With running backs and rushing as a whole being slowly phased out of football, cornerbacks have become one of the most important positions on the defensive side of the ball. There are three cornerbacks that set themselves apart from the rest at their position last season and are heading into 2023 ready to defend their title of being some of the top cornerbacks that the NFL has to offer.
Sauce Gardner had one of the strongest showing from a rookie cornerback of all time. Rarely do rookies come into the league already playing at an elite level on the defensive end. Typically, it takes them a fair amount of time to adjust to defending grown men on the professional level.
However, this was far from the case for Gardner. He would prove himself as arguably the best cornerback in the NFL in only his rookie season. He would finish the year with two interceptions, twenty passes defended, 75 tackles, three tackles for loss, and one QB hit. Along with this, he would be named to the Pro Bowl, All-Pro First Team, and win the Defensive Rookie of the Year and outright Rookie of the Year awards.
Accomplishing all of this in only his first season at the professional level is an amazing feat, and there is a strong chance that he continues to show improvements in his game as he continues to gain experience.
Jalen Ramsey has been among the top corners in the league for a considerable amount of time. Over the offseason, he would be traded from the Los Angeles Rams to the Miami Dolphins. With the Dolphins, he and Xavien Howard are arguably the most talented cornerback duo that the league has to offer.
There is a strong chance that Ramsey elevated the Dolphins to be one of the top teams against the pass. Despite the Rams struggling through the 2022 season, Ramsey would still have a very solid year finishing the season with four interceptions, eighteen passes defended, two forced fumbles, two sacks, 88 tackles, four tackles for loss, and two QB hits.
Patrick Surtain II is the heart and soul of the elite Denver Broncos secondary. He would be named to the All-Pro team in 2022 despite it only being his second season in the league. Surtain II is extremely dedicated to his craft and will likely continue to make huge strides in further improving his game.
He is an absolute lockdown corner, and most quarterbacks do not even bother throwing to his side of the field. Last season, he recorded two interceptions, one forced fumble, 60 tackles, two tackles for loss and one QB hit. With the Broncos set to have a huge bounce-back season in 2023, Surtain II will have to once again be at the top of his game for Denver to have one of the top defenses in the league.
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