For the next installment of positional rankings, I stick on the defensive side of the ball with the top five cornerbacks in the NFL. These are the league’s top lockdown defenders on the outside and have the ability to shut downsides of the field with their ability.
The only player on this list with a Defensive Player of the Year award, Stephon Gilmore is a top-tier cornerback still available to sign in free agency. After getting traded to the Carolina Panthers during the 2021 season, NFL fans seemed to forget just how good Gilmore was in New England.
He did not perform at the same elite level as he had in the previous season, but in the right situation, Gilmore can elevate right back to an elite level. A return to the Patriots makes sense, as the team now is searching for a cornerback after losing…
One of the biggest moves of the offseason, J.C. Jackson’s signing in Los Angeles gives the team a walking turnover machine. “Mr. Int” has tallied 17 interceptions since 2020, the most in the NFL at the time.
While many questioned how Jackson would play this year after the Stephon Gilmore trade, Jackson did more than fill his shoes but was the best player on a top-five pass defense statistically.
In Los Angeles, it will be interesting to see how Jackson does away from Bill Belicheck, as New England defenders have had a reputation of declining in play after leaving the team in free agency.
When talking about the best ballhawks in the NFL, Miami’s Xavien Howard is one of the first names that come to mind. After leading the NFL in interceptions in 2020 with 10, Howard picked off five more a season ago.
Howard is part of an underrated secondary that also features Byron Jones and Jevon Holland. With high expectations in Miami next year, Howard will need to continue to play like a top-three cornerback, especially with all the new talent in the AFC.
Injuries cursed the Baltimore Ravens in 2021, and star cornerback Marlon Humphrey was no exception. After a torn pectoral muscle ended his season a year ago, Humphrey looks to lead the Baltimore defense to a return to the playoffs this upcoming year.
Humphrey’s length and athleticism make him the ideal cornerback to have on the outside, able to lock up any number one wide receiver in man coverage. While his interception numbers have never been anything to marvel at, it is largely due to the fact that quarterbacks refuse to throw the ball his way.
The consensus-best cornerback in the league, Jalen Ramsey is building together a resume that may lead him to Canton one day. He is the perfect combination of size and technical ability which gives him the ability to cover any type of wideout on the field.
After leading the Jacksonville Jaguars to an AFC championship, Ramsey’s transition to Los Angeles could not have gone better. Even with a couple of mishaps in the playoffs, Ramsey was an integral piece in getting the Rams its second Super Bowl in franchise history.