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Small School Cornerback Prospects

There has been a lot of discussion about where to spend our first round pick if the notion of drafting a quarterback at number six is off the table. The two most popular positions of need seem to be the offensive line and the defensive secondary. If the Redskins don't grab Morris Claiborne or Dre Kirkpatrick in the first, then where could they turn for help later in the draft? Could three small school prospects help solidify the secondary?

Josh Norman, Coastal Carolina: Norman has shot up many draftboards after a very good week at the Shrine Game. Wes Bunting noted Norman's talent in his practice notes:

He displayed good vision when feeling routes, a solid initial burst when looking to close and displayed "plus" hands when asked to come down with the catch. There are some character concerns to his game off the field; however, the talent is most certainly there.

Norman is a big, physical corner standing nearly 6'1, 195 lbs. Simply put, Norman is a ballhawk and has great length and great hands. He is also pretty decent in run support. Since the Shrine Game some have Norman's stock as high as the third round. Personally I think Norman would be a tremendous corner for Raheem Morris to mold. He'll greatly benefit from individual coaching and a bunch of practice and preseason reps.

Most feel that Norman's "character issues" stem from a string of unpaid traffic tickets his freshman year.

Micah Pellerin, Hampton: Pellerin is another fairly large corner standing 6'0, 195 lbs. Pellerin needs to improve his footwork the most and has got away with some sloppy technique because of his closing speed and skills. He is a high character guy and a vocal leader on the Pirates. He has also contributed to special teams as the "gunner". Look for Pellerin to come off boards in the 5th round.

Justin Bethel, Presbyterian: Bethel is a late round prospect (probably 7th) who would be a solid project for Raheem Morris and the Redskins. Tom Melton reviewed Bethel at the Shrine Game practices:

Bethel was a bit of a confusing prospect for me today because he showed some ability to close on plays in front of him but his backpedal needs serious work. There were times he wasn’t even pedaling in 1 on 1’s which was a bit surprising to see. He’s a small school guy who probably got away with some sloppy technique against a lower level of competition.