CFF Sig Stats: Cornerbacks
Cornerback is one of the most interesting positions in football to bring advanced numbers to. While we are swamped with information and numbers collected by offensive players, it’s all too rare that we are told who those numbers came against.
PFF has been collecting that kind of data for years, allowing us to be first on names such as Richard Sherman, Brent Grimes, Chris Harris Jr, and now we’ve brought the same data to the FBS.
CFF has collected the same advanced data for every game in the FBS this season and we’re going to take a look at which corners posted some fantastic numbers as well as some of the top prospects in the draft who didn’t.
The primary job of any corner is to cover – stop his opponent catching passes – but missed tackles anywhere on a football field can lead to big plays and if they come in the passing game, after the corner has allowed the catch to be made, it can lead to a reservation for six for the team on offense.
Here is the top of the list showing CBs sorted by Tackling Efficiency (attempts per miss) on pass plays:
– Only one corner went the entire year without missing a tackle: Oregon State’s Steven Nelson.
– Six corners avoided any missed tackles in the run game but only two went all year without missing any on passing plays.
– Washington’s Marcus Peters missed just one tackle against the run all year but missed seven on passing plays.
– FSU’s P.J. Williams missed 18 total tackles, the most of any corner.
Yards Per Coverage Snap
What we are all here to see however is the advanced coverage numbers. Here are the Top 15 ordered by yards per coverage snap:
– To put those numbers in perspective, Chris Harris Jr led the NFL with 0.57 yards allowed per coverage snap. Richard Sherman was second with 0.76.
– Garry Peters from Clemson was a player that graded right at the sharp end of the CFF rankings, and his mark is the best among players we consider to be quality prospects.
– The best-placed ‘elite’ prospect was Wake Forrest’s Kevin Johnson who came in 25th with 0.89 yards per coverage snap.
– Oregon’s Troy Hill upstaged his more illustrious counterpart Ifo Ekpre-Olomu across the board in 2014, allowing a significantly lower yards per coverage snap figure (0.78 to 0.93)
Completion Percentage Allowed
As interesting as the advanced sig stats for corners are the relatively more conventional coverage numbers can be even more eye-opening, so let’s take a look at the top guys ordered by the percentage of targets they allowed to be caught:
– Garry Peters and Troy Hill again show well here, but this time Eric Rowe, and Kevin White are among other notable names with impressive figures.
– Trae Waynes, and Marcus Peters both allowed more than 50% of passes sent their way to be caught while Jalen Collins was at just 40.9%.
– Two players allowed more than 85% of passes sent their way to be caught. Neither, strangely, are considered top prospects.
– P.J. Williams allowed 59.6% of passes sent his way to be caught, giving him some ugly coverage numbers to go with his inconsistent tape.
NFL Passer Rating Allowed
And finally which player would have yielded the worst NFL passer rating on throws where they were targeted:
– This is always my favorite cornerback metric. It can of course be skewed and isn’t always entirely ‘honest’, but it is regularly an excellent reflection at the NFL level of cornerback play. When the threshold of snaps is lowered enough, UConn’s Byron Jones allowed a rating of just 26.3 on his targets before injury.
– Senquez Golson teams an excellent CFF grade with a passer rating of just 44.9 on his targeted passes this year, thanks largely to picking off 10 of them, though he did surrender four touchdowns, the most of any player in the Top 15.
– Garry Peters sneaks into the Top 15 in another category despite just one interception to his name. He did break up 10 passes and allow only one score all year while being beaten for an average of just 9.0 yards per reception.
– Trae Waynes (19), Marcus Peters (42) and Jalen Collins (46) this time all rank relatively lowly in this measure.
Follow Sam on Twitter: @PFF_Sam