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Most Productive Cornerbacks - 2017 (So Far)
By Keith Van Wagner
Special to gzl-football.com

Most Productive Cornerbacks - 2017 (So Far)

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 83 CBs, which is in line with the average number I look at towards the end of the year. Last year, for example, at the mid-point I ranked 80 CBs.

Some interesting notes on the rankings. Joe Haden and Nigel Malone are off the charts. Last year at the midpoint, the top CB Sean Smith had a rating of .619. Some familiar faces from last yearís rankings -- Akwasi Owusu-Ansah and Matthew Diaz both made the end of the year ranking in 2016. The Bucs may be asking, hey, whereís Aqib Talib. Though he had 3 picks, he didnít have enough deflections or catches allowed to qualify. Perhaps weíll see him in the end of the year rankings. It seems thereís always one team who has 2 CBs in the Top 10. This time itís Houston with Nigel Malone and DeAngelo Smith.

There were some high profile rookies taken at the position this year. Sherman went first overall but is currently ranked 58th with a 1.692 rating. Demarius Stonewall isnít far behind at 68th but has a 2.286 rating. Justin Gilbert who went 13th overall didnít qualify. Darqueze Dennard did qualify, but is near the bottom, ranked 75th with a 3.000 rating. Vontae Riggins is ranked 80th. The highest rank rookie appears to be Phillyís Alan Hill, taken late in the 2nd.

The worst CB who qualified? That distinction goes to Darius Butler of the Colts. Coming off a year where he had 4 picks but didnít qualify because he had so few catches allowed or deflections, Butler goes in the other direction this year Ė 0 picks, 1 deflection and 10 catches allowed.

Hereís the top 10:

1. Joe Haden, CLE (CB Efficiency: .417)
2. Nigel Malone, HOU (.471)
3. Matthew Diaz, ATL (.565)
4. Steven Yates, SEA (.579)
5. Patrick Robinson, NO (.667)
6. Greg Toler, CHI (.706)
7. Eric Victorino, BAL (.722)
8. Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, DAL (.778)
9. Claudio Ambellina, TB (.800)
10. DeAngelo Smith, HOU (.867)
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