Justin Layne, Cornerback, Michigan State
Like Cashman, Michigan State cornerback Justin Layne is shooting up draft boards. In fact, some are even saying that he may be the best in this year’s crop of defensive backs. It turns out the cornerback class is not as talented as it was touted at the beginning of the pre-draft process, and while others are slipping on draft boards, Layne is taking full advantage.
Layne was a converted receiver at Michigan State, and started the past two seasons for the Spartans in the secondary before deciding to forego his Senior season. Throughout his career in East Lansing, Layne recorded three interceptions, and knocked down an additional 24 passes.
He went to the combine earlier this month, and looked fluid during on-field drills, and given his background as a receiver, Layne has no problem high-pointing footballs in mid-air. Layne ran a 4.5 flat 40 yard dash, jumped to the tune of a 134 inch broad jump (97th percentile of all cornerbacks), and hit 37½ inches on his vertical jump.
Measuring at nearly 6’2 with a 80 inch wingspan, Layne has the build to become the next lanky, lockdown corner at the next level. His stock is still on the rise, so if he is there at the 39th pick and Tampa Bay wants him, they’ll have to take him then.