Since it’s the end of the NFL season we’re going to be sharing with you our observations from this season in out Top 5 series. We start today with the NFL’s newest crop of lockdown cornerbacks. These guys are relentless.
Over the last decade the NFL has transformed into a league dominated by the passing game. Defensive backs haven’t been able to catch up to these high powered offenses and near inhuman athletes that play wide receiver. But this year things are changing. Games are being changed by cornerbacks. Star receivers are not even being looked at through the course of the game. This is because the usually depthless cornerback position is tired of being embarrassed. We’re going to look at the best 5 newcomer corner backs to enter the league in the last few years
A relative unknown until this year, Norman is requiring quarterbacks to avoid his side of the field at all costs. Norman is a surefire candidate for defensive player of the year, but when looking at what he has done, deserves MVP consideration. Norman the defensive leader for the undefeated Carolina Panthers. Norman has 4 interceptions, 2 defensive touchdowns and when he is thrown at quarterbacks have a sub-50 QBR. Need I say more?
After making the biggest play in Super Bowl history, this undrafted free agent has been one of the most solid young cornerbacks in the league. After opening up the season by getting torched by Antonio Brown, Butler has settled into his role. Butler leads the relatively unknown secondary of the New England Patriots to become one of the best defenses in the league. The thing that makes Malcom Butler so good is his knack for locking down the opposing teams #1 receiver, just ask Odell Beckham.
He may seem like he’s been around forever but this young stud is just 25 years old. Peterson is an athletic freak that has the physical ability to cover any receiver in the NFL. Peterson also maybe the most versatile player on this list showing his abilities not only on defense, but on special teams and offense.
Chris Harris Jr.
Regarded by some as the second best cornerback on his own team. Harris is a young stud giving the Broncos one of the most impressive defenses this year. One reason why Harris isn’t higher on this list is his tendency to cover each team’s number two receiver, as Aqib Talib takes on the more challenging tasks.
Who? Darby could be Rex Ryan’s next Darelle Revis. This rookie is currently Pro Football Focus’ #3 cornerback. Sure a lot of this could be because of the scheme he plays in, as blitzing is a corners best friend. But this virtual lockdown corner is looking to be one of this year’s best draft picks.