writers: Patrick Peterson is the game’s top CB

Jun 27, 2016, 2:15 PM | Updated: 4:15 pm
Patrick Peterson walks around during a Cardinals OTA practice. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports)...
Patrick Peterson walks around during a Cardinals OTA practice. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports)
(Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports)

Remember a couple of years ago when the NFL world was abuzz over the question of who the NFL’s best cornerback was?

Generally, people pointed to the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman, the Arizona Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson and the the New England Patriots’ Darrelle Revis, with Cleveland’s Joe Haden and a couple others seeing their names mentioned as well.

A completely subjective argument, the most fun seemed to be had by Peterson and Sherman, whose “feud” spawned many tweets as well as comments related to the the matter.

For a little bit of reference, there was this.

Good times, indeed.

At any rate, it’s been a couple of years since that little tiff and by all accounts, both Sherman and Peterson are still among the very best at what they do. But who is the very best?

That’s the question some writers tried to answer, and three of the six people polled went with Peterson.

First there was Adam Schein, who praised Peterson’s all-around game.

Patrick Peterson is the total package

The best corner in the NFL is Patrick Peterson. The Cardinals’ first-team All-Pro stud is better than Richard Sherman. And Darrelle Revis. And Joe Haden. How do I know? Peterson told me on SiriusXM Radio. And it’s true. When you combine pure coverage, ball skills, playmaking ability, smarts and versatility, nobody’s on his level.

Peterson said he thinks he doesn’t get the credit because he doesn’t talk like the other corners. (Well, he talks at least a little bit. But that’s neither here nor there.) His teammate, Pro Bowl defensive lineman Calais Campbell, compared Peterson to Deion Sanders in his prime on my CBS Sports Network show, “Time to Schein,” stressing that Peterson excels in a defense that asks the corner to do a lot.

David Carr, meanwhile, noted how Peterson is one of the few players who can essentially erase a receiver from the game plan.

Peterson might be NFL’s one true shutdown corner

There are a few top-tier corners, but I have to go with Arizona’s Patrick Peterson. The sixth-year corner can play man coverage on any receiver and might be the only true shutdown corner in the league heading into 2016.

Darrelle Revis hasn’t been dominant as of late, while Josh Norman and Richard Sherman are good route readers and great at playing zone. But I can’t justify any of these three being ranked ahead of Peterson right now.

And finally, Charley Casserly singled out Peterson’s ability to make plays for whatever kind of defense a team employs.

Peterson can fit into any defense — and he’s a threat to score after any pick

I would go with Patrick Peterson. I think he is the most complete CB. He can press, play man coverage from an off position and can hold his own in a zone scheme. Also, he has the ability to make plays with the ball when gets it.

Sherman was named by two of the panelists while Revis got the nomination from one.

Peterson is coming off arguably the best season of his career. He was named a first-team All-Pro for a second time after collecting 35 total tackles along with two interceptions and 10 passes defensed. According to ProFootballFocus he allowed more than 50 yards in a game just twice in 2015, surrendering 56 to the Chicago Bears in Week 2 and 52 in the Divisional Round win over the Green Bay Packers. From PFF:

Considering that he spent a lot of time covering the best receivers in the NFL, that’s a fantastic stat to back up his claim as one of the best CBs in all of football.

Whether or not Peterson is the best cornerback in the land is absolutely up for debate, but it is clear that if nothing else his name belongs in the conversation.

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