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. Iíve tweaked this over the years, but I feel like this captures most, if not all, of those who should qualify. This year I allowed in 2 Corners who had 4+ interceptions who had deflections/catches allowed in the high teens. In total, I ranked 76 CBs, which is in line with the average number I look at towards the end of the year.
Some interesting notes on the rankings. At the midway point, Pittsburgh had 2 Corners make the top 10, Samuel Price and Antonio Smith. At the end of the season, they still have 2, but Brady Shields replaces Smith. Smith managed to finished 17th overall, a testament to the Steelersí defensive prowess. Marquis Robinson managed only 1 interception on the year but made the list based on the strength of his league-leading 35 deflections. Robinson has been an interception machine since coming into the league and even though this yearís totals represent the lowest in his career, he still had a great season. CB Desmond Trufant led the league in interceptions with 8, though he didnít crack the top 10. However, Trufant has nothing to be ashamed of, his CB Efficiency of .944 was good for 13th best overall. Six players tied for third in the league with 6 picks each. Interesting that two of these, Matthew Diaz and Eric Victorino, both finished in the mid-40s in terms of rank. Bernard Stevens of the Giants was the only player who qualified who didnít have an interception. Stevens finished 58th overall with a rating of 1.750.
There were some high profile rookies taken at the position this year.
The first pick overall this year had been very productive during the first half of the season for the Colts. However, Waynes hit the rookie wall and fell to 6th from the bottom, after sitting at 25th overall at midseason. Chicagoís Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, taken 28th overall has also been a standout with a 1.056 rating, the 21th best in the league. The 15th pick overall, Kyle Fuller, did not qualify for the rankings. The only other first rounder, Micah Price, who was the 6th pick overall, has had a less than stellar start to his career. With 2 picks, 10 deflections and 28 catches allowed, Price is ranked 66th overall.
The worst CB who qualified?
Phillyís Quentin Hamilton who finished the season with an abysmal 5.250 CB Efficiency. Hamilton had 1 pick on the season, 2 deflections, and 21 catches allowed. Thatís pretty bad.
Hereís the top 10:
1. Samuel Price, PIT (CB Efficiency of .615)
2. Steven Yates, SEA (.667)
3. Nigel Malone, HOU (.750)
4. Brandon Hogan, NYG (.828)
5. Patrick Robinson, NO (.839)
6. Brady Shields, PIT (.846)
7. Janoris Jenkins, DEN (.861)
8. DeMarcus Milliner, BAL (.875)
9. Richard Sherman, SD (.909)
10. Marquis Robinson, KC (.919)