football Edit

Past or present: Comparing Missouri's 2023 & 2024 cornerbacks

Spring ball and the spring transfer portal are long behind us, which means Missouri's roster is taking more of a definitive shape. So now is as good a time as any, to compare the 2023 team to this year's team.

PowerMizzou will make a position-by-position comparison. Next up, are the cornerbacks. We'll do just the top four scholarship players on the depth chart for this group.

2023 vs. 2024: Missouri scholarship cornerbacks
2023 2024 Advantage

Kris Abrams-Draine

Drey Norwood


Ennis Rakestraw

Toriano Pride


Drey Norwood

Marcus Clarke


Marcus Clarke

Several players



It's not hard to see why the Denver Broncos spent a fifth-round pick on Kris Abrams-Draine in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Tigers CB1 had a great season in 2022, racking up 48 tackles and 14 pass deflections. He upped his game in 2023 and recorded 51 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 13 pass deflections, four interceptions (career-high) and a forced fumble en route to a first-team All-SEC selection.

It would be hard to ask Drey Norwood to play as well as Abrams-Draine did last year.

Rakestraw was the second Tiger picked in the recent draft going to the Detroit Lions in the second round. He recorded 35 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, four pass deflections and a forced fumble in nine games.

If Abrams-Draine was CB1, then Rakestraw was CB1A and on any given Saturday could be the former.

Statistically, Clemson transfer Toriano Pride can record better stats than Rakestraw did last year. However, those are lofty expectations to expect Pride, who recorded 14 tackles, a tackle for loss and four pass deflections in 12 games, to be able to have the impact Rakestraw did.

During spring ball, head coach Eli Drinkwitz said he believes Norwood is an All-SEC caliber player. The former Texas A&M Aggie had 20 tackles, three pass deflections and a fumble recovery in 12 games.

After two seasons being the team's CB3 behind Abrams-Draine and Rakestraw and having one of the better spring camp performances there's a good reason for his optimism.

Marcus Clarke was second on the team in interceptions last year behind Abrams-Draine with two. He also had 12 tackles and a pair of pass deflections.

Clarke will have more of a role as CB3 this year but Norwood had the luxury of starting five games in place of Rakestraw when the latter missed time due to a groin injury. So, unless an injury happens, don't expect Clarke to put up the same stat line especially with this being a three-safety team instead of a three-cornerback team.

Several players could occupy the CB4 role. Clarke did a decent job at it last year but there isn't a clear-cut favorite for the spot right now.

Freshman Cameron Keys had a good spring camp and has established himself as one of the fastest players on the team.

Ja'Marion Wayne, who has been listed as a safety and wide receiver in his career, joined the cornerback room and also impressed during spring ball.

Nic DeLoach, Shamar Mcneil, Trajen Greco and Jaren Sensabaugh are other options for cornerback coach Al Pogue and defensive coordinator Corey Batoon.

Other scholarship cornerbacks: DeLoach (R-Fr.), McNeil (Fr.) Greco (Fr.), Keys (Fr.), Sensabaugh (Fr.)

Overall advantage: 2023

A position group with a first-team All-SEC selection and a second-round pick as your 1-2 punch at cornerback is hard to beat.

This position is probably one of the more questionable ones on the team heading into 2024. Literally, after Norwood, there's just a lot of unknowns. Can Pride be the pickup they expect him to be and produce consistently as a starter? How will Clarke fare in an increased role? Will Wayne finally see the field consistently? Will one of the redshirt or true freshmen break into the lineup?

The group has talent but can they put it all together? We'll see in a couple of months.

Other comparison profiles 


Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive line

Defensive ends

Defensive tackles


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