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Monday, March 14, 2011
Kiper's take on the cornerbacks in the draft

By Ohm Youngmisuk

The Giants have needs at offensive line, linebacker, cornerback, safety and tight end among others entering the draft. They certainly need a speedy playmaker as well.

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper did a conference call with reporters last week and we figured we would take a snippet from the call and apply it to the Giants draft concerns. Last week we took a look at Kiper's view on the linebackers in the draft.

In his latest mock draft, Kiper has the Giants going for offensive line at 19 in the first round.

But what does Kiper think of the corners in this draft?

Corey Webster is still a good No. 1 corner. Terrell Thomas had a solid season as the second corner. Aaron Ross is the third cornerback but the team is thin after that.

Kiper says teams can find corners from the second round on.

“I think that is a position that you could find somebody,” Kiper said. “There are some options in the second and third round area, even for some nickel backs.”

“There are going to be a pretty decent group of corners that are going to be flying off the board in that second third round area,” he added.

LSU’s Patrick Peterson and Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara are considered the two best corners in the draft and are expected to be long gone by the time the Giants pick at 19. Colorado’s Jimmy Smith is thought to be the other cornerback with first-round value and Kiper says he could go somewhere around 20 or after that.

But there are other corners teams can target in the second round or later.

“If you are looking for a Brandon Harris, you hope that he plays like he did a couple of years ago, and maximizes that ability,” Kiper said of the defensive back out of Miami (FL). “Had a nice combine, Deion Sanders was raving about him, but he didn’t play like that. He didn’t play like he showed there. If you want to take him in the second, a Brandon Burton, who had a real good year two years ago and struggled some, and in some of their biggest games he struggled for Utah, but he’s got talent.”

Aaron Williams from Texas, his stock is now up to the point where he could maybe be instead of a late one, may be an early to mid-two,” Kiper continued. “Questions about whether he is a corner or a safety. So right now, after Peterson and Amukamara, you may only see Jimmy Smith and that is it. Three corners, that may be it for the first round.”

Even though the position may be thin in first-round talent, Kiper said there’s a “pretty decent group” available after the first round.

“(Virginia’s) Ras-I Dowling in the third round, he had a first-round grade going in,” Kiper said. “Johnny Patrick from Louisville, Cortez Allen from the Citadel, Shareece Wright at USC, Brandon Burton out of Utah, Brandon Harris out of Miami. All those guys I think are in that second and third-round mix.”

“You will see a pretty good number of corners in the second and third-round mix and you will see some decent nickel back prospects as well come off the board in the fourth or fifth round.”