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Top 10 Cornerbacks Entering the 2018 NFL Season

by Glenn Kaplan
by Glenn Kaplan

It is very important for a cornerback to be able to be physical, cover, play man-to-man, and zone defense very well. There job is to get into the head of a wide receiver and make him frustrated. There have been times before cornerbacks and wide receivers have gotten into scuffles because of how high their emotions get.

Some cornerbacks are fast and some of them also play on special teams. If teams don't have at least two good cornerbacks, there secondary will be burned a lot in the passing game. Who are the top 10 cornerbacks entering the 2018 NFL Season?

10. Casey Heyward, Los Angeles Chargers: Heyward is the number one corner on the Chargers with Jason Verrett being sidelined again this season. Los Angeles has a very underrated defense and Heyward is very good in coverage. He had 40 tackles and forced one fumble and recovered two. Casey Heyward also picked off four passes and had 22 pass deflections.

9. Xavier Rhodes, Minnesota Vikings: When opponents go up against Rhodes, the road seems to be closed most of the time. He is physical on and off the receiver. Xavier Rhodes is the top corner on the Minnesota Vikings, but having Trae Waynes on the other side can also sometimes make his life easier. Rhodes had 56 tackles and two interceptions. He also had 10 pass deflections.

8. A.J. Bouye, Jacksonville Jaguars: Bouye played second fiddle to Jalen Ramsey the entire the 2017 season, but A.J. Bouye didn't mind. The Jaguars had a very good defense last season. Bouye is physical and I am not sure how he would be a true number one cornerback on another team. A.J. Bouye had 56 tackles, six interceptions, and 18 pass deflections last season.

7. Chris Harris Jr., Denver Broncos: When it was Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib at cornerback last season for the Denver Broncos, it was 1A and 1B for them. With Talib being traded to the Los Angeles Rams this past offseason, Harris Jr. is the number one corner. He is a threat to change the game at any moment. Chris Harris Jr. has great defensive instincts. He had 40 tackles, one forced fumble, and two interceptions. Harris Jr. only had seven pass deflections last season.

6. Marcus Peters, Los Angeles Rams: Peters has been a good cornerback ever since he been in the NFL. Marcus Peters has a nose for the ball, but he has some attitude problems. Peters was ejected from a game last season against the New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs suspended him for a game. With just one year left on his contract, the Chiefs decided to trade him to the Los Angeles Rams. Marcus Peters is 25 years old and he is going to be getting paid a big contract by some body after this season. Peters had 46 tackles, forced four fumbles, and recovered two of them. He picked off five passes and had nine pass deflections.

5. Aqib Talib, Los Angeles Rams: Talib was tough to throw against last season. He and Chris Harris Jr. were shutting it down in the secondary. Aqib Talib was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in the offseason and he will now be paired up with Marcus Peters in the Rams secondary. Talib had 31 tackles and one forced fumble. He had one interception and it was returned for a 103-yard touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys at home in Week 2. Aqib Talib also had seven pass deflections.

4. Darius Slay, Detroit Lions: Slay might be the most underrated cornerback in the NFL. All he does is make plays in the secondary and force turnovers. Slay picked off eight passes last season and had 26 pass deflections. He had 60 tackles and recovered one fumble. The Detroit Lions secondary wouldn't be as good with out Darius Slay.

3. Jalen Ramsey, Jacksonville Jaguars: Ramsey has developed into one of the best cornerbacks in the league and he is also a trash talker. Jalen Rasmey usually backs up his talk and he claims his Week 1 battle with Odell Beckham Jr. will be a show. He could be right but he could also be wrong. Ramsey is physical and he is great all around. Jalen Ramsey was the fifth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was one of the reasons why the Jaguars had a very good defense last season and reached the AFC Championship Game. Ramsey promised a Jaguars Super Bowl win after they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road in the AFC Divisional Road, but he will have to work harder to get there. Jalen Ramsey had 63 tackles and four interceptions. He had 17 pass deflections.

2. Richard Sherman, San Francisco 49ers: A lot of quarterbacks do not like to throw it Richard Sherman's way because he will either pick it off or deflect the pass away. Sherman plays on one side a lot, but he is very effective at it. He was one of the reasons why the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl in 2014. They should have won it in 2015, but that's a story meant to be told for another day. Richard Sherman was released in the offseason by the Seattle Seahawks and he decided to sign with the San Francisco 49ers for three years. Sherman will alone improve that 49ers secondary. He will be a leader inside the locker room and Richard Sherman will be a great mentor to the younger players. He is 30 years old, but he still plays at a high level. Sherman had 35 tackles, two interceptions, and seven pass deflections last season with the Seattle Seahawks.

1. Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals: Peterson is the most skilled and athletic cornerback in the NFL. He also returns punts and Patrick Peterson has returned them for touchdowns before in his career. He is one of the main players on a very underrated Arizona Cardinals defense. Peterson is very tough to throw against and he usually shut downs opposing receivers. Patrick Peterson had 34 tackles, one fumble recovery, and one interception. He also had eight pass deflections.

This article was originally published on @gk18