Top 5 Cornerback Tandems Entering the 2017 Season
1) Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr., Denver Broncos
They were the best heading into last year, and they are still the best tandem in the NFL. Talib is the leader of this dynamic duo, he is always in the right place at the right time and even after a decade, he is one of the best in the game. Harris may be unparalleled in coverage and has the best footwork of any corner in the league. Bradley Roby really puts this unit over the top as he can play outside or inside and makes this trio the most dynamic in the NFL.
2) A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey, Jacksonville Jaguars
Ramsey had an amazing rookie year for a cornerback. Ramsey was usually given the assignment of covering the other teams’ top receivers and for a rookie, Ramsey did an amazing job. Bouye established himself as one of the top corners in the game last year in Houston. He has great speed and is great at winning 50/50 balls. He have another outstanding season this year and he might just be the guy that was needed to put the Jags over the top on the defensive side of the ball.
3) Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple, New York Giants
Apple exceeded expectations last year in New York. He surprised me with his versatility and maturity that he played with. He played like a veteran as a rookie. Jenkins kind of flew under the radar last year until late in the season. He has great eyes and hardly ever gets beat by double moves, what really made this group tough last year was the ability to move Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie inside to play the slot. The Giants should only get better in 2017 and could very well end up in the top two by season’s end.
4) Malcolm Butler and Stephon Gilmore, New England Patriots
Butler is maybe the most underrated cornerback in the NFL, and he was the talk of all kinds of trade rumors in this offseason. Gilmore is a great ball hawking corner that will only get better with the coaching of defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and head coach Bill Belichick.
5) Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward, Los Angeles Chargers
Verrett was having his best season yet until a knee injury ended his season last October. The good thing about the injury was the emergence of Casey Hayward at corner. Hayward is a very intelligent player who understands situational football and teaming up with a healthy Verrett should make for a much improved Chargers defense.