As we approach the 2023 NFL season, the spotlight is on the cornerbacks, the defensive stalwarts who can make or break a game with their ability to shut down the opposition’s receivers. To provide a deeper insight into these athletes’ potential impact this season, NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger has ranked the top 10 cornerbacks for NFL.com. Let’s delve into this list and analyze each player’s strengths and potential contributions.
Top 10 Cornerbacks for the 2023 NFL Season
- Sauce Gardner, New York Jets: The reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year, Gardner’s length and flawless technique make him a formidable opponent on the field.
- Patrick Surtain II, Denver Broncos: Known for his next-level film study and ability to disrupt timing with the quarterback, Surtain is a rising star in the league.
- Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans Saints: Lattimore’s competitiveness in man coverage and excellent tackling ability make him a key player for the Saints.
- Xavien Howard, Miami Dolphins: With the most interceptions in the league since 2016, Howard’s terrific hands and disciplined eyes make him a turnover-creating machine.
- Denzel Ward, Cleveland Browns: Ward’s understanding of route combinations and quick footwork make him a standout player in the Browns’ secondary.
- Jaire Alexander, Green Bay Packers: Coming off his best season, Alexander’s extreme athleticism and strength make him a formidable opponent on the field.
- Jalen Ramsey, Miami Dolphins: Despite a recent injury, Ramsey’s size, physical play, versatility, and leaping ability make him a key player to watch.
- Marlon Humphrey, Baltimore Ravens: Humphrey’s ability to force fumbles and match up with many No. 1 receivers make him a complete corner for the Ravens.
- Stephon Gilmore, Dallas Cowboys: Known as “Gilly Lock,” Gilmore’s deep understanding of the game has allowed him to lock up receivers on a weekly basis for over a decade.
- Charvarius Ward, San Francisco 49ers: An undrafted free agent signee, Ward’s understanding of man-to-man defense and great technique have made him the top cornerback on the league’s top-rated defense.
As we gear up for the 2023 NFL season, these top 10 cornerbacks are set to make a significant impact on the field. Their unique skills, from flawless technique to the ability to force turnovers, will undoubtedly shape the dynamics of the games and potentially the season’s outcome.
However, it’s important to remember that the NFL is a league of unpredictability and constant change. Injuries, team dynamics, and off-field issues can all impact a player’s performance and availability. Therefore, while these rankings provide a snapshot of the current landscape, the true test will come when these athletes take to the field.
As fans and analysts, we can look forward to another thrilling season of NFL football, where new stars may emerge, records could be broken, and these top cornerbacks will strive to justify their rankings. The countdown to kickoff has begun, and anticipation is building for what promises to be another exciting chapter in NFL history.