One of the best cornerbacks in the upcoming draft is Eli Apple of Ohio State, who has the Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars lined up for visits next, but he might end up meeting half the league if rumors are to be believed.
Apple, or more accurately the Atlanta Falcons made some headlines when it leaked that they interviewed the cornerback and asked him if he liked men, which stirred up some minor controversy that has since blown over. The 20-year old who grew up in Pennsylvania and played high school in New Jersey was a redshirted freshman for the Buckeyes when he played a part in their national championship campaign in 2014, playing 15 games and picking up three interceptions. He played in 13 games last season as Ohio State won the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame, with Apple being named the defensive MVP of the game.
How early does he get picked? He’s going in the first round, but where? Some think the Chicago Bears, as early as #11, take him. The Miami Dolphins at #13, the Kansas City Chiefs at #28 and the Pittsburgh Steelers at #25 have also been mentioned, but as we’ve said, it seems almost every team in the league with picks outside the top 10 (which is a bit of a stretch for him) are considering taking Apple, with some, more than others, having a need for a cornerback.
Apple looks like the kind of player who won’t have too much adjusting to do when he plays at the pro level. He’s big and long, and even more than that, very aggressive when going for the ball. He does have a problem of being called for penalties and using his hands too much when trailing a receiver, while his awareness at the end of routes needs to be improved. However, he’s not just a physically gifted prospect but simply a very good player, who should do well very early in his NFL career, taken in the top 15 or closer to the second round.