerback depth over the 2018 off-season. While they have to put an emphasis on building a linebacking corps that can compete in James Bettcher’s defense, they also have to rebuild their secondary. They know well how hard the position can be hit by attrition, and a blitz-happy defense is dependant on its coverage to free up potential blitzers.
Davis should be a good fit in an aggressive press-man system, with the size and physicality to disrupt quick timing patterns and keep the ball in quarterbacks’ hands while the pass rushers do their work. He is also a good run defender on the edge, which was a liability for the team in 2017.