Top Cornerback Rankings: Is Jaire Alexander the top cornerback in NFL?

This past week around the National Football League, a few cornerbacks continued their rise towards superstardom, while others continued their slide down the position’s hierarchy. Carlton Davis has cemented himself as one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks entering Week 9, and Jaire Alexander has formed a deadly tandem with Josh Jackson. For this installment of our top 25 cornerback rankings, we’ll look at the best performances from various players at the position, as well as their impact on their team as we enter what should be another marvelous weekend of football.

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NFL Top 25 CB Rankings, Week 9 | 25-16

25) Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans Saints

At this point, Marshon Lattimore makes these top cornerback rankings largely on his name and the fact that he’s shown the ability to be an elite, shutdown corner worthy of a top-five placement on this list. It’s hard to give up on him when it seems his dismal season should eventually regress back to the mean, but if he has one or two more games like the one he had against the Bears on Sunday, he’ll be off the list entirely.

24) William Jackson III, Cincinnati Bengals

After missing the week prior with a concussion, William Jackson III returned to the field this week and turned in a fairly disappointing outing. Corey Davis managed to get behind him for two big 20+-yard gains, and later Jackson was unable to tackle AJ Brown, allowing him to score. With that said, his overall season performance has been enough to keep him ranked among the NFL’s best cornerbacks, for Week 9 at least.

23) Xavier Rhodes, Indianapolis Colts

Xavier Rhodes’ bounce back campaign continued in Week 8 against the Lions. His issues with long speed occasionally rears its ugly head, as it did this week on a 73-yard bomb to Marvin Hall. However, otherwise, his performance was without flaw.

22) Josh Jackson, Green Bay Packers

Josh Jackson was on the trade block this season after he barely played in 2019 as a result of landing in Mike Pettine’s dog house. Green Bay ended up not trading him, which looks to be a genius decision now as they have the perfect cornerback to pair with Jaire Alexander. While Alexander was responsible for Justin Jefferson, Jackson was on an island with Adam Thielen for the majority of the game and clearly won that matchup.

21) Troy Hill, Los Angeles Rams 

Against the Dolphins, Troy Hill’s play wasn’t quite exceptional, but he still played very well. Hill’s greatest strength this season has been avoiding the big plays, and that trend continued to ring true in Miami. With Week 9 here, no cornerback in the league has dropped back in coverage as often as Troy Hill without allowing a touchdown.

20) Jason Verrett, San Francisco 49ers

Jason Verrett made his first appearance on these rankings last week only to turnaround and hand in two bumpy performances. First, he was manhandled for the majority of his matchup against DK Metcalf and Russell Wilson, but it’s hard to blame him too much for that.

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Then, he played a mostly strong game against the Packers but was torched by Davante Adams on a 50-yard catch-and-run that would have been a touchdown if Adams hadn’t run out of bounds, before later losing Marquez Valdez-Scantling in the back of the endzone on the same drive. Verrett will have to rebound next week.

19) Darius Slay, Philadelphia Eagles

Although nothing in his performance against Ben DiNucci and the Dallas Cowboys wowed you, he took care of business and did his part to silence Dallas’ newly-inept offense. Michael Gallup made a few catches with Slay in coverage, but none of them went for big plays, making them nothing more than minor blips on the radar of an otherwise solid showing from Slay.

18) Byron Jones, Miami Dolphins

The scoreboard might not reflect it, but the Miami secondary that has fueled the team’s recent hot streak struggled quite a bit against the Rams. With Xavien Howard more or less on an island against Robert Woods, Byron Jones had to face off against Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, and Josh Reynolds and was outplayed in all instances. The whole Dolphins secondary will have to bounce back this week to keep the streak alive.

17) Jamel Dean, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Alongside Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean has led the Buccaneers to have one of the NFL’s most ferocious cornerback tandems that might be even better than the Packers’ pairing of Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson. He had another strong performance on Monday Night Football, though Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepherd each came up with big receptions against him. Outside of those two receptions; he played at a level high enough that Jones was more scared to throw in his direction than in the direction Carlton Davis, who has played like an All-Pro so far.

16) James Bradberry, New York Giants

On a moribund New York Giants operation, one could easily argue that James Bradberry has been the team’s MVP and one of the only things keeping their defense afloat. With that said, his performance against Mike Evans was not up to standard. Evans consistently was able to beat Bradberry in coverage, including for his diving touchdown grab that put the Buccaneers ahead late.

NFL Top Cornerback Rankings, Week 9 | 15-6

15) Kyle Fuller, Chicago Bears

Kyle Fuller has returned to his elite 2018 form after a down, yet still strong, 2019 campaign. That resurgence has helped power the Chicago defense in its own return to form that now has the team as a serious playoff contender. Against the Saints, Fuller had another terrific performance, though, without Michael Thomas, the Saints’ receiving core packs much less of a punch.

14) Kendall Fuller, Washington Football Team

The Fuller Twins find themselves back-to-back in these rankings of the NFL’s top cornerbacks. Considering the Washington Football Team was on their bye last week, Kendall Fuller’s slide has more to do with the incredible play of Darious Williams than it does with his own performance.

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Though Washington’s deadly defensive line has certainly made Fuller’s life much easier this season, that shouldn’t undermine how great Fuller has been in executing his responsibilities to help the defense succeed.

13) Darious Williams, Los Angeles Rams

Darious Williams remains as one of the NFL’s least-heralded cornerbacks, but don’t let that fool you into thinking he isn’t one of the best cornerbacks around as Week 9 approaches. The undersized nickel corner had another terrific game against the Dolphins, even if the rest of the Rams struggled. Between John Johnson, Taylor Rapp, Jalen Ramsey, Troy Pride, and now Darious Williams, the Rams should have a dominant secondary for years to come.

12) Casey Hayward Jr., Los Angeles Chargers

It’s hard to determine where Casey Hayward Jr. should place in these rankings of the NFL’s top cornerbacks after his performance against the Broncos. For 43 of Drew Lock’s 44 dropbacks, Hayward played with excellent technique and locked down the opposition, but his blown coverage of DaeSean Hamilton late in the game led to an easy 40-yard touchdown that made the Broncos comeback possible. As a result, Hayward more or less stays put this week.

11) Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals didn’t play this past week as they were on their bye week, but Patrick Peterson remains one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks entering Week 9. Now on the wrong side of 30, his age is clearly apparent, but alongside Budda Baker, he’s led Arizona to surprisingly having one of the best overall defenses and passing defenses, according to Football Outsiders‘ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) metric.

Continue for the NFL’s top 10 cornerback rankings.

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