No. 16: Ross Cockrell, CB, Duke
Previous ranking: No. 18
Making the case for Cockrell: Last season truly was a breakout year for Cockrell, who made the All-ACC first team after racking up 71 tackles and tying for the league lead with five interceptions. It's no wonder that he received the most votes of any cornerback on the preseason All-ACC team. Cockrell also is on three major preseason watch lists (Lott IMPACT Trophy, Nagurski Trophy, Jim Thorpe Award), so it is safe to say even more is expected of him going into his senior season. Duke has a pretty experienced group returning defensively this year, and is looking to take the next step and shore up some of the problem areas that plagued it down the stretch in 2012. There is no doubt Duke will be relying on Cockrell and his ability to make plays -- both defensively and ospecial teams -- to continue its forward momentum.