Another draft, another year of a stacked cornerback crop upcoming. The more recognizable names include Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr. and Georgia’s Kelee Ringo. However, the top of the class include Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez, South Carolina’s Cam Smith, and Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon. Below, we’ll look at NFL Draft odds for the cornerback position.
Which of the group might go first? How many CBs will be drafted in the first round? Let’s explore.
NFL draft odds: First CB drafted
Bet on the first cornerback drafted this year by clicking on odds below. Do note, Alabama’s Brian Branch is a safety, although he is listed at books under this prop. Tread carefully with tickets in this group, as it’s unclear how books will handle Branch this upcoming draft.
Joey Porter Jr.
Teams in need of cornerback help this draft:
- Cardinals (No. 3)
- Lions (No. 6, No. 18)
- Raiders (No. 7)
- Eagles (No. 10, No. 31)
- Commanders (No. 16)
- Steelers (No. 17)
- Ravens (No. 23)
- Bengals (No. 29)
How to bet on first CB drafted
Most online sportsbooks have options for several NFL Draft bets, including an option to bet on the exact order of the first three picks. To find this section, click the NFL tab and look for “Draft Props” or “Player Draft Specials.” To bet on the first player off the board at their position, find a tab for “First Pick by Position” and view the odds listed below.
NFL Draft: 2023 CB profiles
Christian Gonzalez, Oregon
Gonzalez appears to be the clear-cut favorite to be the first corner drafted. He played his last collegiate season at Oregon, but was a standout at Colorado before then. At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Gonzalez fits the new prototypical corner in the NFL– long and athletic, able to matchup with the taller outside receivers the NFL features. It might also be worth looking into a top-10 flier for Gonzalez, with teams like the Eagles and Lions in need of corner talent.
Tied teams: Eagles, Lions
Devon Witherspoon, Illinois
Witherspoon allowed one catch while playing press man coverage during the 2022 season. One. According to The Draft Network, Witherspoon possesses “tremendous ball skills” and has a “tone-setting personality.” Though not as long as the other corners in the class, he carries a confidence necessary to become an impact corner like Derek Stingley and Sauce Gardner. Early in the draft cycle, Witherspoon shot up draft boards. He’s someone to watch the steam on throughout the Pro Day process.
Tied teams: Lions, Steelers, Eagles
Joey Porter Jr., Penn State
His father is a 13-year All-Pro NFL veteran who played outside linebacker for the Steelers. Following in those footsteps, Joey Porter Jr. is set up to be a force at corner and a highly-sought after prospect. Stud receiver units like Ohio State tested Porter Jr. week-in and week-out. He also stands over six feet tall and scouts laud his physicality. Descending from who he does, that’s no surprise that Porter Jr. is a heavy hitter.
Tied teams: Commanders, Steelers
Cam Smith, South Carolina
Buried by an overall atrocious defense in 2022, Cam Smith operated an island not even the top SEC QBs dared to target. Like his contemporaries, Smith excels with competitive toughness and ball skills rival to modern receivers. Where he falls behind is his build (6-foot, 190 pounds). The other corners in this class might go first, but Smith has the opportunity to become a menace in the NFL, perhaps inside at slot corner.
Tied teams: Jaguars, Vikings
Kelee Ringo, Georgia
Ringo burst onto the scene with his game-ending pick-six in the 2022 National Championship Game. This season, he carried a reputation that got him through most of the season. However, teams like Ohio State and LSU showed no fear going after Ringo, plummeting his draft stock. Specifically, teams targeted his quick movement; route tacticians like Marvin Harrison Jr. torched Ringo with double moves and created plenty of separation. How far does Ringo fall after that tape emerged?
Tied teams: Buccaneers, Cowboys
Other names to note: Deonte Banks (Maryland), Clark Phillips III (Utah), Emmanuel Forbes (Mississippi State), Kyu Blu Kelly (Stanford), and Julius Brents (Kansas State)
NFL Draft CB History
Here is a list of the first CB taken in each NFL Draft going back to 2010.
|Year||Team||Player||College||Pick (No. overall)|
|2022||Houston||Derek Stingley Jr.||LSU||3|
|2021||Carolina||Jaycee Horn||South Carolina||8|
|2020||Detroit||Jeff Okudah||Ohio State||3|
|2019||NY Giants||DeAndre Baker||Georgia||30|
|2018||Cleveland||Denzel Ward||Ohio State||4|
|2017||New Orleans||Marshon Lattimore||Ohio State||11|
|2016||Jacksonville||Jalen Ramsey||Florida State||5|
|2015||Minnesota||Trae Waynes||Michigan State||11|
|2014||Cleveland||Justin Gilbert||Oklahoma State||8|
|2013||NY Jets||Dee Milliner||Alabama||9|
NFL Draft odds strategy and trends
2022 and 2023 bring back-to-back strong classes to the table. It’s another natural counter to the receiving talent also coming into this draft, which should make for entertaining battles in the coming years. Last year, four corners went in the first round, but two of those came in the top four picks (Derek Stingley, Sauce Gardner). In 2021, five corners were drafted in the first round while 2020 saw six. In a pass-heavy NFL, trends point toward more and more corners being drafted earlier on, potentially making it a premium position along with QB, pass rusher, and tackle.