Cornerback is a role that many American football enthusiasts have called the most difficult position to play at the professional level. Guarding wide receivers step for step as they run at top speed, shift direction, and jump to make acrobatic catches is not the easiest defensive assignment.
To be an effective CB requires much more than just physical talent — it takes a unique instinct for the game that many players fail to develop during their careers. After all, effectively defending some of today’s athletes — think Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, or Josh Gordon — can be a complete nightmare.
Usually the fastest players in the defensive secondary, good cornerbacks have a combination of size, speed, and agility, and have stellar coverage and tackling skills. Throughout history, a number of National Football League greats have showed why it’s one of the most coveted positions.
Here are seven players who made their mark as NFL cornerbacks.