Skip to main content

Five Cornerback Prospects to Know

Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins (2) plays against Florida Atlantic during an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sep. 16, 2023, in Clemson, S.C.
Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins (2) plays against Florida Atlantic during an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sep. 16, 2023, in Clemson, S.C.

Cornerback depth is always a priority for the Ravens, and there will be changes this offseason with Ronald Darby, Arthur Maulet, and Rock-Ya-Sin all pending free agents.

In a deep cornerback draft, here are some prospects the Ravens may target:

Kamari Lassiter, Georgia

2023 stats: 14 games, 37 tackles, 8 passes defended, 0 interceptions

What's to like: Lassiter is a physical corner who didn't allow a touchdown as the nearest defender in coverage last season. As a three-year starter in the SEC, Lassiter has been battled tested and was a key member of a national championship defense. He's a player that Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken is very familiar with from their days together at Georgia.

What they're saying: "Lassiter didn't get beat often last season. He didn't allow a single touchdown as the nearest defender in coverage, and in total, he allowed nine receptions for 91 yards. Those are elite numbers. The problem? He had one career interception, and that came in 2021. Teams will have questions about his lack of on-ball production. I'm a believer that production from corners can be developed, and I'm not worried. I am interested in seeing Lassiter's 40-yard dash time in Indianapolis, though." - Mel Kiper, ESPN

Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

2023 stats: 32 tackles, 7 passes defended, 0 interceptions

What's to like: The Ravens have an affinity for Alabama cornerbacks and have two on their current roster, Marlon Humphrey and Jalyn Armour-Davis. McKinstry became a starter his sophomore year at Alabama and earned the coaching staff's trust because he rarely made coverage mistakes.

What they're saying: "A three-year contributor and two-year starter for Alabama, McKinstry has the most consistent tools of any cornerback I've seen on tape. He's long, instinctive and tough. He not only breaks up passes (20 over his past 27 games) but also eliminates targets. While he was inconsistent at times in 2023, his potential has NFL scouts talking about McKinstry as a legitimate CB1." – Matt Miller, ESPN

Ennis Rakestraw Jr., Missouri

2023 stats: 9 games, 35 tackles, 4 passes defended, 0 interceptions

What's to like: Rakestraw was one of the top man-to-man corners in the country despite playing most of the season with a core muscle injury that required surgery in December. At 6-0, 188 pounds, Rakestraw is viewed as someone capable of defending both outside and in the slot.

What they're saying: "Rakestraw is a rangy, fluid cornerback who plays with energy and toughness. He is physical in press coverage, and he stays attached underneath and vertically. He is a loose athlete who can flip his hips smoothly. He does a nice job staying on top of deep routes, and he can locate the ball. I'd like to see him do a better job of finishing with the ball instead of simply poking it away. He is awesome against the run; not only is he quick to key/read, but he attacks blockers, including offensive linemen. Watch the Georgia tape from this past November to see him thud off an offensive tackle before delivering a physical stop. He is always bouncing around; his energy is palpable through the screen. Overall, players with this profile at this position traditionally translate very well to the next level." - Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network

Cooper DeJean, Iowa

2023 stats: 10 games, 41 tackles, 5 passed defended, 2 interceptions

What's to like: While a late-season leg injury will keep DeJean from working out at the Combine, he projects as a first-round pick due to his impressive tape and versatility. DeJean has ball-hawking traits reminiscent of another Iowa product – Ravens free agent safety Geno Stone. While he is viewed as primarily a corner prospect, some scouts think DeJean could eventually transition to safety, or become a chess piece who can move effectively around the secondary.

What they're saying: "DeJean is a playmaking cornerback with size and speed. In off coverage, he plays with his butt to the sideline and displays excellent vision. His production, including three pick-sixes in the 2022 season, speaks for itself. He has enough speed to carry vertical routes, but he will panic on occasion and get grabby at the catch point. He's an outstanding blitzer, displaying timing and burst to close in a hurry. He is very willing in run support, and he's a dependable tackler. He is also an exceptional punt returner because of his combination of speed, elusiveness and bravery. Overall, I believe DeJean could stick at cornerback, but I wouldn't rule out a move to safety, where his strengths as a player would be featured. He reminds me of a bigger Eric Weddle coming out of college." – Jeremiah, NFL Network

Nate Wiggins, Clemson

2023 stats: 10 games, 29 tackles, 6 passed defended, 2 interceptions

What's to like: Wiggins is one of the fastest cornerback prospects and can recover quickly whenever a receiver gains separation. At 6-foot-2, Wiggins has the wingspan to shadow big targets effectively. He's one of the youngest players in the draft at age 20 and could add another talented young piece to Baltimore's secondary.

What they're saying: "Wiggins' versatility in the pass game is what ultimately drives his value up. His length and ability to run make him one of the top cornerbacks in this year's class. He has the frame to continue to add weight, and with time and maturity, he should improve his play strength. Wiggins has the ability to be a starter in the NFL, but he will need to continue to improve his technique early on in his career." – Bleacher Report Scouting

Related Content