Rookie Impact: 2014 CBs

How did 2014's rookie corners stack up to past seasons and how does that set expectations for the 2015 class? Ben Stockwell explores.

| 2 years ago

Rookie Impact: 2014 CBs

The proliferation of the passing game has only served to ramp up the pressure on teams to create a full depth chart of capable cornerbacks. 251 corners have been drafted in the last eight years, second most of any position and only one behind the wide receivers they are being acquired to contain. In the early rounds the arms race between corners and receivers is closely matched in terms of both playing time and performance but corners steal the march in the later rounds. Defenders deemed to be limited to slot and nickel roles may fall down draft boards due to a perceived ceiling in their potential but that doesn’t stop them from making swift contributions in that “limited” role.


2014 Class Review

  • Of the 35 corners drafted (most in the last eight years) only five topped the 500 snap mark.
  • Darqueze Dennard joined fellow Bengal Dre Kirkpatrick as the only first round corner in the last eight years to fall short of 100 snaps in his rookie season.
  • The 2014 class was somewhat of a tease with some impressive displays on limited playing time such as Jason Verrett (+8.1 overall, 230 snaps).
  • Two rookies (Bashaud Breeland and Kyle Fuller) earned overall grades below -10.0, only the 2012 class (Josh Robinson and Jayron Hosley) has matched this in the last eight years.

Best Class

  • Highest Combined Grade: 2008 (+6.6 overall)
  • In spite of a rough rookie season from Brandon Carr (-16.7) 15 rookie corners earned a positive grade in 2008 including three first rounders.
  • Most Snaps Played: 2012 (10,180 snaps)
  • Only 8 of the 30 corners drafted failed to see the field as rookies, 10 played more than 500 snaps.

First Round Outlook

  • Average Playing Time: 612 snaps
  • Average Overall Grade: +0.1
  • 500+ Snap Seasons: 17/30 selections
  • Best Rookie Season: Devin McCourty (2010), 1,065 snaps, +13.8 overall
  • Worst Rookie Season: Kyle Fuller (2014), 877 snaps, -18.4 overall

Mid Round (2nd and 3rd) Outlook

  • Average Playing Time: 339 snaps
  • Average Overall Grade: -1.6
  • 500+ Snap Seasons: 16/67 selections
  • Best Rookie Season: Casey Hayward (2012), 703 snaps, +21.7 overall
  • Worst Rookie Season: Marcus McCauley (2007), 722 snaps, -13.8 overall

Late Round (4th to 7th) Outlook

  • Average Playing Time: 142 snaps
  • Average Overall Grade: -0.4
  • 500+ Snap Seasons: 16/156 selections
  • Best Rookie Season: Richard Sherman (2011), 786 snaps, +9.7 overall
  • Worst Rookie Season: Brandon Carr (2008), 1,041 snaps, -16.7 overall


Follow Ben on Twitter: @PFF_Ben

| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

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