One prospect who may interest the Denver Broncos on day two or three of the 2023 NFL Draft is Purdue cornerback, Cory Trice Jr. He is a 6’3”, 206-pound cornerback who is a sleeper in the draft because of his size, speed, and press coverage skills. The Athletic’s draft analyst Dane Brugler has Trice Jr. ranked as his 14th-best cornerback in the draft and his 88th overall player in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Trice Jr. played a total of five seasons at Purdue and had a pretty solid career for them. During his five-year career, he totaled 106 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, 5 interceptions, 2 defensive touchdowns, and 15 pass deflections. This past season, he totaled 34 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, 2 interceptions, 1 defensive touchdown, and 10 pass deflections.
Cory Trice Jr. is a CB prospect in the 2023 draft class. He scored a 9.63 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 77 out of 2068 CB from 1987 to 2023. https://t.co/stJNcSjvqL #RAS pic.twitter.com/VI9LcnSZzq— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 26, 2023
Weight: 206 pounds
40-time: 4.47 seconds
Arm Length: 32 3/8 inches
Hands: 9 3⁄4 inches
Vertical Jump: 35.5 inches
Broad Jump: 11’0”
Bench Press: 17 reps
- Elite size, strength, and athleticism
- Strong hands and impressive press skills
- Disrupts receivers at the line and impacts their routes
- Good ball skills
- Has long arms and good closing speed to deflect passes
- Tracks the ball well while going downfield
- Offers versatility to play safety
- Willing and capable tackler when he lowers his pad level
- Has the size and strength to potentially matchup against tight ends
- Competitive player on the field
- Will be a 23-year-old rookie
- Had a torn ACL in 2021 that hindered him some in 2022
- High pad level impacts his tackling at times
- Needs to improve his technique and is more of a size/speed corner right now
- Might be better suited to be a safety than corner
What other analysts are saying about Purdue cornerback Cory Trice Jr.
A four-year starter at Purdue, Trice was an outside cornerback in former co-defensive coordinator Ron English’s scheme. After a long road back from his 2021 knee injury, he showed noticeable rust on his 2022 tape but still graded well and posted a team-best 12 passes defended (with only one pass interference flag). An impressive height/weight/speed athlete, Trice passes the eye test with flying colors, and his testing numbers reflect his above-average athletic traits. He is a little bit of a cornerback-safety tweener and needs to play with better pad level for quicker recoveries, but he displays a great feel for reading breaks and flashes GGI (go and-get-it) skills. Overall, Trice might never be a high-level technician, but he has exceptional size, speed and change-of-direction skills to be a disruptive cover man both early and late in the rep. He offers position versatility with starting potential in press-man or Cover 3 schemes - The Athletic’s Dane Brugler
While he has legitimate strong safety size, Trice’s game is better suited for the cornerback position. He is physical in coverage but lacks the same temperament in run support. His size and strength help impede the early stages of a route and smother possession throws underneath. He’s a decent athlete but lacks ideal fluidity and speed to recover when beaten, so press and zone coverages are where he should live. While there are limitations, there is also room for technical growth to make him a better pro. He won’t be for everyone, but teams valuing size over speed will covet him as a middle-round pick with upside. - NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein
The Broncos need depth at boundary corner and I think a prospect like Purdue’s Cory Trice Jr. could provide them with just that. He has the size, length, and speed to match up against bigger receivers and has press man ability to be a disruptive press corner in the NFL.
He needs to develop his overall game to reach his potential, but he has the size, speed, and athleticism to intrigue coaches. He provides versatility and could transition to safety in some schemes.
For the Broncos, who are expected to play a lot of man coverage, I think he could find a home opposite of Patrick Surtain in their defense. He will match up well against the bigger receivers and potentially against the talented tight ends in the division. He will likely be a late day two or day three pick who could end up being a steal for some team.