The NFL Insiders of The 33rd Team tier out each NFL team’s top cornerback duo into separate tiers from Tier 1 to Tier 7. After tiering each NFL starting quarterback, their supporting weapons, and the league’s best offensive lines, we continue our transition to the defensive side of the ball here:
Tier 1 consists of the teams that have two cornerbacks who each could be CB1 on other teams. All four of these teams possess the ability to play man-to-man, in zone coverage, create turnovers, and lock down a high-end receiver.
“Baltimore is physical and able to get takeaways. Both corners could be No. 1 in the right system, and if healthy should be a big problem. It’s hard for a team to point out two guys like those and really be equal to them with their experience and production. The Ravens have the best CB duo in the NFL!” – Former Jets First Round CB Kyle Wilson
Baltimore Ravens: Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey
Miami Dolphins: Xavien Howard, Byron Jones
Philadelphia Eagles: Darius Slay, James Bradberry
Green Bay Packers: Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes
“I think Green Bay is the best overall with Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes only going into his second season and (Rasul) Douglas looked like a different player being coached by Jerry Gray.” – Former Pro Bowl DB Samari Rolle
Tier 2 consists of the duos that possess one star CB with a solid option at CB2. Most of the No. 2 corners here are younger options who aren’t as polished or versatile just yet. This tier possesses playmakers such as the Chargers duo, or lockdown options such as the Bills and Rams.
Cleveland Browns: Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome II
Los Angeles Rams: Jalen Ramsey, Troy Hill
Buffalo Bills: Tre’Davious White, Taron Johnson
Los Angeles Chargers: JC Jackson, Asante Samuel Jr
Atlanta Falcons: AJ Terrell, Casey Hayward Jr
Tier 3 consists of the solid options. Each week the defensive coordinators of these teams will feel safe going into their matchup, though these groups do not possess the star power of the top two groups. There are certainly tandems in this tier that could impress throughout the season and ascend to tier 1 or 2 (i.e., Broncos or Panthers). According to Samari Rolle, “The Colts with Stephon Gilmore and Kenny Moore are very underrated.”
Indianapolis Colts: Stephon Gilmore, Kenny Moore II
New Orleans Saints: Marshon Lattimore, Paulson Adebo
Carolina Panthers: Donte Jackson, Jaycee Horn
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carlton Davis III, Sean Murphy-Bunting
Denver Broncos: Patrick Surtain II, Ronald Darby
Tier 4 is the ‘playmaking” tier. Trevon Diggs and Amani Oruwariye were among the best in the league in interceptions, while Brown and Fuller have that ability as well. While these players are playmakers, they often give up a lot of passing yards. Diggs gave up the most yards in 2021, with Anthony Brown placed 4th, Kendall Fuller 6th, and Oruwariye 17th (in just 14 games).
Washington Commanders: Kendall Fuller, William Jackson III
Detroit Lions: Amani Oruwariye, Jeff Okudah
Dallas Cowboys: Trevon Diggs, Anthony Brown
Tier 5 lacks star power. Each of the teams within this grouping have two CB2s who can compete and play like a CB1 on their best days, but often regress back to their high-end CB2 mold. The New York Jets with rookie Sauce Gardner have the highest potential to immediately ascend from this tier.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Darious Williams, Shaquill Griffin
Chicago Bears: Jaylon Johnson, Duke Shelley
Cincinnati Bengals: Chidobe Awuzie, Eli Apple
Las Vegas Raiders: Trayvon Mullen Jr, Rock Ya-Sin
San Francisco 49ers: Charvarius Ward, Emmanuel Moseley
New York Jets: Sauce Gardner, DJ Reed
Tier 6 consists of one high-end CB2 on each team, and a question mark lining up across from them. Trent McDuffie has yet to play an NFL snap in a position that is hard to adjust to in the NFL. Caleb Farley and Ahkello Witherspoon both must stay healthy, while Patrick Peterson is in the twilight of his days as a viable NFL starter.
Kansas City Chiefs: L’Jarius Sneed, Trent McDuffie
Tennessee Titans: Kristian Fulton, Caleb Farley
Pittsburgh Steelers: Ahkello Witherspoon, Levi Wallace
Minnesota Vikings: Cameron Dantzler, Patrick Peterson
Tier 7 CB tandems consist of teams that have question marks at both starting CB positions. The majority of these CBs have faced injuries in their careers as well as stretches of inconsistent and poor play.