TCU's Jason Verrett is a strong possibility to be the third cornerback taken in the draft, but he has his focus set on a different number: He wants to be the NFL's No. 1 defensive rookie.
"My goal is to be the rookie of the year," Verrett said on "Pro Football Talk" on the NBC Sports Network on Thursday. "The defensive rookie of the year. That's just my goal -- to lead all the rookies defensively, pass deflections and interceptions. My goal is to be the best this year."
Verrett (5-foot-9½, 189 pounds) also said he is "hands down" the best corner available.
Most analysts have Verrett behind Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert and Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard at corner, in a group with Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller and Ohio State's Bradley Roby. Gilbert and Dennard are considered first-round locks, and it seems likely that one or two other corners also will go in the first round.
Verrett said he expects to go somewhere between No. 20 and No. 32 in the draft. Philadelphia (which picks 22nd), San Diego (25th), New Orleans (27th), Carolina (28th) and Denver (31st) are teams that could be in the market for a cornerback in that area of the draft. But each of those teams also have arguably bigger positions of need.
Verrett had surgery for a torn labrum March 17; he played much of the 2013 season with the injury, and he is expected to be ready to go in time for training camp.
Gilbert had the fastest 40 time among the corners at February's NFL Scouting Combine, being clocked at 4.37 seconds. Verrett ran it in 4.38 and Roby at 4.39. But Roby and Verrett tied for the fastest unofficial 10-yard split, at 1.47 seconds.
Verrett, a California native, had nine interceptions and 34 pass breakups in three seasons at TCU; he transferred in after one season at a junior college.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.