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2013 NFL Draft has depth, big question marks at CB

There is little consensus on the 2013 NFL Draft, save one: Defensive back is the deepest position.

Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner had been considered the near-unanimous No. 1 cornerback in the draft until about a week ago, when some analysts, such as NFL Network's Mike Mayock, pumped up Houston's D.J. Hayden as the best overall cornerback in the draft.

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Hayden's rise was so unexpected (due to concerns about his freak injury), Bob McGinn, in his draft series for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, polled 16 personnel men over the past three weeks and hadn't heard Hayden's name until a week ago.

The defensive back with the most question marks in McGinn's series was, of course, LSU's Tyrann Mathieu.

"He's a hell of a punt returner, but he's not that great a player," one personnel man told McGinn. "Besides, we got enough guys on our team that smoke dope. Why do I want one that might be smoking it in his room the night before a game?"

Nine of the 12 personnel people McGinn asked said they wouldn't draft or sign Mathieu.

Mathieu didn't even make McGinn's top 10 cornerbacks ranking. However, it only takes one team to fall in love with the undersized corner.

"I did not want to like him, but he is fantastic," one scout said. "I know he's five-eight and three-quarters, but when you watch that tape all he does is make plays, and he's an excellent returner. He moves from the corner to the slot. He could play safety. And does he hit. Wow. If you're a wealthy team, you take a shot."

The 12 scouts had little agreement about which round the cornerback formerly known as "The Honey Badger" would be drafted: second round (one vote), third round (five), fourth round (three) and fifth round (three).

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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