Kyle Fuller and Darqueze Dennard are the top two cornerbacks in the draft, but a close third is TCU’s Jason Verrett. The order in which the cornerbacks are ranked differs from person to person, so there’s no sure-fire way to predict which, if any, of them will be available when the Cincinnati Bengals pick. If Verrett is the one still on the board when the 24th pick comes along, he could very well be the pick, and it would be a very good selection.
Strengths: Verrett is an athlete, first and foremost. He ran a 4.38 40-time and posted a 39-inch vertical leap. In drills, and in game tape, he showed a smoothness in the way he plays the receiver, and turns to stay with them on deep routes. He also shows great instincts for the position, possessing a knack for reading plays and undercutting passes. Despite his lack of size, he’s also willing to get physical, both with receivers at the line, and in the running game. Finally, he brings experience. He’s a three-year starter, racking up 43 passes defended and nine interceptions.
Weaknesses: The big knock on Verrett is, and will continue to be, his perceived lack of size. At 5’10”, he may get passed over by some teams who believe his size limits his role in the NFL. There also may be concerns about the potential for injury, especially considering he was hurt last year. There aren’t many weaknesses aside from the things he can’t change. He’ll want to improve his consistency, but that’s true of any rookie.
Overall: Some fans will be disappointed if the Bengals take Verrett. Many think that big corners are the future of the league, and that drafting a small cornerback is a mistake. Watching him play will dispel those thoughts. His stature may be small, but his talent is huge. If he were two inches taller, he’d likely be selected in the top ten. Getting him at 24 would be great value.