Editor's note: This is the 14th installment in Bleacher Report's NFL 1000 for the 2013 season. This signature series runs through April 24, with NFL Draft Lead Writer Matt Miller ranking the best players at every position. You can read more about the series in this introductory article. See the NFL 1000 page for more rankings.
Richard Sherman or Darrelle Revis? You might think you know the answer, but what if you truly broke down every play of the 2013 season to see which player was better? Are Sherman and Revis the best, or does Patrick Peterson or Desmond Trufant belong in the conversation?
So who is the best of the best at cornerback?
That’s what the NFL 1000 aims to identify. Throw out the narratives and the fantasy football stats, and dig into the film. Then we’ll see who is the best.
The B/R 1000 metric is based on scouting each player and grading the key criteria for each position. The criteria are weighted according to importance on a 100-point scale.
Potential is not taken into consideration. Nor are career accomplishments.
Cornerbacks are judged on coverage (80 points), run defense (10), tackling (10) and all of the technique, athletic ability and football intelligence needed to play the position.
In the case of ties, our team asked, "Which player would I rather have on my team?" and set the rankings accordingly.
Subjective? Yes. But ties are no fun.
Each player was scouted by me and a team of experienced evaluators with these key criteria in mind. The following scouting reports and grades are the work of months of film study from our team.
The NFL’s best coverage cornerback, Richard Sherman (6’3”, 195 lbs, three seasons) has emerged as the prototype at the position. It’s rare to command the respect from quarterbacks that Sherman receives and still be able to attack the ball and create turnovers, but his eight interceptions in 2013 are evidence of that. Sherman’s speed, length and aggressive use of his body make him nearly impossible to beat. He’s excellent at coming underneath the hands of a receiver—on jump balls especially—to break up the pass. And when running with receivers, Sherman is able to play step for step to limit targets. Sherman’s length and how aggressive he is from the second the ball is snapped allow him to be in constant position to affect the pass.
Aggressive, but thin and lean, Sherman will put himself in a position to make a play on ball-carriers in the run game. He doesn’t show up as a great traffic-shedding run defender, but he can crash the edge and take away outside runs.
In the open field, Sherman is a good tackler. He shows natural strength, long arms and the willingness to get physical. He’ll dip his head too often and miss on hits, but there’s little to complain about here.
Sherman’s 2013 season may go down as one of the best you’ll see from a cornerback. Not only did he limit targets by intimidating quarterbacks and erasing wide receivers, but he also generated turnovers. That combination is rare, and Sherman continues to do it.
For ALL 100 cornerbacks, please click on source below.
by Matt Miller, NFL Draft Lead Writer | April 3, 2014
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