Top Preseason Grades: Cornerbacks
Three weeks of the preseason are in the books and that means the majority of the hard work has been done. The starters have shown what they are likely to show, with the remaining games likely to feature them for a token opening drive at most. The roster bubble players still have a lot to fight for, but we’ve seen more than enough to start taking stock a little bit.
With three games in the books we’re breaking down the top five performers so far at every position.
Don’t fret if you didn’t see your favorite player in the list, he may still have had an impressive grade. On the other hand, he may have stunk up the joint, but regardless you can get your hands on all of the info by subscribing to PFF Premium for just $26.99. That money buys you preseason info on every player to take a snap but also 365 days of access to all the regular season data PFF has for 2014 and every season dating back to 2007. Dive in and get lost in the information!
1. Davon House, GB, +6.6
Breakdown: House is a player who has been pressed into starting action for Green Bay in the past and has had games of excellent play. Inconsistency has been his issue in the past but all three of his preseason games so far have earned positive grades.
Signature Stat: The +4.5 grade he earned for his performance against the Raiders is the highest grade we have given for a corner for a single preseason game so far thanks to three PDs on seven targets. He surrendered just three catches for 15 yards in the game.
2. Will Davis, MIA, +5.6
Breakdown: A third-round pick in 2013, Davis played precisely 65 snaps as a rookie, but he has played 63 snaps over his two preseason outings so far, showing well in coverage and earning himself a shot at much more playing time in 2014.
Signature Stat: Davis has been thrown at ten times in the preseason but has allowed just three catches for 34 yards, 18 of them coming on one play. He has broken up more passes (four) than he has allowed to be caught.
3. Darrin Walls, NYJ, +4.7
Breakdown: In danger of approaching ‘journeyman’ status in his NFL career, Darrin Walls is showing this preseason that perhaps he is still capable of a bit more. Was asked to start last season for three games while Dee Milliner was in the doghouse but compiled a -3.1 grade over those games, has more than reversed that trend this preseason with some impressive play.
Signature Play: [email protected], Q3, 12:50: On first and goal at the three yard line Walls was in man coverage isolated on his receiver, playing him well and then breaking up the pass that came his way for a pass defensed.
4. Bashaud Breeland, WAS, +4.6
Breakdown: The fourth round rookie is in no danger of starting anytime soon barring injuries higher up the depth chart, but he earns a spot on this list thanks to a stellar last game against the Browns. Though his coverage numbers weren’t fantastic, he had a pass defensed nullified by a penalty and was up fast in coverage making tackles near the line of scrimmage after a series of quick passes.
Signature Play: [email protected], Q3, 08:52. On 4th-and-1 Breeland closes quickly to hit the ball loose from the receiver Anthony Armstrong, ending the drive.
5. Sherrick McManis, CHI, +4.4
Breakdown: Has the same overall grade as Panthers CB Melvin White but gets the nod thanks to a marginally better coverage grade McManis has actually allowed 71.4% of passes into his coverage to be complete but has still earned a high grade thanks to a pick and a couple of passes defensed, not to mention some strong play against the run.
Signature Play: JAX @ CHI, Q3, 8:32: On 3rd-and-3 deep in the red zone the Jaguars went for the score, running an in-breaking route at McManis at the goal line. He read the receiver well, maintained good position and broke in front of him to swat away the pass and force the Jaguars to kick a field goal instead.
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