Bleacher Report's Matt Miller has returned with his B/R NFL 1000 rankings, where he ranks players at different positionsbased on grades in different areas, much like how Pro Football Focus does. The list of the top 101 NFL cornerbacks was released and Arizona Cardinals fans will be pleased to see two players on their team make the list.
But it is beyond that. Not only are two Cardinals among the top 101 cornerbacks, they have the two best -- Tyrann Marthieu and Patrick Peterson.
Mathieu is ranked number 1.
Mathieu gets a total grade of 95/99. His only deduction is in coverage, where he is graded 71/75. He gets a perfect 10 for run defense and a perfect five for tackling, as well as a perfect nine for position value.
Before tearing his ACL late in the year, Tyrann Mathieu was forcing his way into the Defensive Player of the Year conversation. It doesn't matter how you tag him or where he lines up on the field, Mathieu will excel. He has quick feet to mirror slot receivers while possessing the physicality and ball skills to fight tight ends and bigger receivers for the ball when it's in the air. Mathieu's size (5'9") can be a problem, but he can do a lot of things in space that bigger defensive backs are incapable of doing.
Peterson is just behind the Badger, getting a 93/99.
Peterson gets a perfect 75 for coverage. He gets 5/10 in run defense and 4/5 in tackling.
Patrick Peterson enjoyed the best season of his career in 2015. He has never been a bad cornerback, so any criticism of his coverage should always have been viewed in that context. The biggest difference for him in 2015 as opposed to previous years was his ability to hold up while playing more aggressive coverage. Peterson wasn't easily bumped away by bigger receivers, instead showing off his impressive hand usage and quick feet to disrupt the timing of his assignment's routes.
The only interesting thing is that the Cardinals list Mathieu as a safety. He does play in the slot most of the time, but he is a safety in their defense. So the best corner in the league isn't even a corner.
Richard Sherman is just behind Peterson and Josh Norman makes the top 10.
Would you have put Mathieu and Peterson at the top?