BRONCOS

Private workouts show the Broncos are interested in drafting a cornerback

Apr 6, 2022, 6:59 AM
Cordale Flott...
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

It’s April, so that means NFL teams are putting the final touches on their draft boards before the 2022 NFL Draft at the end of the month. That means teams are going to be inviting in players during this month for one of their top-30 visits.

Each team in the NFL gets 30 private visits at their facility. It’s important to keep track of these visits because of their limitation. It doesn’t mean a team is going to 100 percent draft a guy, but the interest is strong if a team is investing their time to take a closer look.

When looking at the players the Denver Broncos are bringing into UC Health Training Center, you can see how the cornerback position is one of emphasis. As of this writing, there are three cornerbacks who have been to Dove Valley or are scheduled to come into town for a longer interview/workout with the team. It’s certainly apparent the Broncos are looking for a corner – perhaps even one they have to move up for – in the 2022 NFL Draft.

In this article, I will examine some of the cornerbacks the Broncos have shown interest in – whether that’s from a private workout, a combine interview or a pro day workout.

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Ja’Quan McMillian, East Carolina

On Tuesday, the Broncos had Ja’Quan McMillian from East Carolina in for a private workout. McMillian has speed to his game, and he can get in the back pocket of receivers who try to run by him. He’s a smaller prospect, weighing in at 161 pounds, so slot corner is where he’s going to live in the NFL.

McMillian does a good job of timing his strike at the ball. Because he’s shorter, McMillian does a good job of breaking up passes without getting too “grabby” on receivers. Even though he’s light, McMillian does a good job getting low as a tackler – and there are even some plays where he up-ends a guy (see game against Tulsa). McMillian does not have “pop” as a tackler, but he understands the latch and spin technique that was popularized by the “Legion of Boom” in Seattle.

There is no doubt that McMillian is always around the ball. He’s a ballhawk who can bait quarterbacks into bad throws. McMillian plays with immense confidence, and that helps him when going against more talented receivers.

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Cordale Flott, LSU

One of the most talented mid-round corners in this class is Cordale Flott from LSU. The Broncos have decided to get a closer look at Flott, and that’s why he’s been tagged as one of their top-30 visits.

Flott has length, and that helps him break up passes and be disruptive when the ball is coming in. He’s aggressive and shows no fear in supporting the run. However, he could use extra weight to take on receivers as his tackling suffers at times. Overall, I like the way he has a feel for the game – either from the slot or outside. He does get caught peeking at times, so savvy quarterbacks will know how to move him with their eyes.

Flott would be a fine Day 3 pick for the Broncos. If he adds 10 pounds of muscle to his frame in an NFL weight program and cleans up his discipline on play fakes, Flott has the natural ability to be a good starter in the pros.

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Nick Grant, Virginia

Scouts need to determine whether Virginia’s Nick Grant is going to be a cornerback or a safety at the pro level. This question may be why the Broncos have selected him to be one of their 30 private visits before the draft. In a zone system, I think Grant can play cornerback at the pro level. He does have the versatility to play safety, as he’s tough, aggressive and rangy, but I’d like to see him get a shot at corner first.

Grant is a smart player who keeps himself ahead of the play with top-notch diagnostic skills. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty in run support, and he seems excited to get a chance to make a play. Not only does Grant have pass breakups (20 over the last three years) but he also has punched a few footballs out during that time.

I liked what I saw from Grant at the East-West Shrine Bowl practices earlier this year. He impressed me with his “click and close” ability and the way he turned in coverage. He’s a zone corner who has the physicality to play safety.

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Pro Day Watch

Marcus Jones, from the University of Houston, has been one of the most exciting players to watch in this draft class, regardless of position. Not only is he an aggressive corner, but Jones is also simply electric as a return man. In fact, some in the scouting community have compared him to former Chiefs Pro Bowl returner Dante Hall. He’s a scrappy cornerback who does not back down from a challenge – even when facing larger receivers. In addition to what he can do as a slot corner and return man, Jones has gotten some snaps on offense as a wide receiver.

The Broncos were at the Washington State pro day where they were able to scout cornerback Jaylen Watson up close. He’s a larger corner with the wingspan to bat passes away regularly. Watson knows how to use his size, and he can bully receivers at the line of scrimmage. A two-year player at the FBS level, Watson is a late-round prospect who needs to further develop his game.

Every team was at Alabama’s pro day earlier this year, but the Broncos might have been there to see cornerback Jayln Armour-Davis. He only started one year for the Crimson Tide, so he’s one of those players who could be a better pro than he was in college. Armour-Davis has length and plenty of speed to his game, but he lacks discipline which may come with more experience.

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Private workouts show the Broncos are interested in drafting a cornerback