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2024 NFL Draft prospect profile: Ennis Rakestraw Jr, CB, Missouri

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By: Chris Pflum

Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Can Rakestraw fit in the Giants’ secondary?

The quarterback and wide receiver classes are getting the lion’s share of the attention in the 2024 NFL Draft. However, this draft is quite deep at other premier positions as well, and this is a great group of cornerbacks. There’s plenty of talent at the top of the draft class, as well as hidden gems who could help out almost any scheme run in the NFL.

Missouri cornerback Ennis Rakestraw Jr. is one of those players who won’t be for every team, but his quickness and fiery competitiveness will win him fans among coaches.

The New York Giants are undergoing a shift in defensive scheme and philosophy that will make them less dependent on elite physical traits at the cornerback position. Could that make Rakestraw a potential value fit for them?

Prospect: Ennis Rakestraw Jr. (2)
Games Watched: vs. Kansas State (2023), vs. LSU (2023), vs. South Carolina (2023), vs. Georgia (2023)
Red flags: Groin/abdominal injury (2023)


Kent Lee Platte (@mathbomb) |


  • Quickness
  • Agility
  • Feet and hips
  • Off/Zone play
  • Competitive toughness
  • Tackling

Ennis Rakestraw Jr. is an athletic, versatile, and highly competitive cornerback prospect.

Rakestraw aligned across the Missouri secondary, playing left and right cornerback, as well as the slot, and played in press-man, off-man, and zone coverages. He has adequate size at 5-foot 11 ⅜ inches, with long (32 inch) arms for his height. Rakestraw is a bit thin at 183 pounds, however he doesn’t allow that to influence his physicality.

He’s at his best in off or zone coverage, allowing him to make use of his high football IQ, and processing, as well as his athleticism. Rakestraw is an active communicator throughout the pre-snap phase and after the ball is snapped. He does a good job of coordinating with his teammates to make sure receivers are efficiently picked up and passed off in zone coverage and schemed traffic doesn’t disrupt the defense.

He has very quick feet and fluid hips, allowing him to efficiently change direction and stay with receivers throughout their routes. He also has a great burst out of transition, covering a lot of ground with his first couple steps and arriving at the ball in a hurry. Taken as a whole, his agility, fluidity, and burst allow him to play much faster than he times.

Finally, Rakestraw is an impressively competitive player. He gives great effort in coverage and run defense, and often plays with the kind of nasty streak you like to see from an offensive lineman. He doesn’t back down from bigger offensive players and is a willing hitter in run defense or at the catch point.


  • Size (mass)
  • Long speed
  • Press-man coverage play

Rakestraw’s play in off coverage shows a very high football IQ, but that doesn’t quite translate to his play in tight man coverage. He has the feet and hips to stick with receivers throughout their routes in man coverage, however he seems to allow himself to get hyper-focused on his man and little else in those situations. There are instances where he can get caught up in traffic that he would easily navigate from an off-man technique. Likewise, Rakestraw can stay with clear-out routes too long and fail to come down to help with underneath plays.

It’s also worth noting that Rakestraw lacks ideal mass or speed for the position. He plays bigger and faster than he measures, however a lack of mass and his 4.5 speed can show up on occasion. In particular, he can struggle a bit to get off blocks from bigger receivers or bring down stout running backs. Likewise, he can struggle to keep up with – or run down – more athletic receivers in the open field.

Teams might have concerns that while Rakestraw is disruptive at the catch point, he’s only had one interception in his career (as a Junior in 2022). He has small hands at 8 ½ inches, which could be why he struggles to haul in interceptions when he has the opportunity.

Teams will also want to do their due diligence on the groin and abdominal injuries that ended his season, held him out of the Senior Bowl, and limited him at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine.

Game Tape


Ennis Rakestraw Jr. projects as a starting cornerback at the NFL, though his exact usage will likely vary from team to team.

Defenses that primarily run Cover 2 or Cover 4 schemes can use him all over their secondary. That will allow him to keep his eyes in the backfield and use his quick trigger to be disruptive across the field. Teams that run more man coverage heavy schemes might view Rakestraw as a slot or nickel option. There, his run defense and quickness in close quarters will be highlighted, while he wouldn’t have to run downfield with receivers as often.

Rakestraw isn’t a perfect cornerback and lacks some of the traits shared by the elite at the position. However, he has enough in his favor to be a good player at the NFL level. He’s the type of defender who might not get a lot of press, but gives opposing offensive coordinators headaches.

Does he fit the Giants?
Potentially yes, if the Giants embrace more zone coverage in their secondary.

Final Word:
A later Day 2 value

Originally posted on Big Blue View