Top Ten Best Cornerbacks in NFL History

The Top Ten

1 Deion Sanders Deion Sanders Deion 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.

What makes him one of the best corners ever you may ask, well just look up his stats and watch some highlights and you'll know exactly why. 🏈

V 89 Comments
2 Champ 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.

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

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

He’s bad!

V 52 Comments
3 Rod 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.

Rod was awesome at corner, I don't think I have ever seen a CB who could blitz/tackle like him and still outrun your best guy. Amazing hands and the ability to always be around the ball. - tcfreeman69

Rod Woodson changed the position into what it is today

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4 Dick "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.

He has the same birthday as me. Therefore he’s better

V 17 Comments
5 Darrelle Revis Darrelle Revis Darrelle 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.

Why not

V 36 Comments
6 Charles Woodson Charles Woodson Charles 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, ...read 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’s beast

V 21 Comments
7 Darrel 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

As the arguably fastest player to ever play, Darrel Green deserves to be remembered as one of the most elite corners to play the game of football. His agility and power allowed for a dynamic playing style and dominant results.

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

Why is he number 7 he should be higher

V 22 Comments
8 Mel 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?!

Mel Blount was the complete package. He helped the Steel Curtain defense to rush the quarterback with impunity while he locked down receivers. It was Blount that opened the can of worms of just how spoiled and whiny offensive players are. Nobody and I mean NOBODY would change the rules in today's football for the defense because Tom Brady dominates the sport.

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!

Best ever. They had to change the rules because how dominate he was and even after that he was still a shutdown corner

V 14 Comments
9 Richard Sherman Richard Sherman Richard Kevin Sherman is an American football cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers 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.

You are my dude

V 54 Comments
10 Ty 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.

The paramount of shutdown corner. Played big in big games. Ty played when the league switched to quarterback friendly and what he did to some of the best quarterbacks all time should put him at the top of this list.

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.

He owned Peyton, and overall was an excellent corner. I miss him.

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The Contenders

11 Mike 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?!?

Clone him

V 4 Comments
12 Nnamdi Asomugha

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)

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

Not even top 50 of all time

cool

V 6 Comments
13 Willie 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

V 2 Comments
14 Ronde 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

Amazing! can't believe he's a 3rd rounder!

V 12 Comments
15 Charles Tillman

Nobody Forced Turnovers like he did. He outpaced most Linebackers and Defensive ends for forced fumbles. So good he forced 4 in one game. So underrated.

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

16 Ellis Hobbs
17 Asante 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

Man he roped his balls

18 Lester Hayes

True shutdown specialist

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!

If you know the career of Lester, most feared CB in his era. Coaches demanded their QBs not to throw in his direction, one QB being benched for doing so in the first quarter of a game. As one teammate said, "He made us look better than what we were. We could roll our defense to the opposite side of the field because we knew Lester had his side shut down." WHY IS HE NOT IN THE HOF?

V 4 Comments
19 DeAngelo Hall

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

Fast tall and good at zone

He's really good

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

20 Jimmy 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!

QBs just avoided him. End of story

aw snap

21 Ronnie Lott

He was great should have been top ten

Thought this guy was a safety

The best hitter ever!.

22 Herb Adderley

He was the first player in superbowl history to get a defensive TD. the original shutdown cornerback

23 Cortland Finnegan
24 Albert Lewis

Lewis played for 16 seasons. Standing 6-2 with 4.4 speed, Lewis had long reach and a big leap. 20 interceptions in his first 4 seasons. After that, opposing QBs avoided throwing the ball in his direction. He was named as the Chiefs MVP for the 1986 season, 4� - Pro Bowl selection (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990), 1st Team All-Pro (1989, 1990). Voted onto the Chiefs Hall of Fame, he was also a specialist at blocking kicks

Best' I've meet him in person too!

25 Shawn Springs
26 Lem Barney

As good as Deion

Should be in top 10!

Should be no. 1

27 Antoine Winfield

A Winfield is definitely one of the greatest of all time, was a 200% sure tackler, could cover, and most importantly showed excellent leadership skills

28 Carnell Lake

Carnell should be on everybodys top 10, but I'm betting people forget him. One of only a few players I have ever seen who could line up at CB one week and Safety the next and he was in the same mode as Rod Woodson! - tcfreeman69

Cornel Lake was a strong safety his entire career. He played linebacker in college at UCLA.

29 Aeneas Williams

Some these guys ranked ahead of him aren't even in his league. Not a top five all time guy but at least top 15.

Ask Michael Irvin and jerry rice who shut them down aeneas Williams is top of all time

Shd be in the top 10

30 Dre Bly
31 Joe Haden Joe Haden Joseph Walter Haden III is an American football cornerback for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League.

Joe Haden is definitely the best in the league

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32 Terrence Newman
33 Marcus Trufant
34 Aqib Talib Aqib Talib Aqib Talib is an American football cornerback for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League.

A good defender like grimes

World class player still has time to prove he's on e of the best ever

He got a pick 6 on the first week and a interseption on the 3 week

35 Malcolm Butler Malcolm Butler Malcolm Terel Butler is an American football cornerback for the New England Patriots of the National Football League.

He's not the best but he's done something a lot of great corners can't say they've done and that's saving the SUPERBOWL

Not the best but makes the biggest plays when they matter the most

Rite after darell revis

36 Bob Jeter

Should be in the top 20

37 Brandon Browner Brandon Browner Brandon Kemar Browner is an American football cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. V 1 Comment
38 Darius Slay Darius Slay Darius Demetrius Slay, nicknamed "Big Play Slay", is an American football cornerback for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League.
39 Frank Minnifield

Better than 3/4 of the guys on this list

40 Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
41 Jason Verrett

Good lockdown corner

42 Desmond Trufant Desmond Trufant Desmond Trufant is an American football cornerback for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League. V 2 Comments
43 Stephon Gilmore

Best player and still young.

44 Patrick Surtain
45 Sam Madison

Sam Madison was a beast 1997-2005 for the Dolphins 2006-2008 with the Giants he could catch he could tackle he could run he could really do it all he is an underdog in the footsteps of great players as in night train lane and Deion sanders and mostly LT

46 Aaron Glenn
47 Brent Grimes Brent Grimes Brent Omar Grimes is an American football cornerback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League.

Best coverage corner to me right now

Jonathan Joseph got in front of grimes what?

V 2 Comments
48 Leon Hall

So underrated during his prime

Best cornerback of all time

49 Orlando Scandrick

Bro I'm dieting here seeing these guys on the list this guy couldn't even get an elite card on madden don't get me wrong though ima cowboys fan

Who put this guy on here what a joke I'm weak

50 Ike Taylor

Ike Taylor never really puts up great stats but the reason he is number 10 is because he's clutch and a great teammate. He is probably one of the biggest reasons Pittsburgh made the super bowl in 2010. Great CB.

Go Steelers!

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List Stats

2,000 votes
65 listings
9 years, 25 days old

Top Remixes (23)

1. Deion Sanders
2. Rod Woodson
3. Dick "Nightrain" Lane
JTWALL77
1. Deion Sanders
2. Darrelle Revis
3. Champ Bailey
cgooz
1. Deion Sanders
2. Champ Bailey
3. Rod Woodson
LetsBeReal

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