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NFL Draft

2024 NFL Draft Positional Spotlight: Cornerback

Here’s a look at some of the cornerbacks in this year’s draft class

The 2024 NFL Draft is less than a week away, and with the marquee weekend of the offseason nearly here, the internet is rife with projections and analysis on this year's top prospects.

Over the last several weeks, we have taken a look at some position groups in this year's class while examining a handful of names to know. Here's a look at what we've covered so far:

WR | DT | OT

We'll wrap up this series with the cornerbacks in this year's class. First, here's who Kansas City currently has under contract at that spot entering the 2024 campaign:

Chiefs Cornerbacks Under Contract for the 2024 Season: Trent McDuffie, Joshua Williams, Nazeeh Johnson, Kelvin Joseph, Jaylen Watson, Keith Taylor, Nic Jones, Ekow Boye-Doe

Five Names to Know

Depending on where you look, the various experts from around the web have identified a handful of cornerbacks who could potentially go during the first two days of the draft. Two of those players, who are listed below, will likely be unavailable by the time Kansas City makes its first-round selection:

  • Alabama's Terrion Arnold
  • Toledo's Quinyon Mitchell

There are several cornerbacks, however, who could potentially be available to Kansas City at pick No. 32 and beyond. Here's a look at five players to know who could potentially be available to the Chiefs within the first two rounds, including where they currently rank among their peers according to the pundits.

Additionally, some players feature analysis from the folks at Pro Football Focus, and The Athletic.

Cooper DeJean - Iowa

Measurables: 6-foot-0, 202 pounds

Snapshot: DeJean started 23 games for the Hawkeyes over the last two seasons, recording 20 passes defensed, five tackles-for-loss and seven interceptions. He allowed just one catch of 15+ yards in 2023.

Big Board Rankings:

Pro Football Focus (Post-Combine): No. 8 overall (No. 1 CB)

Dane Brugler (The Athletic): No. 25 overall (No. 4 CB)

Expert Analysis:

Pro Football Focus: "The talk of DeJean playing outside cornerback or safety or slot cornerback at the next level is not due to lack of a home position; it's because he could truly be an impact player anywhere. His footwork, ball skills and explosive athleticism make him an impactful outside cornerback — one with All-Pro potential." "Overall, I believe DeJean could stick at cornerback, but I wouldn't rule out a move to safety, where his strengths as a player would be featured. He reminds me of a bigger Eric Weddle coming out of college."

The Athletic: "Overall, DeJean is one of the best tackling defensive backs in the class and shows playmaking skills in coverage, because of his athletic instincts and competitive makeup. Along with an immediate special-teams role (as a returner and gunner), his NFL starter-quality skill set fits interchangeably at cornerback, safety or nickel."

For more on DeJean, check out his draft profile at

Nate Wiggins – Clemson

Measurables: 6-foot-1, 173 pounds

Snapshot: A two-year starter at Clemson, Wiggins recorded 25 passes defensed and three picks over the last two seasons. He allowed just one completion of 20+ yards on 41 targets last season, and his 4.28-second 40-yard dash time was the second-fastest of any player at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Big Board Rankings:

Pro Football Focus (Post-Combine): No. 24 overall (No. 4 CB)

Dane Brugler (The Athletic): No. 24 overall (No. 3 CB)

Expert Analysis:

Pro Football Focus: "Wiggins has the tools of a first-round, high-impact cornerback. His athleticism will never be in question, nor will his competitiveness. Those two characteristics should yield a long-term starting player." "Overall, Wiggins is dripping with athleticism and physical traits."

The Athletic: "Overall, Wiggins is a fast and fluid athlete with the cover awareness and on-ball production to be a starting perimeter corner in the NFL. He projects as a longtime NFL starter with tools like those of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie."

For more on Wiggins, check out his draft profile at

Kool-Aid McKinstry – Alabama

Measurables: 5-foot-11, 196 pounds

Snapshot: A First-Team All-American in 2023, McKinstry tallied seven passes defensed and two tackles-for-loss last season without committing a single penalty. He led the SEC in passes defensed (16) the year prior.

Big Board Rankings:

Pro Football Focus (Post-Combine): No. 26 overall (No. 5 CB)

Dane Brugler (The Athletic): No. 30 overall (No. 5 CB)

Expert Analysis:

Pro Football Focus: "McKinstry plays one of the most difficult positions in the game with so much poise and production. He might not be an elite athlete, but he is one of the smartest cornerback prospects you'll find. He can play in any defensive scheme and is the type of player you draft in the first round." "Overall, Kool-Aid has a lot of redeeming qualities. He's not the fastest cornerback, but he showed enough speed at his pro day to help his stock heading into the draft."

The Athletic: "...He is a long, smooth athlete with the football IQ that should translate quickly to an NFL field. His game reminds me of James Bradberry's, and he will compete for starting reps as a rookie."

For more on McKinstry, check out his draft profile at

Mike Sainristil - Michigan

Measurables: 5-foot-9, 182 pounds

Snapshot: A wide receiver during his first three years at Michigan, Sainristil made the switch to cornerback in 2022 with remarkable success. He recorded six interceptions last season, earning MVP honors on Michigan's championship-winning defense.

Big Board Rankings:

Pro Football Focus (Post-Combine): No. 34 overall (No. 6 CB)

Dane Brugler (The Athletic): No. 43 overall (No. 6 CB)

Expert Analysis:

Pro Football Focus: "Every NFL team would love to have a player like Sainristil. He brings a great skill set and mentality to be a starting slot cornerback, with safety and special teams versatility to boot. He should be viewed as one of the top "football players" in this draft, regardless of position."

The Athletic: "Overall, Sainristil has obvious size limitations that will remove him from some team's draft boards, but other teams will be more than happy to bet on his outstanding toughness, instincts and ball skills. He will compete for immediate starting reps as a rookie nickel."

For more on Sainristil, check out his draft profile at

Ennis Rakestraw Jr. – Missouri

Measurables: 5-foot-11, 183 pounds

Snapshot: A three-year starter at Mizzou, Rakestraw recorded 24 passes defensed, seven tackles-for-loss, three forced fumbles and an interception in 36 games (32 starts) during his career.

Big Board Rankings:

Pro Football Focus (Post-Combine): No. 46 overall (No. 7 CB)

Dane Brugler (The Athletic): No. 49 overall (No. 7 CB)

Expert Analysis:

Pro Football Focus: "Rakestraw possesses a high football IQ and does great work in off-coverage when he can anticipate with space. He is a quick and controlled cornerback who will provide plus reliability as a run defender. His traits are worthy of a top-50 draft pick, but his lack of ball production might have him drafted just outside that range." "Overall, players with this profile at this position traditionally translate very well to the next level."

The Athletic: "...He plays aggressive, sticky coverage with NFL-quality movement skills and confidence. He has NFL starting man-cover talent, if he stays healthy."

For more on Rakestraw, check out his draft profile at

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