clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2022 NFL Draft: More depth at cornerback

The draft offers a cornucopia of outside cornerback options

The movement to replace 2018 undrafted free-agent cornerback Levi Wallace of the Buffalo Bills has been an ongoing process for the team ever since he was placed into the starting lineup. However, after proving that he is capable of at least temporarily holding down the role of a number-one cornerback, he may have earned a big pay day. Whether that sack of cash comes from the Bills or another team, Buffalo should be concerned about its cornerback position headed into the 2022 season, thanks to Tre’Davious White’s ACL injury. Buffalo might be looking for any additions to the cornerback room through the draft.

While the 2022 draft class lacks a bit of hype at the top, there will be solid options for most teams picking in the latter half of round one and throughout the middle of the draft. Below are just a few of the players the Bills might consider.

Tier I

Derek Stingley Jr. (LSU)
Ahmad Gardner (Cincinnati)
Trent McDuffie (Washington)
Andrew Booth Jr. (Clemson)

Stingley never lived up to his phenomenal freshman season, but he has length, elite athleticism, physicality and scheme flexibility. He’s a no-brainer. “Sauce” Gardner is a bit thin and isn’t the best tackler, although his man-coverage ability is already NFL starter-caliber. Pretty much the only thing McDuffie lacks is ideal height—he’s a cool 5’11”—but regardless, he’s a feisty competitor and offers the ability to play in the slot as well. A bit of a forgotten man, Booth’s top speed may disappoint. However, with his good size and long wingspan he looks like a strong fit for a press-man scheme.

Tier II

Roger McCreary (Auburn)
Kyler Gordon (Washington)
Kaiir Elam (Florida)
Derion Kendrick (Georgia)

Short arms and a smaller size shouldn’t scare away teams from McCreary, whose ball skills may be the best in the class. Gordon looks a bit stiff and lacks needed long speed to do well in man coverage. He looks like a strong fit for a zone-based team however, and any defense will appreciate his tackling. A wide receiver conversion, Elam could maybe use some more seasoning, but has all the athletic traits you want. Receivers had a tendency to beat Kendrick at the catch point, and he struggles with quicker receivers, but he can start in the right scheme and he brings massive experience.

Tier III

Martin Emerson (Mississippi State)
Marcus Jones (Houston)
Josh Jobe (Alabama)
Mario Goodrich (Clemson)

A tall, lanky corner, Emerson’s hips aren’t the most flexible. Smart teams will use his physicality to wear down outside receivers. Many teams won’t value Jones, due to his small stature—he’s all of 5’8”—but he’s a scrappy run defender regardless and offers value in the return game. There are two corners in this draft similar to Levi Wallace and that’s Jobe and Goodrich. Their abilities may have been maxed out in college, but they have the experience to carve out roles for themselves.

Next read