Top 10 Best Cornerbacks in NFL History

The Top Ten
1 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.

Speed, awareness, intelligence, and flash. There was nothing sanders couldn't do. As for the tackling, he always said cornerbacks don't get paid to tackle, they get paid to cover. He did just that. His interception totals would be higher, if QB's would have thrown to his side more often. No one else has ever changed the game or position like Deion.

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

To me his not just the greatest cornerback of all time and punt return specialist. The man brought a swag and color to football. Very little people have brought that to the nfl, just to mention a few and you can probably count it with one hand even if you are missing some you still have enough laugh out loud.. "Broadway" joe namath, "LT" Lawrence Taylor, and the one and only "PRIMETIME" deion sanders.

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.

2 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.

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.

Began career as a corner, completed career as a safety. This guy had it all, world class speed, hit like a truck and he had team first personality.

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.

3 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.

Champ could do anything and everything until he hurt his foot. But even then he played 12 AMAZING seasons where he could; defend passes, crush the run, put pressure on the qb and shut down a receiver in total. The last two he had a hurt foot and could shut down receivers as well. Did it for much longer at the CORNER position than anyone else. Deion couldn't tackle for the last 6 years. Much of everyone else moved to safety early on.

In order to be the best Corner you've got to be a complete corner. Bailey could cover the pass and help stop the run. Deion covered the pass well, but didn't want any part of helping stop the run or making any tackles! How can you call Deion great? Bailey and Woodson were far greater corners than sanders ever was!

Had the best single season by a corner ever in 2006. He had 30 passes thrown at him and picked 10 of them and batted down somewhere aroun 15. Allowing only a hand full of completions all year. Also never gets pass interference calls because he actually follows the rules unlike a lot of corners.

4 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, behind Leon Hart of Notre Dame to win the award.

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!

Was the Complete package of Cornerback. Shutting down the pass is just a portion of a cornerbacks responsibilities unless that player doesn't have Woodson's abilities. Compare FF, Stuffs, Sacks, covering different types of receivers, Touchdowns! Woodson only lost 1 of the 2 fumbles he had. The only corners I ever witnessed to attack running backs near the line of scrimmage in this list is the Woodson's, Charles and Rod!

How many players move from a position after 16 years and are voted by their peers after year 17 as being in the top 70 BEST players in the game. The remarkable feat is that in year 18 Woodson is playing even better and will be once again chosen if he returns for another season as a top 70 player!

Woodson 61 picks, and 20 sacks. This guy is the definition of a shutdown corner. Fittingly wears #24 because he can do it ALL DAY. Raiders have also had some of the best corners in NFL history, a rich tradition of shutdown cornerbacks. This guy is truly a monster.

5 Mel Blount

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!

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?!

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

6 Darrell Green

Fastest NFL player I've ever seen, and most underrated/underappreciated CB ever. Fantastic shutdown corner, could lineup anywhere on the field against anyone. Was able to survive 20 YEARS (! ) in the NFL despite being only 5'8 with questionable hands...that should tell you everything you need to know. Nobody had longevity like that at that position (or probably any non-special teams position) and there was a reason. If he was bigger with better hands, he would've been unquestionably the best CB of all-time and nevertheless doesn't get the respect he deserves.

How is THIS GUY not #2, at least? This guy is the FASTEST MAN in the HISTORY of the NFL! He was able, in his ROOKIE YEAR, mind, to catch the 'Uncatchable' Tony Dorsett, RB for the Cowgirls. That's an achievement in and of itself, and then, we see the fact that he could probably do it still do it at AGE 40! You think Brady's tough, he just has to lob the ball, while Green had to run to it, and just how fast he was as a 40-year-old, was just mind-boggling. Deserves more. #HTTR

I watched most all of these amazing cornerbacks throughout their careers. Very tough call. Neon Deion gets a little extra hype because he was so colorful. He wasn't however very fond of tackling especially if it meant he would eat it. No one played the position for his entire career as completely as D. Green. His speed and athleticism was second to none.

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.

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

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.

Easily the best LOCKDOWN cornerback in the game. The fact that he does not have manny I interceptions is a good thing reflecting that QB's are afraid to throw to him. If he had supporting cast like Sherman they would propbaly throw to him maybe once a game and they would be interceptions

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.

Darrelle Revis is a good corner because he always keeps his eye on the QB and then when a pass is thrown he knows exactly where its going. Now this is what makes a good corner.

8 Dick "Night Train" Lane

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)

Not understanding these people who vote for these lists (1st before you vote you should know your football PERIOD!...Dick "Nightrain" Lane revolutionized the CB position...there are and were so many rule changes because of this guy (facemask/closeline, etc) then to have Mel Blount at 8...smh I am a huge STEELER HATER (Cowboys diehard) but you have to recognize greatness...he changed the game as well as Mr Lane did (none & I mean none of theses receivers today could last in either era that Lane/Blount played in with the way the rules were) TOP 5 should have gone (1) Dick Lane (2) Mel Blount (3) Neon Deion (4) Rod Woodson (5) Ronnie Lott...

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.

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

9 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.

Mike Haynes reminds me of the picture in the dictionary if you look up CB. Not the greatest athlete at the position but an absolute master of it.

Should be at the top of the list. Deion Sanders? Give me a break.

10 Richard Sherman Richard Kevin Sherman is an American football cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League.

Sherman is arguably the most intelligent Cornerback of all time. For as much as he trash talks, he's one of the very few who can back it up. He's forced Quarterbacks to completely avoid his side of the field all together during games. Even though his presence from the Seattle days are long gone, he still made an impact while the 49ers, helping them get to the Super Bowl before losing to the Cheifs. He's still a passionate, do or die player. And given he's already at 30+ interceptions, he's definitely made his imprinted on the game of football. L.O.B.

A lot could happen where sherman ends up falling out (but that is unlikely). But if sherm keeps it up he will be top 3. And, to add a little icing on the cake, sherman can actually tackle. He's laid some people out. But, PrimeTime COULD tackle, he just didn't want to ruin his career hitting the big guys, He was a great tackler against people in his own weight class.

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.

Sherman needs to be above Revis, thus my vote. Revis is still good today, but Sherm is playing way better than Darelle Revis ever did, and this is coming from a Giants fan. This said, Deion Sanders is the best of all time, bar none.

The Contenders
11 Willie Brown

Old Man Willie! Picking off Fran Tarkenton and returning for a touchdown in the Super Bowl! On top of that he's a Hall of Famer! Vote for this legend!

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

The best. And D coaches were so afraid of him they had one rule ---never throw into his zone or man coverage. One season only 7 passes attempted in his zoneman coverage all season. Result 1 completion 4 picks and 2 knockdowns

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

12 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.

Best ever Big Game Cornerback in the History of the NFL! Took a Interception for a Touchdown in the Super Bowl against K. Warner who was the premier QB from 99 to 01 while covering I. Bruce. In two playoff games while covering M. Harrison, picked P. Manning 5 times while holding Harrison to 5 catches for meager yards in his prime. Has anybody picked the best while covering the best as much as Law, NO.

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.

13 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

14 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/

Really? Richard Sherman, Aqib Talib, and Charles Tillman are better than this clown!

Not even one of the best playing now. He sucks!

15 Lester 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..

My first CB hero! Lester was everything a the position, he could swallow up the field with his range and speed and his ability to get interceptions (stick-um! ) was outstanding, great CB.

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?

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

16 Ronde Barber

Ronde Barber is disgustingly underrated. He should be Top 10 overall. He has the most sacks out of any other Corner Back in NFL history (28), plus he has 47 Career interceptions, 1200+ Tackles, 15 Forced Fumbles, and 14 Defensive TDs. He could've been the first ever defensive player with 40 interceptions and 30 sacks, and for a undersized Cornerback (5'10") that's almost superhuman. Plus, he was a key part of one of the greatest NFL Defenses in history (Tampa 2). He had the speed, the talent, the dedication and most importantly the intelligence to cover his assignments (playing against guys like Randy Moss, Steve Smith, T.O., etc.) To me he's not only a hall of famer, but arguably the most complete cornerback in NFL history.

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.

Ronde is the all time leader in picks, interceptions returned for touchdowns, sacks by a cornerback, 5 Pro Bowls, Super Bowl champion enough said.

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.

17 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!

18 Ellis Hobbs
19 Cortland Finnegan
20 Ronnie Lott

The best hitter ever!.

21 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!

22 Herb Adderley

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

23 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!

24 Patrick Peterson Patrick Peterson is an American football cornerback and return specialist for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League.

Beyond overrated. Sure, he's good, but he's pitifully overrated and has gotten roasted by middling wide receivers on more than one occasion.

Gave up one touchdown this year & was on that ridiculous Hail Mary! This dude has shut down haters & is far leagues above Sherman now!

You go one bad bird!

He's way better then Shem Pat-P should be at the spot Shem is at. Sherman is only good at zone he gets burned almost every deep rout. Pat-P should be at least in the top 10.

25 DeAngelo Hall

He's really good

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