With the debate yesterday about which cornerback in the NFL is the highest-paid, Pro Football Focus decided to break down the games of Richard Sherman, Joe Haden and Patrick Peterson. Lots of good stuff that concludes the numbers point to Sherman as the best, but with the caveat that the way Seattle plays means he doesn’t always have to match up on the opponent’s best receiver — he typically just says on the right side and covers whichever receiver is there.
We’ve seen the Seahawks break away from that a few times, notably the first 49ers game last year when Sherman lined up primarily on Anquan Boldin.
But the strength of Seattle’s over secondary, and simply the way they prefer to play, allows the Seahawks to keep Sherman to one side.
As PFF concludes, though, that reality gives just enough of an opening for anyone who wants to make an argument against Sherman as the best CB in the NFL, writing:
That the Seahawks do not ask or need Sherman to shadow a No. 1 receiver does not denigrate what he does locking down his side of the field, it merely gives him an “incomplete” grade in terms of what some people like to see a top cornerback doing. Simply operating a more difficult assignment does not elevate a very good corner to that next level of performance.
The gold standard of cornerback play in recent seasons is “Revis Island” and while Haden and Peterson operate in a similar role, that alone does not put them in that bracket. There are two parts of what Darrelle Revis produced with the Jets: the assignment and the performance level.
Sherman is the only corner performing to that level but without the difficulty of assignment and, at the end of the day, that has to be the more important factor — at least when you have the sort of separation in performance and production that Sherman has established over Haden and Peterson.
In other news. …
— Seahawks remain No. 1 in NFL.com’s post-draft power rankings.
— PFF also rated Brandon Mebane the 56th best player in the NFL for the 2014 season.
— ESPN says Justin Britt is the draft pick with the best chance to start.
— The team’s official rookie mini-camp starts Friday. But a number of the rookies are already here going through some workouts to prepare for that mini-camp. The team site has some pictures.
—The Jaguars yesterday kept the Seattle connection going by picking up former Seahawks linebacker Allen Bradford, who had been released by the Giants.
— More on Russell Wilson being the top merchandise mover in the NFL.
— Britt included in this look at the prospects for every Missouri player drafted.