So I’m sitting here and it’s finals week, so I should probably be studying for finals, right? Wrong! I’m A) Terrified to begin studying cause I’ll realize how little I know and B) Don’t want to start thinking about how come Friday I’m officially half way done with college. So instead of studying I’ve decided to start up a little series where I’ll rate the NFL’s top 10 teams at each positions group entering the 2017 season.
10) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Projected Starters: CB: Vernon Hargreaves III, Brent Grimes, Josh Robinson. S: Justin Evans, JJ Wilcox.
This secondary will go as far as second year corner Vernon Hargreaves III and rookie safety Justin Evans take them. We know we’ll get really solid play from Grimes and Wilcox.. but if Hargreaves takes his game to the next level then watch out.
9) Arizona Cardinals
Projected Starters: CB: Patrick Peterson, Brandon Williams, Justin Bethel. S: Tyrann Mathieu, Antoine Bethea.
This one’s simple, if Williams is capable of playing like a #2 CB and Honey Badger can stay healthy, this is a top 5 secondary. However, I’m not convinced those will happen.
8) Jacksonville Jaguars
Projected Starters: CB: Jalen Ramsey, AJ Bouye, Aaron Colvin. S: Tashaun Gipson, Barry Church.
On paper this may be the most talented starting crew in the NFL. Ramsey and Bouye both had incredible seasons last year and have a chance to develop into superstars this season (I think Ramsey already is). If the Jags offense can maintain a flow and give their defense proper rest, look out.
7) Seattle Seahawks
Projected Starters: CB: Richard Sherman, DeShawn Shead, Jeremy Lane. S: Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas.
There’s one reason this unit is this low, and it’s depth. Seattle was in a position to stack out their secondary depth in the draft but really dropped the ball. Luckily they still have 3 superstars back there.
6) Baltimore Ravens
Projected Starters: CB: Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr, Marlon Humphrey. S: Eric Weddle, Tony Jefferson.
Holy shit, where did these guys come from?! This secondary was piss poor last year, so Ozzie Newsome pulled out all his guns to add 2 vets in Carr and Jefferson while picking up a young stud in Humphrey. This reminds me a lot of what the Giants did last year, and we all know that worked out.
5) New York Giants
Projected Starters CB: Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple, Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie. S: Landon Collins, Darian Thompson.
Speaking of those Giants… How’s the top 5 feel?! This teams got 2 elite guys here in Collins and Jenkins, while youngsters Apple and Thompson were both guys I loved in college and were rookies last year.. they’ll look to take huge steps forward as their development is going to be crucial for this team. DRC may be on his way to safety soon, but for now he’s still very serviceable at CB.
4) Atlanta Falcons
Projected Starters: CB: Desmond Trufant, Jalen Collins, Robert Alford. S: Keanu Neal, Ricardo Allen.
People forget this team went to the Super Bowl without their best defensive player in Trufant. Just goes to show how well Collins and Alford played down the stretch. With a thumper in Neal and a ball hawk in Allen, Dan Quinn is putting together the closest thing to the legion of boom we’ve seen.. well, since the original LOB.
3) Minnesota Vikings
Projected Starters: CB: Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, Mackenzie Alexander. S: Harrison Smith, Andrew Sendejo.
When you have the best stasical CB from a season ago in Rhodes as well as arguably the best safety in football in Smith.. you’re gonna be ranked high. Waynes will need to beat out o’l man Terrance Newman for a starting spot, and must prove it wasn’t a mistake taking him #11 overall a few years back. While letting Captain Munnerlyn walk shows a great deal of faith in last year’s second round pick Mackenzie Alexander.
2) New England Patriots
Projected Starters: CB: Stephon Gilmore, Malcom Butler, Eric Rowe. S: Devin McCourtey, Pat Chung.
Pats fans will be mad they’re not #1, but Gilmore ain’t as great as ya’ll are saying he is. If he plays like he did back in South Carolina then yes he’s a great player, but he just never played great ball for the Bills. Of course Butler is an excellent player and arguably the best #2 CB in the league.. and with McCourtey over the top at S this is easily one of the most feared units in the league.
1) Denver Broncos
Projected Starters: CB: Aqib Talib, Chris Harris, Bradley Roby. S: TJ Ward, Darian Stewart.
Not much more that needs to be said here… Easily the best trio of corners in the NFL, an absolute bruiser in Ward at safety to go along with a real solid Darian Stewart. This secondary already proved they can win you a Super Bowl with one of the worst QB’s in the NFL at the helm. They are undoubtedly the best secondary unit entering the 2017 NFL season.