Potential Patriots: 5 cornerbacks to keep an eye on in NFL draft

Ryan Hannable
April 22, 2019 - 1:20 pm

The NFL draft is quickly approaching and the Patriots have 12 overall picks, including six in the top 101. Given their lack of moves during free agency, the team should be very active. This will be a series broken down by position of players who could be of interest to the team. Today, we look at the cornerbacks. Here’s earlier editions of the series.

With the number of young cornerbacks already on the roster, it's easy to think this is a position that shouldn't be targeted, but a number of recent mock drafts have had the Patriots selecting one early on. Given the fact the team has six picks in the top 101, anything is possible and if it really likes a player it can select him regardless of position. The same goes for the end of the draft, as with 12 picks overall it may be worth taking a flier on a player

Here are five names to keep an eye on.

JoeJuan Williams, Vanderbilt- MMQB's Albert Breer mocked Williams to the Patriots with their pick in the first round and it's been reported the organization has shown interest in him during the pre-draft process. The Vanderbilt product had a great three-cone time, which seems to be something the team values more than most. If the Patriots do select a corner early on, Williams could be the guy.

Kendall Sheffield, Ohio State — Sheffield is a player the Patriots could get a good scouting report on as Greg Schiano was his college defensive coordinator. He reportedly suffered a torn left pec at the combine, which could potentially hurt his draft value — something the Patriots sometimes take advantage of. He's also one of the faster cornerbacks coming out of the draft.

David Long, Michigan -- Long is another player who had a great three-cone time so naturally he gets connected to the Patriots. According to PFF, he allowed just nine catches on 31 targets for 42 yards with one touchdown and one interception last season. He's expected to be a Day 2, or early Day 3 selection.

Rock Ya-Sin, Temple — He certainly has one of the best names in the entire draft had reportedly had a formal interview with the Patriots at the combine. He played at Presbyterian College before spending his final collegiate season at Temple where he showed off his aggressive skills. He too should be a Day 2, or early Day 3 selection.

Ka’dar Hollman, Toledo -- The Toledo product wasn't at the combine, but Nick Caserio was at his pro day and got a first-hand look at what he can do. The Patriots have had a history of doing well with cornerbacks at the end of the the draft plus with undrafted free agents, so perhaps Hollman is next.

Related: Patriots reportedly have shown 'ton of interest' in QB Will Grier, could be selected in first round