Disregard interceptions. That’s the first rule to apply when assessing cornerbacks. Unfortunately, it’s not a position that can be analyzed by comparing basic statistics. Making matters worse, television screens don’t give us the space needed to watch corners on each and every play. So we have to rely on more complicated numbers and studio shows that use coaching tape in order to draw conclusions.
Here at GLS, we’ve had a lot of time on our hands as of late. So we’ve done exactly that.
Quarterbacks (May 9)
Running backs (May 13)
Receivers (May 17)
Tight ends (June 1)
Offensive tackles (June 9)
Guards (June 14)
Centers (June 17)
Pass rushers (June 24)
Run stoppers (June 28)
Inside linebackers (June 30)
1. Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders
A grand total of 13 passes were completed against Asomugha in 2010. The guy is easily the best shutdown corner in the game, and has been for several years. Quarterbacks simply don’t even try to throw his way anymore, and he won’t surrender this position until that changes.
2. Darrelle Revis, New York Jets
The man with an island named after him gets all of the attention, but he’s slightly overrated. That says a lot considering he’s still second on this list, but there’s no way Revis is the eighth-best player in all of football. He still has to prove that 2009 wasn’t an anomaly.
3. Asante Samuel, Philadelphia Eagles
I want to punish him for his bad tackling and one-dimensional skill set, but Samuel was simply unbeatable in 2010. He deserved that somewhat controversial All-Pro nod. Now, imagine if the Eagles land Asomugha to team with Samuel in free agency…
4. Champ Bailey, Denver Broncos
The poor guy doesn’t have enough support in Denver. As a result, he surrendered four touchdowns in 2010. But he was still remarkably dominant the majority of the time, and he once again displayed stellar tackling.
5. Tramon Williams, Green Bay Packers
I’d say Williams has more play-making ability than Asomugha, Samuel and Bailey. In his first full season as a starter, the former undrafted free agent emerged as the best corner on a Super Bowl championship roster.
6. Charles Woodson, Green Bay Packers
While he wasn’t as good in coverage as most of the guys on this list, the 34-year-old might have become a better all-around player in 2010. He’s physical enough to come up and contribute on run defense and he’s versatile enough to pose a major threat on blitzes. In a couple of years, he might be even higher on a list of top safeties.
7. Devin McCourty, New England Patriots
Asante Samuel 2.0 single-handedly saved the Pats defense last year, intercepting seven passes while keeping stars like Greg Jennings, and Calvin Johnson in check.
8. Brandon Flowers, Kansas City Chiefs
The 25-year-old is very different from the other nine guys on this list. He’s a superb shutdown corner who doesn’t get a ton of love because he rarely plays man. He also might be the best tackling and run-defending corner in the league.
9. Vontae Davis, Miami Dolphins
A big reason why Randy Moss’ 2010 season was a nightmare, Davis did a tremendous job against a slew of No. 1 receivers last year. The future’s bright for the 23-year-old; just watch for his interception total to rise in upcoming seasons.
10. Brent Grimes, Atlanta Falcons
The little guy gave up just three touchdowns despite being the most targeted corner in the league in his breakout campaign. He’s better than big-money teammate Dunta Robinson.