Cornerback, Ohio State 6ft 1in – 199lbs
|40yd dash: 4.4s||Bench Press: 13 reps|
|Vertical Jump: N/A||3 Cone Drill: N/A|
|Broad Jump: N/A||20yd Shuttle: N/A|
It seems that Ohio State can produce nothing but high round draft prospects. We’ve already looked at Joey Bosa, Taylor Decker, Ezekiel Elliot and Darron Lee as probable first round picks, well here is another; CB Eli Apple. And that’s not even considering the host of other Buckeyes players, but let’s stick with Apple for now. There are 2 cornerbacks at the top of this draft that are comfortable where they are, but beneath them it’s a lot less clear, with several cornerbacks lobbying to be the next guy of the board and Eli Apple is firmly in that discussion. A large part of his appeal is his measurables as he has good length, weight, arm length and speed. In addition, he is more than capable of matching up in man coverage and has the strength to redirect and beat up receivers. What’s more, he is a willing and effective run defender. He has 22 passes defensed in the last two years and has improved greatly in that time. He still has some improvement to be made but he has all the tools to be an elite shutdown corner, and I think he will be and should be the 3rd corner off the board. Surprisingly, Apple hasn’t been as busy as you might expect for a 1st round man-to-man corner, having only met with 6 teams since the Combine (SF, BUF, MIA, ATL, JAC, DET). However, 5 of those 6 teams have done so in private (SF, BUF, MIA, JAC, DET) and none of those teams strike me as surprises as they could all do with secondary help. With a premium on man-to-man corners at the moment, Apple is almost a lock to go in the first round, but it is hard to pin down where that will be. I could imagine him going as high as Miami at 13 and I could also see him going as low as Carolina at 30, it all depends on how the rest of the board falls. Either way, I think he’ll be just fine.