Wide receivers were once considered the divas of the NFL, but that torch has passed to cornerbacks. So who will be the best in 2014?
#5 – Keenan Lewis – New Orleans Saints
There probably wasn’t a more impactful free agent signing in 2013 than when the New Orleans Saints swiped cornerback Keenan Lewis away from Pittsburgh. His addition helped their defense become one of the best in football. Now, thanks to the signing of safety Jairus Byrd and the drafting of corner Stanley Jean-Baptiste, quarterbacks won’t be able to avoid Lewis as much as they did last season. That means he’ll have a chance to truly prove what the Saints already know.
#4 – Darrelle Revis – New England Patriots
Many NFL pundits remain loyal to Darrelle Revis as the best corner in football but the numbers don’t reflect that since he returned from his knee injury. Still, the New England Patriots might be a perfect new home for him. Bill Belichick is at his best when employing man-to-man defensive schemes. Together with the added bonus of playing with fellow corner Brandon Browner, Revis should get opportunities he hasn’t had since playing with Antonio Cromartie with the Jets.
#3 – Joe Haden – Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns rising star is locked in for the long haul. Joe Haden has become one of the best lockdown corners in the business despite the ongoing turmoil surrounding his coaching staff and front office. His numbers were good last season, but have a chance to get even better. That is thanks to the Browns drafting Justin Gilbert in the 1st round. The rookie comes in rated the most gifted cornerback in the 2014 NFL draft class, especially suited to play press coverage. His presence on the opposite side will force teams to take their chances with Haden, which is of course music to his ears.
#2 – Richard Sherman – Seattle Seahawks
The self proclaimed best cornerback in the NFL played like in 2013, finishing with a league-leading eight interceptions and guiding the Seattle Seahawks to a championship. There is no reason to think his skills will diminish anytime soon at age 26 but his hold on the top spot might slip a little bit given the losses the Seahawks suffered on defense through free agency. There is also no telling how he or the team will react with the crown on their heads. Sherman is definitely in competition for the top spot but a number of factor should hold him back from it.
#1 – Patrick Peterson – Arizona Cardinals
One such factor, much to his dismay, will be the guy who has been trash talking with him since the 2013 season ended. Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson was not shy in his opinion of Sherman, stating the Seahawks star was good but that his success came from covering space rather than locking down actual receivers. It’s boastful talk considering Sherman has the edge in stats, which is why Peterson needs to backup his talk in 2014. Thanks to improvements in the secondary and a solid pass rush, he will do just that.