Cornerback Desmond King, Cornerback Jourdan Lewis, Tight End O.J. Howard
For college players with NFL aspirations, the Senior Bowl can be viewed as a résumé builder for players trying to make one final statement prior to the NFL Combine. Mobile, Ala. will once again play host to the game pitting North versus South, and is set to feature some potential first round talent. Among those participating in the event are a plethora of cornerbacks who could dominate the 2017 draft, and garner a lot of attention going forward.
As the game draws near, here's a look at five players who could potentially be taken in the first round, according to ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper, Jr., and Todd McShay.
Cornerback Jourdan Lewis (Michigan)
If the name is unfamiliar to you, chances are you've seen his highlight reel play against Wisconsin. In one-on-one coverage, Lewis somehow managed to leap up, float in the air, and haul in the "Odell Beckham Jr.-esque" interception, leaving spectators speechless. While there's much more to Lewis than just this one instance, the play itself conveys the cornerback's impressive ball skills. At 5'10", Lewis isn't necessarily the biggest defensive back in the world, but offers a shiftiness that allows him to cover quick and agile receivers.
Tight End O.J. Howard (Alabama)
As mentioned previously, this draft should highlight a lot of impressive playmakers in the secondary, but offensive talent O.J. Howard is increasingly gaining traction as a possible first round prize. The University of Alabama-product was a game changer throughout his career, and served as an important cog in Head Coach Nick Saban's system. Pro Football Focus has him graded as the top run-blocking tight end in the 2017 class, and he boasts impressive receiving skills to pair with his 6'6" 242 pound frame. All-around, Howard is one of the best tight end in this draft, and is currently going in the first round of both ESPN Insider's Todd McShay and Mel Kiper, Jr.'s, mock drafts.
Cornerback Tre'Davious White (LSU)
If you're looking for speed, big-play potential, and a lock down corner, look no further. White is being regarded as one of the better cornerbacks in an already stacked draft class. In 2016, the LSU-product knocked down 12 passes which was tied for third in the country. On top of that, White was PFF's highest- graded cornerback on the season with a rating of 90.5. The 2015 All-SEC Second Team player looks ready to make the transition to the NFL.
Linebacker Ryan Anderson (Alabama)
Yet another product of the Alabama system, Anderson is being touted as one of the premier edge rushers in this draft, and has the talent to be picked in the first round. Anderson is currently sharing the spotlight with fellow Alabama teammates Reuben Foster and Tim Williams, but is still a versatile talent in his own right. While Anderson (8.5 sacks) finished the year with a half sack less than Williams (9.0), he recorded an interception, and the most tackles for loss on the team with 19.
Cornerback Desmond King (Iowa)
You get the theme by now, the cornerbacks are going most likely be the primary focus of the Senior Bowl, and for good reason. At the University of Iowa, the Hawkeye produced two touchdowns, 14 interceptions, 263 tackles, and recovered three fumbles. King's tackling ability is also noteworthy, and in 2015 he was honored with the Thorpe Award, which is given to the nation's best defensive back.
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