New to Steelers Depot, we will be highlighting a few less-heralded prospects at each position group in lead up to the 2022 NFL Draft that likely won’t go until Day Three, but present potential value as sleepers in the later rounds. This week we will be listing highlighting a few cornerbacks that may not be getting the same name recognition as some of their peers but have the traits to develop into quality players at the next level.
Sam Webb, CB, Missouri Western
Sam Webb is a little-known CB coming out of a small-school at Missouri Western. He earned a Shrine Bowl invite for his efforts during his time in college, being a ballhawk and earning All-MIAA First Team honors in multiple seasons. Along with having a prototypical build of an outside boundary CB (6’0 1/2″, 202lb), Webb represented himself well at the NFL Combine, showing fluidity and natural hands in his field workout as well as in the athletic testing (4.48 40, 42 1/2″ vert, 11’4″ broad, 4.18 short shuttle, 6.94 three cone).
— Cory Yates (@CoryRAanalytics) August 16, 2020
An older prospect as a sixth-year senior and coming out of a small school, it makes sense why Webb has flown under-the-radar to this point and likely will get selected late on Day Three of the 2022 NFL Draft or possibly end up as an UDFA. Still, his size, ability to play in coverage and take the football away, and his background playing on special teams units should make for him to be a viable back of the depth chart option that can be a core special teams player at worst and likely contribute in sub packages as a rotational DB, having the opportunity to earn more playing time should he prove himself worthy of that opportunity.
Verified play speed for 6’2” 195 lbs CB Sam Webb (@JayVerse27). Expect to see this small school prospect from Missouri Western on an NFL roster in 2021#myRAmaxspeed | @MWSU_Football pic.twitter.com/kWywE4FH5X
— Cory Yates (@CoryRAanalytics) January 1, 2021
Dallis Flowers, CB, Pittsburg State
Steelers Depot’s very own Owen Straley latched onto Flowers after watching him in-person at the East-West Shrine Game in Las Vegas, turning the heads of scouts and coaches in attendance due to his ability to suffocate receivers off the line with his length and physicality in press coverage. Straley came away so impressed with Flowers’ size and prowess in coverage, he had this to say in his pre-draft report:
Flowers’ prototype frame for the position, standing at 6004, 195 pounds with a 6’6” wingspan, helps allow him to frustrate receivers at the line of scrimmage and challenge them downfield at the catch point.
Flowers proved Straley’s compliments as a high-upside prospect at the CB position further with an impressive Pro Day workout (4.43 40, 10’11” broad, 4.34 short shuttle, 6.98 three cone) to pair with the production on tape as well as his prototypical frame. On top of all of this, Flowers is an accomplished return man averaging 33.7 YPR with 2 return touchdowns(98 and 95 yards) last season. While he will be 25 when the season starts, his potential as a cover man paired with his proven production as a return specialist should have Flowers warranting draft consideration somewhere on Day Three of the draft.
Cobie Durant, CB, South Carolina State
I have been on South Carolina State CB Cobie Durant for some time as a guy that also comes from a small school and is small in stature, but don’t let him know that. I had the opportunity to speak with him at the NFL Combine and he exuded a fiery, determined demeanor that he was out to prove people wrong as a draft prospect, telling me that guys like Darius Leonard and Javon Hargrave have come out of the same school and have had success in the league, and he intends to be the least Bulldog to make that quick transition from college to the pros. He plays with a notable chip on his shoulder and despite his slender frame, brings everything he has as a aggressive hitter.
He ran well at the NFL Combine (4.38 40) and looked fluid in field drills. His lack of size (5’9 5/8″, 180lb) as well as his arm length (30 3/4”) will scare some teams off as an undersized prospect for the position, but he has shown the ability to hold up both on the outside as well as in the slot in college, recording 12 INTs during his college career and deflecting many others. At worst, Durant can come in and provide competition in the slot at the nickel/dime CB position and possibly contribute outside should he prove he can handle the transition. His movement skills as an athlete as well as his competitive demeanor make him a feisty competitor that should become a quality nickel in the league.
Jalyn Armour-Davis, CB, Alabama
Jalyn Armour-Davis didn’t receive a lot of recognition for the Alabama Crimson Tide on a defense stocked with future NFL talent, but the 6’0 5/8″, 197lb redshirt junior managed to get onto the field for his first year as a full-time starter in 2021 after coming in as one of the best CB recruits in the nation, but a knee injury suffered prior to his freshman season forced him to redshirt. He ended up falling behind a loaded depth chart his next two seasons, but put together a season that earned him second-team All-SEC honors after tallying 32 tackles, a tackle for a loss, three interceptions, and seven passes defended in 11 games played.
Armour-Davis impressed at the NFL Combine, posting solid testing number for a corner his size (4.39 40, 34.5″ vert) as well as acing interviews to get buzz generating on a prospect with only a one-year sample size on tape. Still, given the depth and talent of this class and the improvements Armour-Davis needs to make on his technique and consistency, he still likely will be a Day Three selection come Draft Weekend. That being said, teams are easily infatuated with the length and athleticism that Armour-Davis possesses. Combine that with some ball production this past season as well as his willingness as a run defender and play special teams, his name could be called a lot sooner than some may expect.
What are your thoughts on the names listed above as potential draft sleepers? Do you agree that there is some intrigue with these prospects? What other names would you like to group in as potential “sleepers” at the position that aren’t getting enough attention? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below and thanks again for reading!