Top Ten Best Cornerbacks in NFL History

The Top TenXW

1Deion SandersDeion Luywnn Sanders, Sr. is a former American football and former American baseball player, who works as an analyst for CBS Sports and the NFL Network.

I could have put him at 1 but the 20 year career of green was hard to beat. Deion was the only corner I have ever seen that would 100% take out your best receiver to the point the QB was afraid to throw to him - tcfreeman69

What Lawrence Taylor was to the line backing position, Deion Sander's was to the cornerback position and more. The man made the CB position a glamour position. I have seen some great dB's in my time, but none has ever came with the swag that Deion brought. He was more PURE substance than hype. If Deion was playing today, He could still take out the best. Just ask Jerry Rice and Mike Irvin #21 prime time

Quarterbacks refused to throw to his side of the field. He was a poor tackler, but when you can take away half the field with your ball hawking abilities, that can be over looked. One of the best athletes in the history of sports.

You couldn't throw at him period

V71 Comments
2Champ Bailey

Lined up against the best receiver around all parts of the field from his second year all the way through 2012. There is absolutely no other cornerback that has ever done that for that long. He also had the best ever season for a cornerback in 2006. If you had to pick a corner to start your franchise this would be him because no other corner did what he did for how long he did it. Rod Woodson had to move to safety much earlier and Deion was mediocre towards the end and couldn't tackle. Rod and Deion is their prime were equal but cannot compare to Champ's body of work and production over time. Like I said, that's because he line up against the best for 12 years, all by himself. Other corners can say they did that for maybe 5-6 years.

Top to bottom best all around corner. Deion can't tackle to save his life

not only can he defend and intercept passes amazingly he can also tackle, force fumbles and lead the team greatly - Puppy_Dawgie

Deion can tackle you moron

V45 Comments
3Rod Woodson

He is the best corner back ever. He can cover man to man. He can play zone defense just as good as any corner back in NFL history. He's also very good at tackling. Not to mention he is a great safety. On top of all of that he's third all time in interceptions and in the Hall of Fame.

First of all... Where the heck is Night Train Lane? Second of all Rod Woodson is the best CB of all time. Superperb at the position. Great with interceptions, tackling, and a brilliant football player. He is a beast.

He was the complete corner, and could excel in today's NFL. Deion was one-dimensional, and ranks high only because of his flamboyance/popularity.

I thought he was a better Safety.

V8 Comments
4Dick "Nightrain" Lane

Vicious tackler, great interceptor. Best corner of all time there is nothing on the field he couldn't do. If he was playing modern day, coaches would think twice before they threw or ran to his side

Maybe the best that ever played? I put him here because I wasn't around to watch him and all I have are films and from that you can see he was dominating at his position, again, lower on my list because I never saw him first hand (i'm 48) - tcfreeman69

The "Night Train" was a monster, I have yet to see a single corner play with the mindset of a linebacker but this guy did it. He either laid you out or picked the ball off its that simple.

Night Train is Number 1. The Greatest Corner ever. Dick Lane.

V14 Comments
5Darrelle RevisDarrelle Shavar Revis is an American football cornerback who currently plays for the New York Jets in the National Football League.

The only person to shut down recievers like Revis (or he shuts them down like they did) are darrel green and deion sanders. Different generations make them hard to compare but ill never forget the season reggie Wayne had 111 receptions and peyton manning was on point with him and then revis shut down Wayne for 1 catch for 1 yard (it was a screen so it shouldn't even count) in the AFC Championship

Revis, even though had Cromartie to help him out a lot along the way never really had a great pass rush, or even help from a decent safety and he managed to make the most out of what he had shutting down receivers like; Megatron, Reggie Wayne, Dez Bryant, Randy Moss (with the exception of once), Chad Johnson/Ochocinco, Roddy White, Greg Jennings, Julio Jones, Mike Wallace.. I think you get the point.. There isn't a single "#1" receiver that revis hasn't shutdown.

Revis dominates the best athletes on the opposing team on a weekly basis. Completely shutting down the best wide receivers in the NFL is something no one else can say. He makes them non factors.

2nd greatest of all time behind Sanders

V34 Comments
6Charles WoodsonCharles Woodson is a former American football cornerback and free safety. He played college football for Michigan, where he led the Wolverines to a national championship in 1997. Woodson, a "two-way player" who played both offense and defense, won the Heisman Trophy in the same year, becoming the second, more.

Total annihilation of the other teams passing game, that's what can happen if this guy gets on a roll, he can shut down your biggest wide receiver and force you to pass to the other hungry packer cornerbacks, watch the superbowl, the only time Pittsburgh's offense seemed to do anything is when this guy went out of the game

The position of Cornerback is more than just shutting down Wide Outs. People tend to forget that some teams best receivers were Slot receivers and Tight ends. Woodson covered them all. Revis, Bailey, Sanders etc, would cover a Jason Witten like skilled tight end. Champ Bailey fumbled the ball 4 times and lost 2 in 2002 and was never utilized as a punt returner again! Woodson at 38 was utilized on the good hands team for a squib kick and as a Punt Returner in bad weather to secure what few wins Okland had in 2014. When a player has the ability to be utilized as a Blitzer, as well as cover anybody on the field who is a Playmaker! That is the TOTAL package for what the position of Cornerback is!

Look at his stats no way he is not at least top three all time top interceptions for a cornerback 27 force fumbles. Number 3 in int return TDs.

He was the most gifted in my as with speed height athleticism and knowledge of the game. While he played on a team most of his career. I'm a 49ers fan so it is hard for me to say this about a Raiders great.

V18 Comments
7Darrel Green

Darrel Green was the best DB in NFL history. His speed made him very dangerous to quarterbacks. I still remember him catching dorsett just before the goal line in the playoffs. Awesome!
- OfficerNegativeIII

Fastest player in nfl history great sight amazing coverage completely clutch and he would be number 1 but he couldn't catch for his life

Best at everything. Could Tackle, cover you best guy, was super durable, and was always the fastest man on the field. - tcfreeman69

I would vote Darrel green number one all time but he wasn't good at catching the ball. Best cover corner ever though.

V20 Comments
8Mel Blount

Please, please... This guy was simply the best ever. Defensive league MVP at CB! The league had to change rules due to his dominance... And he continued to be an all -pro! Could over match tight ends or run with the likes of Cliff Branch. Even stood up to Jack Lambert. Sound like a Deion?!

The NFL had to make rule to prevent Mel Blount from killing wide outs. He has big, fast and physical and is far better than anyone else on this list.

How is Deion Sanders #1? That guy was afraid to tackle. I'm sure he'd excel in today's NFL where Roger Goodell doesn't allow DBs to hit anyone anymore. Deion is the #1 touch football corner. Real football though... Its all Mel Blount!

If it wasn't for Mel Blount, Deion probably would have been a special teams player because he couldn't tackle. Remember, they changed the passing rules because Blount was beating up people

Changed the rules because of him, enough said!

V10 Comments
9Richard ShermanRichard Kevin Sherman is an American football cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League.

With his 5 years in the nfl he already compares to Darrel revis just think about that Sherman only 5 years in the nfl yet already one of the best ever he will end up being one of the best ever

By the time his career is over Richard Sherman will be in the top five in history. Not only is he physically dominating, he is also one of the most intelligent players in the game. Anyone saying otherwise would do well to research a little more diligently.

Couldn't agree more, the best in the game right now and could easily be in the top ten of all time by the end of his career.

Best in the game!

V47 Comments
10Ty Law

Ty was an elite corner who never got as much credit as he deserved because he was on a great Patriot defense and was overshadowed by guys like Champ Bailey. This guy could shut down great recievers, and he was clutch. Just look at his playoff performances against Manning and in Super Bowls.

Underrated, tough smart player. He made the defense work, along with Rodney H. , another underrated great.

Should have been at least in the top four no questions...

No one has more career interceptions against Peyton Manning than this guy. That alone should be enough to solidify him as one of the greatest ever.

V11 Comments

The Contenders

11Mike Haynes

The bump-run coverage was his specialty. Quarterbacks also stopped throwing to his side of the field because of his cornerback skills.

Greatest cover corner of all time. He didn't have to tell everyone how great he was, he showed it on the field.

Hard to think of 3 better and he's not even top 10?!?

One half of the bookends (other half, Lester).

V3 Comments
12Nnamdi Asomugha

He had a season of only allowing 8 receptions in man coverage. To top it off the raiders are a horrible team/

Best cornerback from 2007-2010 in which he was better than Revis, Bailey and Woodson (3 HOFers). Has shut down Randy Moss, Reggie Wayne, Larry Fitzgerald (YouTube that matchup) and gave Steve smith the worst game of his career ( 1 catch for 9 yards)

Great corner but sucked for 49ers

Not even top 50 of all time

V6 Comments
13Ronde Barber

Only CB in NFL history with over 25 sacks and 40 interceptions and What a Tackler. Consistent, respected greatness for 16 years. He did it all with precision and tenacity. In my mind he is the complete Cornerback. Able to do more than just intercept a pass.

Don't understand how he isn't in the top 5. Was a lock down corner and a perfect tackler. Also did this for 16 years. Should be a lot higher.

Ronde is the all time leader in picks, interceptions returned for touchdowns, sacks by a cornerback, 5 pro bowls, super bowl champion enough said

He let nobody get by him

V9 Comments
14Willie Brown

Only ranked where he is because most people in this poll never saw him play. Intensity and commitment to being the best made him the best ever

Willie was Deion before Deion, he would take your best guy and take him out of the game. - tcfreeman69

Willie brown is better than Deion Sanders

One of the greatest

V2 Comments
15Charles Tillman

Miss "Peanut" playing for the Bears. Such a fun player to watch and a turnover machine!

Best conner at least best conner to force fummbles no doubt about that one

16Ellis Hobbs
17Asante Samuel

Not the best all time, but a really great corner that could be depended on. Unfortunately he missed a pick against Eli in Super Bowl 42 on the play before the helmet catch that would have sealed the game. That pick would have made him a more remembered figure.

Clutch most pick six in playoffs

V1 Comment
18Lester Hayes

Before there was Deion and Regis there was my eminent domain. When you mention shutdown corner look at this man. He can tackle, play bump in run and cover. Remember Super Bowl 18 and the shutdown him and mike Haynes did on those redskin WR 's and lets not forget helping ground air coryel..

Brought bump-n-run to a whole new level... may be one of the most underrated players in history!

Lester the Molester, The Judge, and the one True Jedi! Greatest Cornerback of the 80s EVER! - alexmendoza

True shutdown specialist

V3 Comments
19DeAngelo Hall

Should be number 1, lol what a joke putting him clear down here

He can jump
He can catch
He can get pix sixes
He can get punt return and get a touchdown
He could be a QB because he's so strong
He has to be one the best athletes to play football
He has to right behind Deion sanders

V1 Comment
20Jimmy Johnson

SI's pick on their all-time team. Rafer Johnson's brother also an Olympian track star. Remember him shutting down a wideout when he had his arm in a cast!

V3 Comments
PSearch List

Related Lists

Best Quarterbacks in NFL History Best Tight Ends in NFL History Best Fantasy Football Quarterbacks in NFL History Top Offensive Lineman In NFL History Best NFL Cornerbacks of 2016

List StatsUpdated 26 Oct 2016

2,000 votes
62 listings
7 years, 30 days old

Top Remixes (22)

1. Deion Sanders
2. Dick "Nightrain" Lane
3. Mel Blount
1. Deion Sanders
2. Rod Woodson
3. Mel Blount
1. Deion Sanders
2. Darrelle Revis
3. Champ Bailey

View All 22


Add Post

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.