NFL Draft: Chiefs’ cornerback options

Artie Burns. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell- USA TODAY Sports
Artie Burns. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell- USA TODAY Sports /
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Eli Apple. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller- USA TODAY Sports
Eli Apple. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller- USA TODAY Sports /

Eli Apple: ABBR – 29.3

William Jackson III: ABBR – 31.6

We could very well see one of these two guys on the Kansas City roster come 2016. Rather than going over ground that has already been covered extensively, I will refer you to this extensive and excellently written film study of William Jackson.

Correctly, Matt Verderame sees Jackson as a versatile, play-making cornerback. Someone who possesses great speed but can be susceptible to bigger, more physical receivers with his slight frame. Having said this, I would be delighted with this pick in the first round. With his ABBR at 31.6, Jackson should be available at 28, or around that spot, and Dorsey could have the opportunity to pair an opportunistic, aggressive corner with an opportunistic, aggressive corner. Now that is a mouthwatering prospect.

Eli Apple has the natural ability to be the best cornerback in this draft. He has some technical faults that need to be ironed out, but from a physical standpoint, he has elite potential, and could be a steal of a pick late in the first round.

This guy is simply outrageous in press coverage. He loves to get in the face of the receiver, get his hands on him, disrupt his route early on. He is aggressive, physical, and while not a speed merchant, has the quickness to track receivers deep. He does sometimes struggle to locate the ball on deep routes and needs to improve his tackling. However, these are things that can be coached.

There is, however, one issue that is a real concern. Apple has a tendency to hold on to receivers deep down the field. Rather than trusting his coverage, he grabs and pulls jerseys, holds back receivers. This is something that will hurt him in the NFL. Modern day football is harder on corners that it ever has been. Referees are brutal on pass interference calls and Apple will give away a lot.

Does this mean he’s not worth drafting at 28? Absolutely not. He has elite potential, outrageous physical ability and fits the Chiefs scheme well. However, it wouldn’t by number one. That honor goes to someone else.

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