2013 Under-the-Radar Defensive Back Prospects

Illinois cornerback Terry Hawthorne - Ezra Shaw

The 2013 defensive back class is very deep in talent. This could bode well for the Redskins.

It's no secret the Redskins need help in the defensive backfield. We currently rank 31st in the NFL in passing yards per game, giving up 301 yards per contest. The future of players such as Brandon Meriweather, Tenard Jackson, DeAngelo Hall and even Josh Wilson hang in the balance. It would not be a stretch to assume we need at least three new defensive backs in 2013.

With no first round pick in 2013 and 2014, the Redskins staff needs to put in extra time to find some possible diamonds-in-the-rough in the defensive backfield.

Below are a list of some potential defensive backs who may be available after the third round of the 2013 NFL draft:

Terry Hawthorne: CB Illinois 6'0" 190 - Hawthorne is a 4.5 guy with a smooth pack-pedal, and excellent recovery speed. He is best when playing in bump-and-run coverage. Projection: mid 3rd - 5th

D.J. Swearinger: SS/FS South Carolina 5'11" 210 - Swearingeris a guy who could play both strong and free safety in the NFL. His stock is rising a bit, so it may not be a total surprise if he goes late in the third. Projection: 4th - 6th

Johnny Adams: CB Mich St 5'11" 180 - The senior had an up and down season in 2012. He allowed some big plays(some of which were his fault, and others that were a result of bad timing). He is a talented prospect, that because of some poor play in 2012, should be drafted after the third round. Projection: 4th - 6th

Nigel Malone: CB Kansas St 5'10" 176 - Malone is a pure blazer. He has been clocked in the low 4.3's. Scouts say his size may limit him to the slot in the NFL, but I see a guy who excels in a cover 2, with better than average man skills. He can also factor in to the return game. Projection: 4th - 6th

Micha Hyde: CB/S Iowa 6'1" 192 - Hyde was named the BIG defensive back of the year, and received first-team All-Conference recognition. He can play CB or FS, and is known for his physical play. He has decent speed clocking in the low 4.5's. Projection: 4th - 6th

Phillip Thomas: SS Fresno St 6'1" 215 - Thomas, who is a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, was recently named first team All-Conference. He is among the leaders in college football with seven interceptions. He lacks great speed, but his instincts and hitting ability will get him drafted. Projection: 4th - 6th

Sheldon Price: CB UCLA 6'1" 180 - Another CB who had an up and down season, Price is know amongst NFL circles to be a finesse guy, despite his 6'1" frame. He has great long speed(mid 4.4), and in the right situation, could be a steal. Projection: 5th - 7th

Brandon Smith: CB Georgia 5'11" 176 - Speed is the name of the game for Smith. He is one of the fastest players in college football, clocking in the low 4.3's. He is also a kick/punt returner. Off-field concerns may drop him a bit in the draft. Projection: 5th - 7th

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