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Draft Preview: Top five cornerbacks

After addressing the cornerback position via free agency and the draft in recent years to supplement 2011 undrafted gem Chris Harris Jr., the Broncos are unlikely to look at cornerbacks early.

For those teams that target cornerbacks early, there's quality at the top of this year's class ... including potential No. 1 overall pick Jalen Ramsey.

1. JALEN RAMSEY
Florida State - 6-1 - 209
Arm:33 3/8 inches- Hand:9 1/2 inches

40-yard dash: 4.41 seconds (6th among 30 Combine CBs measured)
Bench press: 14 repetitions (T-14th among 27 Combine CBs)
Vertical: 41 1/2 inches (1st among 29 Combine CBs)
Broad jump: 11 feet, 3 inches (1st among 28 Combine CBs)
Short shuttle: 4.18 seconds (T-11th among 22 Combine CBs)
3-cone drill: 6.94 seconds (T-7th among 20 Combine CBs

Ramsey's size and range has led to some consideration of him as a safety, to the point where he's being listed in some draft rankings at that position. While he could have a mid-career transition to safety, a la Ronnie Lott in the 1980s, his speed, quickness and athleticism set him up to be a lockdown cornerback, and the best play is probably to leave him there in the short term.

2. VERNON HARGREAVES III
Florida - 5-10 - 204
Arm:30 5/8 inches- Hand:8 3/4 inches

40-yard dash: 4.50 seconds (T-17th among 30 Combine CBs measured)
Bench press: 15 repetitions (T-11th among 27 Combine CBs)
Vertical: 39 inches (4th among 29 Combine CBs)
Broad jump: 10 feet, 10 inches (3rd among 28 Combine CBs)
Short shuttle: 3.98 seconds (3rd among 22 Combine CBs)

He's a bit longer and heavier than Chris Harris Jr., but he has the same kind of tenacity, quickness and footwork as Harris. He is scheme- and task-independent; he can succeed as well in man or press coverage as he can in zone. He tracks the football well, leading to 10 interceptions. His average straight-line speed might cause some concern, but he makes up for it with quickness and explosion.

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The NFL Draft is less than a month away, and analysts are beginning to zero in on the prospects they think the Broncos will select. For 11 of these 19 mocks, it is a quarterback. [AP photos]

  1. MACKENSIE ALEXANDER** Clemson - 5-10 - 190
    Arm:31 3/8 inches- Hand:9 1/8 inches

40-yard dash: 4.47 seconds
Vertical: 37 1/2 inches
Broad jump: 10 feet, one inch
Short shuttle: 4.21 seconds
3-cone drill: 7.18 seconds
* All results from his Pro Day

Alexander's tight coverage and technical proficiency allow him to play bigger than his frame would indicate. Alexander allowed just 19 receptions for 258 yards last year, per ProFootballFocus.com, and did not allow a touchdown. The biggest question on Alexander revolves around his ball skills; although he is adept at breaking up passes, he did not intercept any at Clemson.

4. ELI APPLE
Ohio State - 6-3 - 200
Arm: 31 3/8 inches - Hand: 9 3/8 inches

40-yard dash: 4.4 seconds (5th among 30 Combine CBs measured)
Bench press: 13 repetitions (T-18th among 27 Combine CBs)

After flourishing as a big-play cornerback in 2014 -- including an interception of Marcus Mariota that clinched the Buckeyes' 2014 national championship -- Apple was more of a lockdown coverage cornerback in 2015; per ProFootballFocus.com's calculations, he allowed just one touchdown reception last year. He also has a good combination of height, reach and speed that is only matched by Houston's William Jackson III.

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  1. KENDALL FULLER** Virginia Tech - 5-11 - 187
    Arm:31 1/2 inches- Hand:10 inches

A torn meniscus ended his 2015 season after three games, but he remains a good prospect because of his aggressiveness and ball skills, borne out in his eight interceptions during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster often leaves his cornerbacks on islands in one-on-one coverage, and Fuller's gambling style led to some deep receptions at his expense in 2014.

Fuller did not work out at the Combine or the Hokies' Pro Day because of his knee injury, but expected to be at full strength for some private workouts with teams later this month. He has the speed and quickness to succeed, and should get more support, which will ensure he doesn't need to take as many chances in coverage.

OTHERS OF NOTE:

James Bradberry, Stanford
Anthony Brown, Purdue
Artie Burns, Miami (Fla.)
Juston Burris, N.C. State
Taveze Calhoun, Mississippi State
Maurice Canady, Virginia
Ken Crawley, Colorado
DeAndre Elliott, Colorado State
Deirdre Hall, Northern Iowa
De'Vante Harris, Texas A&M
Xavien Howard, Baylor
William Jackson III, Houston
Cyrus Jones, Alabama
Jonathan Jones, Auburn
Harlan Miller, SE Louisiana State
Eric Murray, Minnesota
Kevin Peterson, Oklahoma State
Jimmy Pruitt, San Jose State
Will Redmond, Mississippi State
Rashard Robinson, LSU
Keivarae Russell, Notre Dame
Zack Sanchez, Oklahoma
Kevon Seymour, USC
Lesion Sims, Southern Utah
Ryan Smith, N.C. Central
Cleveland Wallace, San Jose State
D.J. White, Georgia Tech
Daryl Worley, West Virginia
Tavon Young, Temple

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