Predicting Risers & Fallers at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine
By Jerod Brown
Vernon Hargreaves-Cornerback-University of Florida
Vernon Hargreaves is one of the best defensive backs in this draft. He played in the highly competitive Southeastern Conference and routinely faced NFL-level talent. He’ll be drafted in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He could easily be drafted in the Top-10.
So, how does he make this list as a faller after the 2016 Scouting Combine?
Hargreaves will show well at the combine, that’s not the problem. However, there are at least three or four other cornerbacks that will impress as well. The total performance of the other players may bring Hargreaves back down to Earth.
He entered the 2015 season as one of the top prospects in the nation and has seen himself incredibly high on Big Boards and Mock Drafts all season long. Until recently, he was the unquestioned top corner in the draft.
As the Scouting Combine approaches, other players such as Clemson’s Mackensie Alexander or Ohio State’s Eli Apple have snuck into the discussion as some of the top cornerback prospects as well. After an impressing showing at the Senior Bowl, Southeastern Louisiana cornerback Harlan Miller has also generated buzz as one of the top cover guys in the draft.
See, it isn’t so much that Hargreaves isn’t excellent, but that he might not be nearly as far ahead of others as he was once considered to be.
When listing his top cornerbacks in the draft, Miller listed Hargreaves in third behind Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey–who some consider a safety prospect–and Alexander.
If anything, the potential “drop” of Hargreaves might give the 49ers a chance to move back a few positions in the draft if they decide cornerback is the position to target with their first pick. Although he was once mocked as one of the first players taken, Hargreaves is now occasionally predicted to go in the early-teens.
The 49ers may be able to trade back, stockpile picks and still target a player they would like. With extra picks, they could move back into the first round later and potentially end up with two Round 1 prospects. Sometimes a prospect losing momentum is a beautiful thing.
It’s easy to see why Hargreaves entered 2015 as one of the most impressive prospects to watch.
Hargreaves will go early. How early is anyone’s guess. But the 49ers surely have their eye on the shutdown corner from Florida.
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