NFL Network's Ike Taylor, a former 12-year NFL cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, has named his top ten cornerbacks heading into Week 1 of the 2017 season.
Take it away, Ike:
Next up:After the breakout year Bouye had a year ago, which helped him land a five-year, $67.5 million deal with the Jags, I can't leave him out of the top 10. He's got great feet and good vision, but he needs to work on his hands. Not that I have room to talk ...
Next up:is coming off an impressive rookie campaign that landed him among at the end of 2016. In coverage, Ramsey allowed 48 catches on 90 targets for 703 yards, two TDs, two INTs and a 68.0 passer rating against. He adjusted to the speed of the NFL and balled out in the final stretch of the season, recording 13 passes defensed and two INTs from Weeks 13 through 17 after only having one pass defensed and zero picks up to that point. Believe that he'll pick up where he left off in his sophomore campaign.
Next up:Rhodes broke out in 2016 (five picks, a 39.2 passer rating against) and allowed the second-lowest completion percentage (48.8) of any defensive player with a minimum of 60 targets. I expect nothing less this year. Like Patrick Peterson, Rhodes has a LeBron James-type build and uses his size, speed and what he's learned from veteran Terence Newman to dominate opponents. The one red flag I have on him is he cost the Vikings 113 yards from penalties last season. If he can keep the penalties in check, Rhodes could take over the league.
Next up:An older version of Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib understands route combinations and brings a relentless attitude to the Broncos' D. He brings everything to the table, but I wonder if speed will be an issue for the 31-year-old. It'll be interesting to see how he does in his 10th season or how many more years he'll play corner. I could see him moving to safety in the next couple years before calling it quits.
Norman is capable of being one of the top three corners in the league -- we've seen glimpses of dominance in his last two seasons -- but his actions continually cause flags to make their way to the turf. Norman drew 14 penalties in 2016, the most of any player in the league. But this guy is all attitude, and I'm interested to see what he does in his second season in Washington. Norman is a turnover machine -- using Charles Tillman's "Peanut punch" move several times last year -- and he's going to need to ball out with the offenses he'll face in the NFC East.
Next up:Jenkins proved to be worth the money in his first year in the Big Apple, allowing 37 catches on 81 targets for 425 yards, two TDs, three INTs and a 54.8 passer rating against. There's no doubt Jackrabbit is in his prime, and practicing against Odell Beckham, Brandon Marshall and the rest of the Giants' pass catchers elevates his play. Jenkins opens the season against Dez Bryant and the Cowboys, which shouldn't be too much for him to handle after looking at last year's results. Jenkins allowed only one reception on eight targets to Dez in 2016, and forced a fumble after the lone catch. Expect a similar result Sunday.
Next up:. Peters set the league on fire since his first day in the NFL, and no one's put the flame out yet. He's young and confident with the best instincts of any corner in the league. Peters' consistency in his first two seasons -- 14 INTs, most in the NFL in that span -- is so impressive. He followed his Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign with another stellar performance in 2016, allowing 51 catches on 89 targets for 652 yards, three TDs, six INTs and a 63.5 passer rating against. Peters, who's unafraid of getting beat and has a short memory, is a savage corner who can play in any system. My Week 1 prediction: Peters picks off Tom Brady.
Next up:Some say Harris lacks the ideal size but his near perfect technique and unbelievable footwork put him among the premier corners in the league. He's so good in and out of transition and has no wasted movement. Harris has the ability to travel with No. 1 receivers but doesn't because the Broncos have so much depth at the position. Don't be surprised if Harris finishes the year at the top of this list.
Next up:If Sherman is 1a, Peterson is 1b. With a LeBron James-type build, the Cardinals' CB1 is the most athletic player on this list and is counted on to take care of business against top wideouts every Sunday. He's got a knack for the football and should have another Pro Bowl, if not All-Pro, season.
Next up: last year's Week 1 rankings, before falling off the list completely by Week 3. I don't see a drop-off like that happening to Sherman.I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone that Sherman sits here after what he did in 2016: He allowed 44 catches on 85 targets for 624 yards, two TDs, four INTs, 64.0 passer rating against. He was great in coverage and shut down top receivers weekly. Sherman does so many things well and sets the standard for all other CBs. He has the attitude, ball skills, awareness and vision, and the one thing that puts him above my No. 2 corner, , is his ability to tackle. Expect to steer clear of Sherman on Sunday. Since 2012, the QB has targeted Sherman just 11 times in five meetings, while targeting all other corners 70 times during that span. In those five games, which includes the postseason, Sherman has allowed eight receptions but zero touchdowns and has picked off Rodgers once. Side note: Darrelle Revis was my top corner in
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