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The Top 5 Cornerbacks In The 2024 NFL Draft

With such a massive growth in talent at the receiver position and teams throwing more than ever, a game-changing cornerback is the ultimate difference-maker for any team. This year, Trent McDuffie was the catalyst for the Chiefs win as he shut down Deebo Samuel and stopped multiple touchdowns himself.

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Cornerbacks are the most important position on defense, so every team is always looking for talent. If they are looking for it in this draft, these are the top names they'll be looking at. 

5) Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo

At cornerbacks, you need freak athletes, and Mitchell is the definition of a freak athlete. At 6'0 and 195 pounds, Mitchell runs a 4.35 40-yard dash capable of keeping up with most of the league's fastest receivers.

Speed is arguably the most crucial trait in a corner nowadays, and if so, why is the fastest one in the class at the bottom of the list? Mitchell is raw and often less agile than fast, unable to keep up turns or shifts in routes. Mitchell also hesitates about trusting his instincts, something a cornerback needs help to do. If Mitchell can polish his game, he has all the natural tools to be an NFL star.

4) Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

With what is likely the best name in this entire draft class, McKinstry is incredibly well-rounded. McKinstry stands at 6'1 and 195 pounds, giving him great size to play with most of the NFL's best receivers.

He also possesses an elite ability for both man and zone coverage, often reading the quarterback like a book when in a zone. McKinstry is also calm, collected, and loud on the defense, acting as a general and ensuring everyone is where they need to be on the field. However, McKinstry struggles with physicality, often needing help to grab one-on-one balls and losing out to more robust receivers. 

3) Nate Wiggins, Clemson

At 6'2, Wiggins is lanky and can often reach balls that others can't break up or intercept. Wiggins is incredibly disciplined with his hands and feet, keeping up with the best receivers on routes and not being caught up in any flags.

Wiggins can also read the field and use it to his advantage, often using the sideline as a weapon against the receiver on deep routes that push them closer to it. While Wiggins is technically innovative and understands the game well, his physical strength and backpedaling leave something to be desired. 

2) Cooper DeJean, Iowa

DeJean will likely be the second white cornerback in the NFL since 2003, joining Troy Apke on this exclusive list. But this honor is for good reason, as DeJean is an insane athlete. DeJean is 6'1 and 207 pounds; while in high school, he also played quarterback and won the Iowa state long jump and 100-meter sprints multiple times.

He also possesses a rare body that is great for facing more prominent defenders, as his size is above average for the cornerback position. DeJean is also versatile, able to go outside or inside and cover in man or zone. DeJean is insane athletically and also an elite punt returner. Whoever gets ahold of the Iowa prospect will get an insane two-for-one deal. 

1) Terrion Arnold, Alabama

Arnold is well-rounded in every aspect, being the perfect height and weight for a cornerback with his speed and length. Arnold is also fluid with his hip movements, has quick footwork, and knows when to be aggressive versus patient and let the action come to him.

Arnold also hits hard when he tackles, which can lead to many turnovers, and he is not typically seen in his position. While Arnold excels in man, he can struggle in zone coverage and tracking the ball. But if the NFL team that drafts him uses him as an outside corner, he will be elite for them and one of the NFL's best.

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