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Who are the best cornerbacks in the NFL?

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by Prime Time, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. Prime Time

    Prime Time RODerator

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    Antonio Cromartie: Darrelle Revis and I are NFL’s best cornerbacks
    By NATE DAVIS


    [​IMG]
    CBs Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie (31) formed quite a tandem for the Jets. (Alan Maglaque, USA TODAY Sports)


    Judging from the hefty contracts Joe Haden, Darrelle Revis and Richard Sherman signed this offseason — not to mention the money Patrick Peterson is due next year after his 2015 option was activated — they stand at the top of their profession, and each could make an argument as the NFL’s best cornerback right now.

    Another corner has already weighed in with his own verdict.

    “To me, right now, it’s either me or (Revis),” Antonio Cromartie said Thursday on NFL Network’s NFL Total Access.

    “You got three young guys that are up and coming, but right now it’s either me or (Revis) when we’re healthy. … We have zero help at all; we tell the safety to roll up to the other side. So we know what we can do. I want these guys (Sherman, Peterson and Haden) to be on an island by themselves and play zero coverage (no safety help) – they (haven’t done) it yet. They haven’t done anything that me and Revis have done in a Rex Ryan defense.

    “Yes, (Sherman) has been playing great for these past two years, but I think my 2012 season versus his 2012 season was a lot better than his season; that was the season when Revis went down.”

    To review, Cromartie and Revis were New York Jets teammates from 2010 through 2012, though Revis missed most of that final season with a torn ACL, giving Cromartie an opportunity to shine as New York’s lockdown corner.

    However Cromartie struggled noticeably last year while battling injuries, while Revis seemed somewhat miscast in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ scheme, though he did return to the Pro Bowl in the season after having his knee rebuilt.

    Sherman’s 20 INTs for the Seattle Seahawks since 2011 are tops in the NFL in that span, but he gets nitpicked for playing primarily on the left side and not shadowing the opposition’s No. 1 wideout. He also benefits by playing with elite secondary mates in the “Legion of Boom.”

    The Arizona Cardinals’ Peterson usually locks up with No. 1 wideouts, but some have left him looking ordinary.

    Haden has shown steady improvement for the Cleveland Browns and is coming off his first Pro Bowl season but probably isn’t quite ready to be an all-pro.

    “When you think of the best corner in the game, you think about guys matching up one-on-one as Prime Deion Sanders did. Mel Blount did the same thing back in the Steelers days,” Cromartie added. “And what Richard has done, he has done that for his defense. But also, at the same time you have two all-pro safeties (Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor) back there. And another thing, you have another corner, they would rather throw at the other corner rather than throw at you.”

    Cromartie, now Peterson’s teammate in Arizona, will likely be that second guy targeted more often, just as he was while playing with Revis.

    Tabbing the top corner is really a matter of preference anyway. Sherman’s size and hands make it dangerous to challenge him. Revis probably remains the league’s best technician. And few defenders are more dangerous with the ball in their hands than Peterson.

    But even if Revis and Cromartie were still playing together, they probably wouldn’t be the league’s best tandem.

    Here are our top five CB combos:

    1. Sherman, Byron Maxwell (Seahawks): They were No. 1 and 2, respectively, in QB rating against in 2013 — Sherman (36.2), Maxwell (47.8) — according to Pro Football Focus. Maxwell was much better than solid after stepping in for Brandon Browner midway through last season.

    2. Revis, Browner (Patriots): It should be fun to see what Bill Belichick’s defense can do with a guy like Revis erasing one side of the field. Browner, who is suspended for the first month of the season, is a Pro Bowl-caliber talent whose size (6-4, 221 pounds) makes him effective against bigger targets.

    3. Peterson, Cromartie (Cardinals): If Cromartie’s hip is right and Peterson continues to polish his game, they could make an argument to climb this list.

    4. Aqib Talib, Chris Carter (Broncos): Carter is excellent in the slot but also showed he could play outside effectively while replacing Champ Bailey last season. Talib is another big body (6-1, 205 pounds) who can even match up with tight ends.

    5. Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings (Bears): Tillman has long been one of the league’s more underrated players, but few are as effective at creating turnovers. He has 36 INTs and 42 forced fumbles in his 11-year career. Jennings has developed into a Pro Bowler over the past two seasons.
  2. PolarBear

    PolarBear New Member

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    I agree for the most part, but Cleveland's duo could be top 5 w/ Haden and Gilbert depending on how well Gilbert plays.
    Dieter the Brock and LACHAMP46 like this.
  3. LACHAMP46

    LACHAMP46 Well-Known Member

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    some of those combo's will fall off the map....Seattle is missing some serious pressure up front...NE players seem old, so do the Bears...Lots of injury prone players in this list...
    LazyWinker likes this.
  4. Memento

    Memento Ser Memento (alias, The Winged Knight).

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    Joe Haden is the best cornerback in the NFL. Revis is coming off of a major injury, Cromartie's mouth can't cash his kid's checks, and Sherman is a douche who benefits from Thomas and Chancellor shadowing the receivers he faces.
  5. TheDYVKX

    TheDYVKX Well-Known Member

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    Grimes is the best CB to me, so underrated. See him play a lot, and he's incredible.
  6. Prime Time

    Prime Time RODerator

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    Shutdown Corner's Overrated and Underrated: Cornerback
    By Frank Schwab

    This offseason, Shutdown Corner's Frank Schwab and Eric Edholm will look into what is overrated and underrated in all aspects of the NFL. We fully expect your angry emails and comments that are sure to follow.

    OVERRATED AND UNDERRATED: Cornerback

    OVERRATED

    Eric Edholm: Patrick Peterson

    Peterson is a very good salesman and a better athlete.

    He has sold his coaches on lining up him mano y mano against some of the league’s best receivers in man coverage. Peterson also has convinced them to let him moonlight on offense and special teams with his exceptional, game-breaking athleticism. That confidence and those skills will lead to him earning a monster contract, one way or another, after this season.

    The thing is, whoever signs him will be overpaying.

    Peterson is not, as he has asserted, the best — or one of the five best — cornerbacks in the NFL. He’s outside that group until further notice. But credit where credit is due: By taking on Richard Sherman in debate, the guy has made people think he is. Some NFL teams will buy (or have bought) into it, too.

    Peterson can match well with the modern NFL No. 1 receiver such as Julio Jones, muscling and running with them. That’s his forte — getting physical and getting into those players’ heads with his mouth, his athletic gifts and his man-cover skills.

    But smart, savvy and quicker receivers can give him fits. Double moves still befuddle Peterson. Yes, he can do things that 90 percent of corners cannot, but Peterson is still attacked regularly and beaten with some level of frequency that keeps him out of the elite category.

    Although Peterson is great, he’s not yet one of the truly elite corners in the game until he shows he can cover consistently the way Sherman or Darrelle Revis do. He’s close but not there yet — only in his mind.

    Frank Schwab: Antonio Cromartie

    Cromartie had a great 2007 season, with 10 interceptions, and that's when he started being considered one of the best cornerbacks in the game. He also hasn't done a ton since then.

    Cromartie moved on from the Chargers to the Jets, and next season he'll be with the Cardinals. Unless Cromartie can recapture his 2012 season (which was legitimately good), all Arizona will be getting is the post-2007 Cromartie, which is a corner who makes a big play here or there but generally gives up plenty, too.

    Here is where Cromartie ranked among NFL cornerbacks in Pro Football Focus' grades each season after 2007: 113th, 45th, 45th, 56th, 16th, 103rd. Last season PFF had him giving up seven touchdowns (only three cornerbacks allowed more) and quarterbacks had a 100.7 rating when they threw his way. Somehow he made a Pro Bowl last year, which says a lot about the Pro Bowl.

    Cromartie recently said on NFL Network that he thinks he and Darrelle Revis are the best cornerbacks in the game. Ummm, no. And many do hold Cromartie in high regard still. The results don't back that up.

    UNDERRATED

    EE: Lardarius Webb

    Even last season coming off a knee injury, it was clear that Webb was the Ravens’ most dependable corner, and each week he was tested by some of the league’s best players of various shapes, sizes and skill sets.

    He could match up with big receivers as the team’s left corner, he can play the right side if needed and Webb also can shift into the slot as the team’s nickel. The fact that he’s 5-foot-10 and 179 pounds, and as confident and competitive as he is speaks to the fact that he won’t back down from any challenge.

    For proof of that toughness, Webb did not back down from a practice scrap the other day with new wide receiver Steve Smith, which likely earned instant respect from Smith as the two seek to make each other better.

    That’s what you want in a No. 1 corner. Watch him come up and support the run or blow up screen plays. Watch him run with fast receivers. Check out the game tape of the second half of the season, when Webb started to look healthy again, against players such as Alshon Jeffery, Antonio Brown and A.J. Green.

    Webb is set to turn 30 this year, which is hard to believe, but you watch: With a more solid Matt Elam on the back end and better pressure up front, Webb will show a year removed from knee surgery that he’s worthy of far more respect than he receives currently.

    FS: Richard Sherman

    The circus surrounding Sherman has created an interesting dynamic.

    He suddenly became the most discussed non-quarterback in the NFL, truly starting with the perfect storm of him giving a really fired up interview with Erin Andrews at the end of the NFC championship game. That led to a couple weeks of Sherman in the Super Bowl spotlight, and away we go. All of a sudden people who know maybe 10 non-Manning NFL players were debating Sherman.

    Many people do not like Sherman. He talks too much for their taste. That's fine. Some football contrarians have started in on Sherman, saying he's just a system player who operates in an easy-to-manage zone. Patrick Peterson made that argument mainstream by getting in a Twitter fight with Sherman.

    If you wanted to say Sherman is overrated, I understand the argument. He gets more attention than plenty of players who are probably better, including Darrelle Revis, who is the NFL's best corner. But here's why I think he has become underrated: There are a lot of voices debating everything about Sherman, but if you ignore the madness look at himjust as a football player, it's plain to see that he's absolutely fantastic.

    All the stats he likes to cite about how good he is might be annoying, but they are true. His 2013 season was unbelievable. According to Pro Football Focus' coverage statistics, he gave up 29 catches for 348 yards and a touchdown all season. Quarterbacks had a 36.2 rating on passes thrown to receivers being covered by Sherman, and that's a ridiculous number. And he made big plays.

    Everyone remembers him batting away the pass to Michael Crabtree that was intercepted and led to the Andrews interview. His pick-six against Houston in Week 4 also led to an overtime win and absolutely helped shape the Seahawks as contenders early in the season. He might get a lot of attention, but he has the chops to back it up.

    And the criticisms that the system helps Sherman are a bit misplaced. If plugging a player into a Cover-3 defense made any cornerback Richard Sherman, every team in organized football would run it. Players land in advantageous systems all the time. That doesn't matter if they can't play. To say Sherman is just a product of the Seahawks' system is insinuating anyone can do what he does, and that's false.

    When someone brings up Richard Sherman now, unless you're hanging out with a lot of serious football fans, the discussion isn't going to drift toward how well he plays his position. That's too bad. Because as far as simply on-field performance goes, the sideshow around Sherman seems to be starting to overshadow how good of a football player he is.
  7. LazyWinker

    LazyWinker New Member

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    Charles Tillman is one of my favorite CBs. He's not the best anymore but I don't believe anyone was better at getting the football out of player's hands than he did when he was in his prime.
  8. Elmgrovegnome

    Elmgrovegnome Well-Known Member

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    I was hoping the Rams would sign Grimes when he was injured. Could have gotten him on the cheap and then maybe kept him. He is a very underrated Corner.
    TheDYVKX likes this.
  9. NJRamsFan

    NJRamsFan Cocaine Cowboy

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    Janoris Jenkins and tru Johnson are the best tandem in the nfl don't care what anyone says
    TheDYVKX and HometownBoy like this.
  10. HometownBoy

    HometownBoy STL sports aficionado

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    Darrelle Revis has been painfully overrated lately, dude hasn't been solid since his injuries but everybody keeps treating him like he was the caliber that he was in New York.
    NJRamsFan likes this.
  11. TheDYVKX

    TheDYVKX Well-Known Member

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    He was definitely above average, coming off an ACL tear AND he was a fish out of water in the zone scheme they ran, but he adjusted. He took something he's not particularly strong at in playing zone, and made it more of a strength. He shut guys down, and he deserves every bit of attention that comes his way, he was still one of the best even with his circumstances.

    He definitely wasn't the same player, but he was still very very good.
    Faceplant likes this.