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 2021 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. In total, I ranked 69 CBs, which is a bit fewer the average number I look at Ė usually itís in the mid 70s.
Some interesting notes on the rankings. First there are 2 players who did not qualify but had 5 interceptions on the year. Claudio Ambellina of Tampa Bay had 15 deflections and 16 catches allowed. If he had qualified he would have ranked first overall with a .640 efficiency. Likewise, Johnathan Banks of Washington fell just short of qualifying but managed 5 picks and a .792 rating. He would have finished 5th overall. Last yearís top CB Briggs (.421 rating in 2021) slipped to 23rd overall this year. Not bad, but a big drop. Bo Davis repeats his 2nd place finish from last year, which is pretty remarkable for the former 2nd round pick. Alex Carter at number 3 is interesting in that he only snagged 1 interception on the year. But he was a great pass defender allowing him to get pretty close to the top of the list. Travis Murphy of San Diego was the highest ranked CB without an interception. He came in at 12th overall. Also interesting to note that 4 of the Top 10 were drafted in the 3rd round, while the majority came in the 1st and 2nd. Diaz and Meadows were both drafted at 3.10, Miller went at 3.19, and Willis went 3.22. Just goes to show you donít have to draft a stud CB early in the draft. P
Usually, at least one team puts two CBs in the Top 10. This year is no exception, though barely. Detroit placed Kirpatrick at the top and Turner at 10th overall. Tampa would have had the first and third spot if Ambellina had qualified. Similarly, if Banks had qualified they would have had two in the top. Dallas came the closest to having another pair in the top with Willis at 8th and Collins at 16th.
There were some high profile rookies taken at the position this year. Of the 4 CBs taken in the 1st round (Marlon Humphrey, Adoree Jackson, Cordrea Tankersley and Marshon Lattimore), only Lattimore even qualified. However, he didnít have a fantastic season, landing at 57th overall. Most of the 2nd rounders did not fare much better. Of the 5 CBs taken in the second round, only Fraison White impressed, finishing 18th overall. Lance Topeka, Glamour Sewell, and Fernando Carrusco all finished in the bottom 10. And Melvin Wong didnít even qualify.
Which CB had the worst efficiency? Mackensie Alexander of Carolina. The second year, second rounder deflected 4 passes and allowed 21 catches for a 5.250 rating.
Hereís the top 10:
1. Dre Kirpatrick, DET (.711 efficiency)
2. Bo Davis, TB (.746)
3. Alex Carter, DEN (.767)
4. Harry Diaz, SF (.818)
5. Jake Meadows, NO (.864)
6. DaShawn Miller, ARI (.880)
7. Demarius Stonewall, WAS (.886)
8. Walter Willis, DAL (.912)
9. Marquis Robinson, KC (.917)
10. Ray Turner, DET (.975)