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The 5 Best Cornerbacks of All Time in the NFL

by Uneeb Khan
NFL

When it comes to the best cornerbacks in NFL history, there are a few names that stand out. From legendary figures like Deion Sanders to current stars like Richard Sherman, these players have all left their mark on the sport in different ways. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at five of the greatest cornerbacks ever to play in the NFL. We’ll consider their impact on the game, their stats and accomplishments, and their overall legacy. Let’s take a look at the five best cornerbacks of all time in the NFL.

1) Deion Sanders

Nicknamed “Primetime,” Deion Sanders is widely considered to be one of the greatest cornerbacks to ever play in the NFL. Drafted fifth overall by the Atlanta Falcons in 1989, Sanders played for five teams in his career, including the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. He was selected to eight Pro Bowls and was a two-time Super Bowl champion. Sanders had a total of 53 interceptions throughout his career, including seven returned for touchdowns. He also had nine defensive touchdowns.

On offense, Sanders recorded three rushing touchdowns and six receiving touchdowns. Off the field, Sanders was known for his fashion statements, his incredible charisma, and his catchy phrases such as “If you look good, you feel good.” His larger-than-life personality made him a fan favorite and he will forever be remembered as one of the best cornerbacks of all time.

2) Darrell Green

Darrell Green is considered by many to be one of the best cornerbacks in NFL history. He played 20 seasons in the league and was a member of the Washington Redskins for all but two of those years. Green was a master of the art of tackling, as well as an impressive physical presence on the field.

Green earned seven Pro Bowl selections during his career and was a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Redskins. He had 30 career interceptions and two defensive touchdowns, one coming in the Super Bowl XXVI. His speed made him a great coverage corner and he was equally adept at stopping the run. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

His success continued even after his playing career ended. He founded the Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation to help disadvantaged children in the Washington D.C. area and has been a great role model for youth everywhere.

3) Champ Bailey

According to The News Titan One of the most accomplished cornerbacks in NFL history, Champ Bailey is widely considered one of the greatest of all time. A first-round draft pick in 1999, Bailey played 15 seasons with the Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos. He was selected to 12 Pro Bowls and was a three-time First-Team All-Pro selection.

He is one of only seven players in NFL history to have recorded 50+ interceptions and 20+ sacks. His 52 career interceptions are tied for fourth-most all-time, and his 20 sacks rank ninth-most among all defensive backs. He recorded a career-high 10 interceptions in 2006 and set the record for the longest interception return in Super Bowl history (97 yards) during his time with Denver. 

Bailey was an incredibly versatile player, able to line up as an outside corner or play in the slot. His athleticism and agility made him a great asset to any defense. He was also known for his leadership and willingness to mentor young players.

In 2019, Bailey was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his remarkable career. He will go down as one of the best cornerbacks of all time.

4) Ronnie Lott

One of the greatest defensive backs in NFL history, Ronnie Lott was known for his exceptional ability to shut down wide receivers. Lott was drafted out of the University of Southern California as the 8th overall pick in the 1981 NFL draft.

Lott quickly established himself as a force on the field with the San Francisco 49ers, leading them to four Super Bowl championships in 10 years. During his tenure with the 49ers, he intercepted 40 passes and was named to the Pro Bowl 8 times. His hard-hitting style and aggressive play earned him the nickname “The Hit Man”.

In addition to his performance on the field, Lott was recognized for his leadership and willingness to go above and beyond for his teammates. He was known for his selflessness and dedication to the game, which made him an inspiration to younger players.

Lott retired in 1995 after a successful career that saw him inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000. His legacy as one of the greatest cornerbacks of all time is secure, and his impact on the game will be remembered for years to come.

5) Mel Blount

Mel Blount is one of the most influential cornerbacks of all time in the NFL. He was an absolute force to be reckoned with and his playing style was well-known throughout the league. Blount was a four-time Super Bowl champion, five-time Pro Bowler, and four-time All-Pro selection. He was also inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989.

Blount’s career was a special one. He played for the Pittsburgh Steelers for 14 seasons and managed to start every game of his professional career. What makes him stand out from the rest is his unique playing style. Blount had a knack for physicality and he often relied on his size, strength, and physicality to dominate opposing wide receivers. His hard-hitting style is what made him so intimidating to opposing teams. 

In addition to being an excellent defender, Blount also had a great sense of the game. He was able to anticipate plays and adjust quickly when needed. This enabled him to be successful in both pass and run defense. Blount was known for making big plays and helping the Steelers create their renowned “Steel Curtain” defense. His ability to read plays and execute accordingly helped him earn a reputation as one of the best cornerbacks of all time. 

Mel Blount truly revolutionized the cornerback position in the NFL and there is no doubt that he has left an impressive legacy behind. He will always be remembered as one of the greatest defensive players ever to take the field.

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