Top 10 in 2014: The best cornerbacks in the NFL today

Credit: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports

Typically speaking, sports fans tend to worry about two things – the past and the future. They’ll debate who was the greatest player of all-time, while also spending hours discussing whether or not a rookie is going to be develop into an All-Pro.

Both are fun exercises, things that keep fans engaged and the beer flowing at the local tavern. But they miss out on what is most important – the present.

Forget about yesterday. Never mind tomorrow. Let’s talk about today.

Who are the best players in the NFL right now? Who can help a team win the Super Bowl this season? Who is writing a legacy with each passing week?

Those are the questions the editors at cover32 seek to answer in this series, “Top 10 in 2014.” In the coming weeks, every position – as well as head coach, general manager and other off-field areas – will be graded, evaluated and ranked.

The series continues with a position that has become so important that it’s now home of the league’s most high-profile divas – cornerback. Having a player who can neutralize the opposition’s top offensive weapon is vital to a defense, which is why a shutdown corner garners such a hefty salary. And being one of the few players in the league who fall into this category puts guys in rarified air, a status that turns them into the game’s biggest prima donnas.

Let the debate begin!


10. Aqib Talib

Despite his trouble past, Talib keeps finding a home

Talib is an incredible talent, having snagged 23 interceptions during the first seven seasons of his career. But the fact that 2014 will see the cornerback on his third team in as many years is a sign that he brings a lot of baggage to the table. Yes, Talib can be a neutralizer – see what he did last season to Jimmy Graham – but his act of getting in trouble off the field and being high-maintenance on it eventually wears thin.

9. Brent Grimes

Grimes earned a hefty payday in Miami

After six solid seasons in Atlanta, Grimes made his debut with the Dolphins in 2013. And despite some criticism from fans who had unreasonable expectations, the veteran cornerback delivered in a big way. He started all 16 games, grabbed four picks and became a cornerstone of Miami’s defense. As a result of his fine play, the Dolphins rewarded him with a four-year, $32-million deal during the offseason.

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  • Mr. FLAcoln

    Yeah…..Desmond Trufant was the 3rd rated CB by PFF. QB’s completed less that 45% of their passes thrown at him. He should have been DROY. Teams actually started throwing away from him half way through the season. Not saying he’s top 3, but he’s definitely top 10.

  • Anonymous

    How is Keenan Lewis not on here….?

    • AnonymousToo

      He should definitely be on there before Tremain Brock and I’m a Falcons fan. I would have to say Desmond Trufant is better than some on this list as well.

  • Ray

    What?? No Charles “Peanut” Tillman???? (Stats taken from Chicago Bears team website) …..”Pro Bowl nods in each of the last two seasons (2011 and 2012) Ranks third in franchise history with 33 interceptions, second in INT return yards (606) and holds team records for defensive TDs (9) and INT return TDs (8)…Has started 142-of-146 career games played, recording 892 tackles, 33 INTs, 109 PBUs, 39 forced fumbles, 3.0 sacks, and 8 fumble recoveries… His 39 forced fumbles since 2003 are the most in the NFL Ranks eighth in the NFL overall and fifth among cornerbacks in INTs since his rookie season. 9 defensive return TDs are tied for fourth most in the NFL since 2003 and his 8 interception return TDs are tied for second most. This future HOF player is coming off injury, but is healthy, reliable and extremely dangerous. (Just ask “Megatron”) …

    • Jason

      They have Tillman at #11.

  • Matt

    Charles Tillman’s technique for stripping the ball away will be a technique that will be taught in high school, evaluated in college and coached in the NFL as we enter the era of less contact especially an unprotected receiver. That alone should crack your list of the top ten. As a writer you should think more “outside the box”

  • Jason

    The Bears might be great this season! Last year #2 in scoring offense, 2 top 15 CBs, Jared Allen, everyone is healthy. The only question is if we can STAY healthy. If so, Bears 11-5 or 12-4.