Champ Bailey, Ty Law, Ed Reed, Aeneas Williams.
Cornerbacks: Champ Bailey (2019), Ty Law (2019), Ed Reed (2019), Aeneas Williams (2014), Charles Woodson (2021).
Note that in 2019, all Defensive Backs were grouped together, and were Champ Bailey, Brian Dawkins, Ty Law, Ed Reed and Aeneas Williams. Cornerbacks and Safeties were split in 2020, but kept at four in both categories to keep everything modern. With the addition of Woodson, we now have five modern Corners, resulting in significant changes. Games increased by nearly 8, and AV/G had a minor change. Pro Bowls only inched up by .1, and First Team All-Pros dropped by the same amount. Interceptions climbed over 4, and Tackles shot up by 117.
Last Year’s Rank #21.
After going to eight straight Pro Bowls to begin his career, Peterson slipped badly, first suffering a six-game suspension in 2019, and upon his return he wasn’t the same player. He played the full 2020 season, and while he was better, he wasn’t Pro Bowl worthy. Peterson begins 2021 with a change of scenery in Minnesota, and it could be the cure. He is still marginally over the MPA for AV/G, and is on the fringe of the Hall. A comeback year should cement him as a future Hall of Fame inductee.
Last Year’s Rank #22.
In terms of name recognition, Richard Sherman is one of the most known defensive players of the past decade. Earning an All-Decade spot, Sherman had a renaissance year in 2019, earning him a fifth Pro Bowl, but things change. Prior to the 2021 Season, Sherman, who was a Free Agent, has an out-of-character incident regarding his in-laws, which can only hamper future employment and Hall of Fame chances. Still, this was a game-changing Defensive Back, who is well over the AV/G.
Last Year’s Rank #73.
The Rams believe that Jalen Ramsey is the best Cornerback in the NFL, and they went all in to get him during the 2019 season when he was disgruntled in Jacksonville. Ramsey was the top CB last season, adding a second First Team All-Pro, a fourth Pro Bowl, and posting a career-high in Approximate Value (16). He also broke over the AV/G. There is no reason to think he can’t match his 2020 in 2021.
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Last Year’s Rank #54.
Gilmore is one of the hardest on this list to rank as hewas not looking like a Hall of Famer as a Buffalo Bill, but he has been a First Team All-Pro the last two seasons, and he won the coveted Defensive Player of the Year in 2019. Anyone who wins the DPOY will gain a Hall of Fame look, but he hasn’t done enough for that jacket yet. Gilmore added a fourth Pro Bowl in 2021, though he dropped significantly from 2020.
Last Year’s Rank #57.
Don’t let Peters being on his third team in six years fool you. Peters is an excellent Cornerback who is coming off his second First Team All-Pro and third Pro Bowl two seasons ago, and he is a three-time leader in Interception Return Yards. He is just over the AV/G, which he was not last year. Peters is in better shape than you would think.
Last Year’s Rank #112.
A part of Denver’s Super Bowl 50 win, Harris is in his second year with the Chargers after playing nine years in Colorado. Harris is now past 30, and is last year in Denver was average at best. This could be a now or never situation for the Cornerback.
Last Year’s Rank #129.
A four-year veteran, White has been electric in his last two years, going to the Pro Bowl in both of them and earning First Team All-Pro honors in 2019, the year he led the NFL in Interceptions. White has been playing long, but he is an emerging leader on an excellent defense, and is primed to rocket up this list if he stays healthy.
Last Year’s Rank #Unranked.
Howard initially wanted out of Miami before the season started, but the man who is currently thought of as the Dolphins best player is still in South Beach. Howard already has over 20 Interceptions and has twice led the NFL in that stat.
Last Year’s Rank #138.
Lattimore does his job well and he was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2017. Having said that, Lattimore has never had a year where his Approximate Value of nine, nor has he had a First Team All-Pro, despite three Pro Bowls. He enters 2021 with uncertainty as an off-field issue could delay his season.
Last Year’s Rank #148.
Haden went to his third Pro Bowl two years ago and is a eleven-year NFL veteran.
Last Year’s Rank #118.
Fuller led the NFL in Interceptions with seven in 2018, where he was a Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro. The Cornerback went to the Pro Bowl two years ago, and he is entering his first season with Denver after playing his first seven with Chicago.
Last Year’s Rank #125.
Slay’s last three seasons in Detroit have been phenomenal, but it came after three average years, and a rookie year where he only played started four Games. Slay joined the Philadelphia Eagles last year hoping to build on that, but that was not the case for the Cornerback. If he does not turn it around in 2021, there is no reason to discuss him for the Hall.
Last Year’s Rank #Unranked.
Humphrey has gone to the Pro Bowl the last two years and he is on a team that are Super Bowl contenders.