NFL NETWORK draft analyst Mike Mayock once again breaks down the top draft prospects for the Daily News. He assesses the best player at each position, as well as a player who is rising up the draft board and a late-round sleeper to keep an eye on later in the draft.

Mayock, 55, resides in Newtown Square and is a graduate of the Haverford School. The former safety was a 10th-round pick of the Steelers in 1981 and played two seasons with the Giants (1982-83).

Cornerbacks

THE BEST

Name: Darqueze Dennard

School: Michigan State

Height, weight: 5-11, 199

40 time: 4.51

225 bench: 15 reps

Vertical jump: 36 inches

Arms: 30¼ inches

Round projection: 1

Mayock: "Most of the people I've talked to seem to think [Oklahoma State's Justin] Gilbert and [Ohio State's Bradley] Roby are the best athletes and therefore have the highest ceiling. A lot of people don't like Dennard. A lot of people say he's too tight and is only a press corner. But I kind of look at it the other way. He's a press corner who tackles, who's physical, who's tough. You know what you're getting. He ran a 4.51, which is fast enough. I think he'll go somewhere between 15 and 20."

THE RISER

Name: Pierre Desir

School: Lindenwood

Height, weight: 6-1, 198

40 time: 4.59

225 bench: 11 reps

Vertical jump: 35 inches

Arms: 33 inches

Round projection: 2-3

Mayock: "He's a big kid with long arms, but as raw as can be. However, because of Seattle's success, he's what teams are looking for. You don't have to run 4.4 if you can press with long arms. He ran a 4.59 and that's fine. He was at the East-West game and my first reaction was, 'Oh boy, he has no clue.' But as the week went on, he got a little better. Then he got pulled up to the Senior Bowl and to my surprise, he played better every day at the Senior Bowl against better competition. So he went from a small-school curiosity to probably a second-round draft pick."

THE SLEEPER

Name: Ross Cockrell

School: Duke

Height, weight: 6-foot, 191

40 time: 4.56

225 bench: 10 reps

Vertical jump: 36-1/2 inches

Arms: 29-7/8 inches

Round projection: 5-6

Mayock: "Cockrell is another guy with nice size. He's a press corner who started 48 games for Duke. He had 12 picks there. He's a very smart player. Can be a starting-caliber corner at the next level, but also could be a potential free-safety conversion if he can get a little bigger and stronger."

Safeties

THE BEST

Name: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

School: Alabama

Height, weight: 6-1, 208

40 time: 4.58

225 bench: 11 reps

Vertical jump: 33 inches

Arms: 32-3/8 inches

Round projection: 1

Mike Mayock: "He's long and has great ball skills. Tackles well. I think his best position is free safety because of his range and ball skills, but he's tough enough and big enough to play strong safety as well. And he can drop down and play man-to-man. So he can do it all as far as safety. Free, strong, cover the slot. I think he's going to be the first safety off the board."

THE RISER

Name: Deone Bucannon

School: Washington State

Height, weight: 6-1, 211

40 time: 4.49

225 bench: 19 reps

Vertical jump: 36-1/2 inches

Arms: 32-3/8 inches

Round projection: 2

Mayock: "He's a little bit more of a strong safety. But the more tape I watched on this kid, the more I liked him. I think he's going in the second round. He's big, strong, physical and tough. And he's got a little bit better range and ball skills than people think."

THE SLEEPER

Name: Vinnie Sunseri

School: Alabama

Height, weight: 5-11, 210

40 time: 4.55

225 bench: 18

Vertical jump: NA

Arms: 30 inches

Round projection: 5-6

Mayock: "He's coming off an ACL injury. He ran a 4.55. He's a better athlete than people think. He's the son of a defensive coach [Florida State defensive-line coach Sal Sunseri]. He's a late-draftable kid and he's going to make somebody's team. And down the road, in a couple of years, he might be a starter."

Monday: Quarterbacks and running backs