The Fierce Five: NFL’s Top 5 Defensive Backs

The game of football looks differently than it ever has before. The majority of teams have all but given up on running the football. The game is dominated by passing. This means that those defensive players who can stop the passing game are more valuable than ever. Whether they be at the safety or cornerback position, defensive backs are finally beginning to catch up to the opposing offenses. We’re going to look at the top 5 defensive backs in the league today.


1. Josh Norman, Carolina Panthers

Norman has had his best season since coming into the league 4 years ago. A relative unknown prior to this season, Norman has burst on to the scene by smothering star receivers, Julio Jones and Odell Beckham. This first-time Pro Bowler has propelled his team to a 15-1 season, and a legitimate shot to contend at a Super Bowl title.


2. Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks

Though he’s entering just his 5th season, it feels like he has been around forever. Sherman is one member of the infamous “Legion of Boom,” which is the nickname for Seattle’s defensive secondary. Sherman and his legion have led the Seahawks to back to back Super Bowl’s and have set the standard as to how modern day defenses should be constructed. Sherman is almost undoubtedly the best cover-3 cornerback the game has ever seen.

3. Devin McCourty, New England Patriots

Devin McCourty should not be on this list if stats were all that we looked at. McCourty is on this list because of his importance to the defending Super Bowl Champion, New England Patriots. McCourty sets the tone for how the team plays defensively, and works to protect the young secondary of the Patriots. He is the best player in their defensive secondary and whenever one of the young corners makes a mistake, McCourty is there to make sure that mistake isn’t costly.


4. Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks

Another member of the Legion of Boom, Thomas is one of the best run stopping safeties in the NFL. Paired with Kam Chancellor, this set of safeties is far and away the most talented and hardest hitting tandem in the league. Earl and Kam are the two most important players on the entire Seahawks roster. Their combination of pass and run coverage is unparalleled and is the reason that the Seahawks are the best defensive team since the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. Panthers fan are probably thinking, where??


5. Reshad Jones, Miami Dolphins

Many people will not recognize this name, but Jones has been the most productive defensive back in the entire NFL. With 135 tackles, 5 interceptions, 15 pass deflections and 2 touchdowns; Jones showed there was not much he couldn’t do on the football field. The reason Jones could not be higher on this list is because of the underachievement of the Dolphins; a team some considered to be the favorites of the AFC East.

–Michael Hersey