2015 NFL Draft: Cornerbacks Rankings

1 of 5

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The countdown is on and we’re less than a month away from the 2015 NFL Draft.  We’ve taken a look at the team’s needs going into this draft as well as looking at various players that they might target.  Since the Detroit Lions aren’t picking in the top ten anymore (hooray!), their possible selection in this draft is wide open.

Instead of just looking at who they’ll pick in the first round, I’ve broken down dozens of cornerbacks in this draft class and rated them according to where I think they’ll be used.  The first category of these rankings is “Day one plus starter”, a player that can come in day one and likely upgrade that roster’s starting cornerback.  It’s rare, but we’ve actually got one in this draft class.

Marcus Peters, Washington

Peters is the only cornerback in the past three draft classes that I’ve rated this highly.  Most cornerbacks are not day one starters, and if they are it is with the understanding that they are starting across from a better corner while they learn and bring themselves up to the speed of the game.  Peters could start for nearly any team in the league lining up against the opponents top receiver.

More from Lions Draft

Since 2009 when I started following the draft as closely as I do, I’ve only had three corners rated higher than Peters:  Stephon Gilmore, Patrick Peterson, and Joe Haden.  Peters is probably most comparable to the last of those three.   Joe Haden was an alright, not great athlete, and Peters is the same.  He doesn’t win by being more athletic than his opponents, however.  Much like Haden, he wins because he is physical and smart.

Peters also plays similarly to former MSU standout Darqueze Dennard.  Like Dennard, Peters generally knows where to be and how to put his receiver off his route.  Also like Dennard, Peters occasionally gets too grabby which will have to get ironed out as a pro.  Unlike the former Spartan, Marcus Peters has enough athleticism to overcome any mistakes he makes at the pro level.  If Dennard were a better athlete, he probably would have gotten the same grade I’m giving Peters, but Peters is able to overcome more than Dennard by simply being a good enough athlete to do so.

Where can the Lions draft him?

If they’re lucky, Peters will fall to them at the 23rd overall pick.  He is a top 15 talent with some off field issues, so it isn’t out of the question.  It is highly unlikely, however.  More likely, Marcus Peters is long gone when the Lions are on the clock.  Doesn’t hurt to fantasize, however!

Next: The Second Tier