Dallas Cowboys Draft Targets: 7 cornerbacks in 7 different rounds

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 22: Jourdan Lewis #27 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 22: Jourdan Lewis #27 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /
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Michael Ojemudia, Cornerback (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images) /

Michael Ojemudia, Iowa

Round Grade: Early 4th

Value: Correct

Percentage Available: 100%

This cornerback class has some great athletes with really good size profiles. They are sticky on wide receivers and showcase good ball instincts in man and zone coverage. While some lack strength, they might make up for it with hip fluidity and good explosiveness.

Unfortunately, the Iowa Hawkeye seems to get left out of the top cornerbacks in the draft and I’m not entirely sure why.

Ojemudia had a great day at the combine. After clocking in a 4.46-second 40-yard dash, he showcased his explosiveness with a 36-inch vertical jump, a 122-inch vertical jump, and a 4.21-second short shuttle. (The last number isn’t great but he could’ve done a lot worse.) His 3-cone drill time was excellent as 6.87 seconds was one of the fastest times on the day amongst defensive backs.

The spectacular combine should have increased his stock but there has been a lack of chatter about the Iowa cornerback. The athletic questions that appeared on tape were answered with his combine performance. That must mean something isn’t right on tape?

Ojemudia is a big physical cornerback. At 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, he can tackle and engage with the big boys of the Big 10. With 32 inch arms, he has the desired length teams look for at the position to match up outside against bigger receivers. However, Ojemudia doesn’t use his athleticism to his advantage especially in man coverage.

Iowa’s defense is fairly complex as they play a lot of zone coverage so naturally, Ojemudia has familiarity playing outside in Cover 3 and Cover 4. He is a good pattern matcher and knows how to win leverage at the line of scrimmage.

Ojemudia has a lot of ball production and a lot of that had to do with his instincts in zone coverage. He is good at reading the quarterback’ s eyes without losing track of his assignments.

Conversely, in man coverage, Ojemudia struggles to stick to his receivers. His physicality in zone coverage doesn’t translate to man coverage. He gets handsy and reacts to receivers late.

His instincts in man coverage are lacking. For someone with the athletic profile of Ojemudia, he looks stiff in the hips and looks like he doesn’t have the closing speed to make up lost ground on receivers.

While there are better man coverage cornerbacks in this draft class, Ojemudia has a clear athletic upside that several cornerbacks don’t. The development of his man coverage skills will be necessary for his success, a team with good defensive backs coaching should be doing what they can to grab the Hawkeye.