NFL scouting combine preview: cornerbacks

The NFL scouting combine starts Feb. 22. In advance of the annual meat market in Indianapolis, staff writer Matt Vensel will examine each position and give Ravens fans the 4-1-1. In this post he looks at cornerbacks



The top prospects:

Tyrann "Honey Badger" Mathieu, who is still in Baton Rogue, got most of the attention in the LSU secondary, but

Morris Claiborne

is a complete corner with good size, speed and instincts. At 6 feet 2, Alabama's

Dre Kirkpatrick

is a big, physical cornerback.

Janoris Jenkins

of Northern Alabama is a small-school standout who could crack the first round with impressive workouts between now and April’s

NFL draft


Other intriguing names:


Trumaine Johnson

, Louisiana-Lafayette's Dwight Bentley and Coastal Carolina's Josh Norman are under-the-radar prospects who could impress in Indy.

Stephon Gilmore

was productive at South Carolina and is a second-day prospect. De'quan Menzie was overshadowed at Alabama but has a chance to make a name for himself. Maryland's Cameron Chism could be a late-round pick.

Grading the class:

Claiborne, Kirkpatrick and Jenkins top a cornerback class with several prospects who could go in the first two rounds. There is good cornerback depth deeper in the draft, too. Overall, I'll grade the cornerback class a B-plus.

Fitting the Ravens:

The cornerback position is likely to be a low priority in the 2012 draft.

Lardarius Webb

looks like a budding star,

Cary Williams

surprised as a first-time starter and

Jimmy Smith

showed promise as the team’s first-round draft choice in 2011.

Domonique Foxworth


Chris Carr

are potential cap casualties, but the Ravens still have

Chykie Brown

, who will be in his second season, and

Danny Gorrer

on the roster. Maybe in the later rounds.