The NFL regular season opener is one week away, just a little reminder to keep you guys foaming at the mouths. In exactly 3 days we'll get the beginning of what I believe will be an amazing season, orchestrated by some of the most talented players that we have come accustomed to viewing. So in a celebration like mood, I will be ranking the best defensive skill players by position in the NFL. However this is not the same old simple 1-10, the rules are different. So here is the criteria for Gold and Silver players.
Gold Players: Plays at an elite-championship level, determines the outcome of a game based of his performance, creates mismatches for the entire offense , is a premiere weapon on the field, & is rated in the upper level of his position.
Silver Players: Plays at an elite-championship level, impacts a game based of his performance, creates a mistmatch for his assigned player, is a featured weapon on the field, & is rated in towards the mid-level of his position.
Gold Corner Backs: Darrelle Revis, Carlos Rogers, Lardarius Webb, Johnathan Joseph, & Nnamdi Asomugha
- Darrelle Revis is without a doubt the best corner in the game, and arguably the best defensive player. Revis Island finished with 52 tackles, and 4 interceptions last season. His stats may be low on the interception side but name me another corner who continues to shut down the opponents best receiver week to week, and has QBs avoiding his side. I expect another shut down year from the game's best corner.
- Carlos Rogers fits the mold of Jim Harbaugh's 49er defense. Tough, smart, and skilled. So it was a no brainer that he made the Pro-bowl last season finishing with 43 tackles, and 6 interceptions. With that vaunted 49er pass rush look for Rogers to take advantage of pressured QBs once again this season.
- Lardarius Webb has turned into one of the best corners the NFL has to offer in such a quick time span. Webb finished with 67 tackles, and 5 interceptions last season. His coverage skills are top notch, and it doesn't hurt to be on that Raven's defense. Look for Webb to have another great year, a pro-bowl year.
- Johnathan Joseph struck gold when he found a new home in Houston. That Texan's defense is top 5, and with a pass rush that features the likes of talented rookie J.J. Watt pressured QBs most likely dealt first hand with Joseph. Battiling injury last season he finished with 44 tackles, and 4 interceptions. Look for Joseph to stay healthy, and have an even better season.
- Nnamdi Asomugha is top 5, and was hailed as the NFL's second best corner. Despite his season woes last year many still feel that way. In my opinion him finishing with 40 tackles, and 3 tds is not acceptable, and he must have a bounce back season to still be behind Revis. On an Eagle's defense as talented, and deep as it is Asomugha must get it together.
Silver Corner Backs: Corey Webster, Joe Haden, Champ Bailey, Brandon Flowers, & Antonio Cromartie
- Corey Webster has quietly been one of the best corners in the NFL. Last season was a pro-bowl like year for him with 51 tackles, and 6 interceptions. Last season he faced some of the best receiving cores due to that remarkable Giant's schedule which had the likes of DeSean Jackson, Dez Bryant, Jordy Nelson, and Roddy White. There is nothing much to take away from him or to add. He gets the job, and I'm sure he'll get it done this season.
- Joe Haden is young, and getting better with every season. The Brown's franchise defender had a good season with 65 tackles, a forced fumble, and a sack. The interceptions will come as long as the Brown's put more talent on the front line. Look for Haden to keep getting better with every season, including this season.
- Champ Bailey was once hailed as the best corner in the game. Father time got to him however, but the guy has still got it. Last season he finished with 39 tackles, 2 interceptions, and a forced fumble. If he can stay healthy and away from minor injuries look for Bailey to have better numbers on this new, and improved Broncos team.
- Brandon Flowers isn't talked about like other corners in this leauge. However he's just as talented, the man had a great season with 59 tackles, and 4 interceptions. Now that his former partner Brandon Carr has left from Kansas City and found a home in Dallas look for Flowers to have even greater impact in the Cheifs defense.
- Antonio Cromartie may be picked on in the media, and the field at times, but he still is one of the best corner's in the NFL. Last season amongst the media whirlwind around the New York Jets Cromartie finished with 45 tackles, a forced fumble, and 4 interceptions. If he does more playing than talking he could have an even better season.
Thanks for reading the Gold & Silver rankings for the skill positions. As the season approaches we look forward to some amazing NFL action.
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