The last few seasons Iíve put together articles ranking CB production based on a simple formula I developed tracking their pass defensive skills. This article tracks the most productive Corners through the mid-point of the season.
Here is what I used in my formula: Interceptions, deflections and catches allowed. I decided not to use tackles, sacks etc because, one, they aren't the CBs main duties, and two, they seem more the result of scheme and other players on the field (for example, a CB may have a lot of tackles, but it could be because the front seven are very bad).
To easily get the raw numbers below, I simply multiplied INTs x 2, added that number to the total deflections (reasoning an INT was twice as good as a deflection). Then I divided the total catches allowed by the INT/deflection number.
So for example, if someone has 5 INTs, 20 deflections and 30 catches allowed, I added 10 (5 INTs x 2) + 20 and divided 30 by 30, coming up with a score of 1.00. The lower the score the better.
To qualify, I normally look at players with at least 20 pass deflections or 20 catches allowed. Since weíre at the mid-point of the season, that number is 10 pass deflections or 10 catches allowed. Iíve tweaked this over the years, but I feel like this captures most, if not all, of those who should qualify. In total, I ranked 80 CBs, which is in line with the average number I look at towards the end of the year.
Some interesting notes on the rankings. Sean Smith leads all Corners in efficiency this year. No surprise there as he ranked 5th All-Time when I looked at career totals last season. He always seems to be near the top. Speaking of being at the top, Dominique Cromartie comes in at number 5 for the season. Last year he finished first All-Time in CB Efficiency. Is there a better CB in league history? Iíd say no. And the fact that heís had 7 picks this year in 8 games is staggering. Dallas is the only team with two CBs in the Top 10. Fat bit of good it does for the 3-5 Cowboys, says their disgruntled GM.
There were some high profile rookies taken at the position this year. Tyrone Booker of Miami has only 1 pick but has been very effective in coverage, posting a CB Efficiency Rating of 1.000 and tied for 15th overall. Not bad! Blaine Hasty, the 4th pick overall isnít doing too bad, ranked 31st overall. The 7th pick of the draft, Pete Nickerson hasnít fared as well with a CBE Rating of 2.000, good for only 63rd best overall. The only other first rounder, Kyan McGrady is a bit better at 55th overall.
The worst CB who qualified? Statistically that appears to be Akeem Hasty of the Giants, who gets a rating of 5.000 but barely qualified with 2 pass deflections and 10 catches allowed. Second worst is Jamar Taylor of San Francisco, the number 2 pick overall last year. Taylor has 5 deflections and 20 catches allowed with no picks on the year. Taylor definitely has the skills, but after a season and a half of play, the youngster has 1 pick, 23 deflections and 61 catches allowed for a CB Efficiency Rating of 2.440. Not too good, though thereís no doubt heíll improve.
Hereís the top 10:
1. Sean Smith, MIA (CB Efficiency: .619)
2. DJ Hayden, NYJ (.700)
3. Antonio Smith, CHI (.727)
4. Nigel Malone, HOU (.737)
5. Dominique Cromartie, SD (.741)
6. Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, DAL (.778)
7. Eric Victorino, BAL (.810)
8. Dre Kirkpatrick, ATL (.826)
9. Steven Yates, SEA (.833)
10. Mike Jenkins, DAL (.842)