Carrington Valentine Complete NFL Draft Profile (Taming Aggressiveness is Key to Upside)
By Larry Rupp
Kentucky cornerback Carrington Valentine is eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft following his standout college career. A consistent playmaker in the Wildcats secondary, Valentine improved with each passing season and could now hear his name called as early as the fifth round at the end of April.
Here's everything you need to know about Carrington Valentine heading into the 2023 NFL Draft.
Carrington Valentine Draft Stock & Mock Draft Projections
Mock draft sources accurate as of 4/26: NFL.com, ESPN, CBS Sports, Walter Football, Sporting News.
Projected Draft Round: Round 5 (2), Round 7 (1), Undrafted (2)
Projected Team: Browns (1), Commanders (1), Texans (1)
Carrington Valentine Scouting Report
Valentine committed to Kentucky out of high school and appeared sparingly as a freshman, logging 9 total tackles and 1 pass breakup in six games. He stepped into a bigger role as a sophomore in 2021 and tallied 61 total tackles (1.5 for loss) to go along with 5 pass breakups and 1.0 sacks in 13 games.
The Ohio native found similar success in 2022, posting 48 total tackles (1.5 for loss) as well as a team-high 10 pass breakups and his first career interception. Valentine is an intriguing cornerback prospect considering he displayed elite speed as a wide receiver and kick returner in high school.
Highlighted strengths of Valentine's game center around his aggressiveness. He excels when it comes to being physical with opposing pass-catchers and forcing them to haul in the ball through contact. Valentine also thrives when it comes to shedding blockers to make tackles on screen plays.
Carrington is not a prospect without flaws, though, as his physicality can get him in trouble when covering bigger wide receivers. His reliance on taking away the deep ball leaves him vulnerable to short/intermediate routes, too. Nevertheless, Valentine has the skill set to develop into a reliable CB.
Carrington Valentine NFL Draft Prediction
Valentine is not a player capable of holding his own from day one, meaning he will likely only be worth being out on the field as a special teams player as a rookie. However, his ceiling is much higher than that if he can work on his technique and figure out how to use his aggressiveness to his advantage.
As for Valentine's best fit, the Bengals stick out as a landing spot. Cincinnati utilized Tre Flowers a ton when it came to covering tight ends last year, yet he remains a free agent. Valentine has the size to take over that role sooner rather than later with the help of defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo.
The Bengals already hosted Valentine on a pre-draft visit, so assuming they have any bit of interest in the Kentucky standout is a fair assumption to make. Cincinnati drafted three defensive backs during the 2022 NFL Draft and could go a similar route by taking Valentine in the fifth or sixth round here.
Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals (Round 5, 163th overall)
Check out more NFL Draft content from The Duel:
Carrington Valentine NFL Combine Results
Carrington Valentine Kentucky Stats
Tackles For Loss
Carrington Valentine Kentucky Highlights
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.