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Raiders land cornerback with famous name in draft simulation

Updated April 25, 2022 - 6:32 pm

The Raiders aren’t scheduled to pick until the third round of the NFL draft after trading their first two selections for star wide receiver Davante Adams.

It’s difficult to project which players might be available Friday by the time the Raiders are on the clock for the 86th selection.

Throughout the week, we will let a computer do it for us. The Review-Journal will run a mock simulation each day through The Draft Network’s draft tool and break down the prospect who is selected for the Raiders.

Monday’s choice was cornerback Coby Bryant of Cincinnati.

The Raiders believe in their starters at the position, but there is still a pretty clear need for an influx of depth and young talent.

Bryant could help in those areas.

In the exercise, Bryant went immediately ahead of running back Rachaad White of Arizona State.

Bryant is coming off a tremendous season for the Bearcats’ stifling pass defense, recording three interceptions and breaking up 11 passes.

While teammate Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner is seen as a near-certain top-10 pick, Bryant won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back.

Gardner credited Bryant with playing a large role in helping develop him into an elite prospect.

“He’s a great player,” Gardner said at the combine. “He’s going to be a great locker room guy. A great leader and a great person in general.”

While Gardner’s physical assets and ability to play press man coverage have scouts and pundits drooling, Bryant is more of a grinder. He thrived as more of a field corner opposite Gardner and should fit well in a zone scheme. His ball skills were by far his biggest strength at Cincinnati, and he’s willing to mix it up as a tackler.

“I was always like this; this is the mentality I was born with,” Bryant said. “My dad has it, my brother has it.

“I feel like I bring leadership to a team. I’m an alpha male. I have a different mentality. Ball skill, tackling. A lot of things. I try to separate myself from the rest.”

Bryant has an understanding of what it takes to make it in the NFL because of his close relationship with New Orleans Saints star Marshon Lattimore, who was a few years ahead of him at Cleveland’s Glenville High School.

“He’s a big brother to me,” Bryant said. “I’ve been watching him since I was 7 years old, we grew up together, so I kind of try to model myself after him.”

Of course, his name conjures images of another superstar athlete. Bryant is indeed named after the famous basketball superstar, but his parents changed the name so Coby could shape his own legacy.

He has done a pretty good job of that. Bryant helped the Bearcats to the college football playoffs last season, where he changed his number from 7 to 8 in honor of the late Kobe Bryant.

Now Bryant is set to embark on his own professional career. It’s possible that could start with the Raiders.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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