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Green Zone League Articles

2020 GZL Most Productive Cornerbacks (FINAL)
By Keith Van Wagner
Special to gzl-football.com

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 around 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 76 CBs, which is in line with the average number I look at, though slightly higherAt the mid-point I ranked 77 CBs, so obviously pretty close.

Some interesting notes on the rankings. First, if you recall at the midway point, Claudio Ambellina was having a historic first half of the season. He had 7 interceptions and a CB Efficiency rating of .600, which is just bananas. In the second half of the season, however, Ambellina fell off a cliff and tumbled down to 16th overall. Not horrible as a total, but what it means is that over the last 7 weeks of the season he has a Rating of 2.01, which if that had been his season long pace, heíd have ended up ranked around 64th overall. Very much the a tale of two seasons. A similar story for Buffaloís Keith Schultz who was ranked 2nd at mid season. Schultz tumbled to 15th, which suggests his back half of the season was much like Ambellinaís. Of the Top 10 from midseason, only Braylon Bender, Commodore Bell, and Jordan Poyer make the season ending list. Perhaps the biggest fall of all was Dallasís Walter Willis. Willis was 9th on the list at the halfway point, but finished 54th overall.

Also, it is worth noting home dominant the Ravensís secondary was this year. The Ravens had THREE players in the Top 10 Ė DeMarcus Milliner, who is now 6 picks away from being the all-time leaders, Sanders Commings, and Eric Victorino. Itís common for at least one team to put two Corners in the top 10, but their performance this year is unprecedented. Itís no wonder the team is 12-4 heading into the Playoffs.

There were 5 rookies taken at the position this year in the first round. Of these, only 4 qualified and only 1, Kyle Fuller, played respectably. Fuller finished 32nd overall, which is pretty good.

Vernon Hargreaves was taken 6th overall and was the 71st rated CB. Don Slade, taken 14th did a little better coming it at 67th. CB Chikae Reeder of the Patriots finished dead last amongst all qualifies with a 4.29 Rating. Thatís pretty bad, especially for the 13th pick overall. That being said, this list usually features poor performances from rookies, but those same players frequently inhabit the Top 10 in a couple of years.

Hereís the top 10:

1. Camden Pietarila, DAL (CB Efficiency Ratio of .727)
2. Commodore Bell, ARI (.814)
3. DeMarcus Milliner, BAL (.824)
4. Braylon Bender, NE (.825)
5. Dre Hall, HOU (.844)
6. Jake Meadows, OAK (.880)
7. Sanders Commings, BAL (.957)
8. Steven Yates, SEA (.963)
9T. Jordan Poyer, TB (1.000)
9T. Eric Victorino, BAL (1.000)
9T. Matthew Diaz, ATL (1.000)
9T. Jacob Reed, SEA (1.000)
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