Top Cornerback Prospects in 2016 NFL Draft – FSU’s Jalen Ramsey Is King


Every draft evaluation is predicated on prediction accumulated by past practice and eyeing the future potential of each prospect. Obviously, everyone knows that know matter how good or bad a prospect is judged, no one really knows the ultimate value until they hit the field in the NFL.

This particular class has a couple elite prospects that will hear their names called on day one of the NFL Draft. It is possible every player listed below, wll in fact be first-round picks. Below are some of the defensive backs prospects available in the 2016 NFL Draft.


Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State

Class – Junior 

Last Five Florida State Defensive Backs Drafted

2015 – Ronald Darby, Round 2

2015 – P.J. Williams, Round 3

2014 – Lamarcus Joyner, Round 2

2014 – Terrence Brooks, Round 3

2013 – Xavier Rhodes, Round 1

Defensive Scheme – 4-3

Height – 6-1

Weight – 202


In my humble opinion, Ramsey is the best prospect in the entire draft class. The converted safety has easily made the transition from roaming the secondary to mirroring receivers. Ramsey has the upside to be selected with one of the Top Five overall picks in the up coming 2016 NFL Draft. It is possible he’ll be selected higher than Deion Sanders (1989) and Terrell Buckley (1992), two former Seminoles defensive backs selected with the fifth-overall pick in their respected drafts. Ramsey is a polarizing figure on the defensive side of the football and possesses gifts physically that make him almost a lock for greatness in the NFL.


Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU

Class – Junior 

Last Five LSU Defensive Backs Drafted

2015 – Jalen Collins, Round 2

2013 – Tharold Simon, Round 5

2012 – Morris Claiborne, Round 1

2012 – Brandon Taylor, Round 3

2012 – Ron Brooks, Round 4

Defensive Scheme – 4-3

Height – 5-11

Weight – 192


The Tigers’ secondary is a football factory for NFL teams. In addition to the names above the list of other outstanding LSU defensive backs includes Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu and Eric Reid. Regardless of cornerback or safety, the Tigers are coached into being fantastic prospects for NFL scouts to breakdown. White looks to carry the LSU tradition of talented defensive backs and become a shutdown corner in the NFL. Talent and technique are the foundation of one of his game.


Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida

Class – Junior

Last Five Florida Defensive Backs Drafted

2014 – Jaylen Watkins, Round 4

2013 – Matt Elam, Round 1

2013 – Josh Evans, Round 6

2011 – Ahmad Black, Round 5

2010 – Joe Haden, Round 1

Defensive Scheme – Multiple

Height – 5-11

Weight – 199


A First Team All-America selection and unanimous First Team All-SEC selection are two feats from 2014 that will likely be repeated by Hargreaves III in 2015. He was named the National Defensive Player of the Year at the 58th Touchdown Club of Columbus Awards leaving high school and had offers from over 50 different schools. Football runs in the family with his father coaching the linebackers at Arkansas. Currently, Hargreaves, III is tied with fellow Gator stand out cornerback Jalen Tabor for the team lead with four interceptions. Crafty with fine technique makes Hargreaves III the most polished cornerback amongst the top ranked defensive backs available in the 2016 NFL Draft.


Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson

Class – Redshirt Sophomore

Last Five Clemson Defensive Backs Drafted

2014 – Bashaud Breeland, Round 4

2013 – Jonathan Meeks, Round 5

2012 – Cody Sensabaugh, Round 4

2011 – Marcus Gilchrist, Round 2

2011 – Byron Maxwell, Round 6

Defensive Scheme – 4-3

Height – 5-10

Weight – 196

Alexander was rated as the No. 4 overall player in the nation by ESPN, prior to arriving at Clemson. He is the type of defensive back who brings swagger and a ton of confidence almost to the point of cocky to the defensive back position. He was hurt his freshman season and was redshirted (2013), which indicates how truly talented and advanced his game is for a college athlete. Alexander would have been a true freshman earning quality time at a big time program in the ACC. His demeanor and ability remind me of Josh Norman of the Carolina Panthers.


William Jackson III, CB, Houston

Class – Senior

Last Five Houston Defensive Backs Drafted

2013 – D.J. Hayden, Round 1

2005 – Stanford Routt, Round 2

2003 – Hanik Milligan, Round 6

1997 – Delmonico Montgomery, Round 4

1996 – Dedric Mathis, Round 2

Defensive Scheme – 4-3

Height – 6-1

Weight – 195


Since 1996, the Cougars have had 17 players selected in the NFL Draft and five of those 17 played defensive back. Quietly, Houston has built and reputation for recruiting and developing NFL quality corners. Jackson is considered one of the top senior defensive backs in the nation. His advantage over the juniors is his chance to participate in the Senior Bowl, in which he was invited to play in on January 30, 2016 in Mobile, Alabama. Brash and talented are the staples to his game along with long arms make Jackson III one of the top defensive back prospects.

About Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte is an NFL writer for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade. His background includes being staff for the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game as a talent evaluator for player personnel along with an internship scouting with the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the Canadian Football League. Bo’s draft background includes working for the NFL Draft Bible and currently owns and operates He has done radio spots on NBC, Fox Sports and ESPN and their affiliates in different markets around the country. Bo covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers along with other colleges in the northeast.