Dreams really do come true. After finding a much-needed complement to Darius Slay, the Philadelphia Eagles will walk into the 2022-2023 NFL season with quite possibly the best cornerback tandem they’ve had since the days when Troy Vincent and Bobby ‘The Blanket’ Taylor roamed the secondary.
No disrespect is intended to Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown. They were a formidable duo as well, one that rarely disappointed, but nothing was like Troy and Bobby, and the Big Play Slay/James Bradberry combo should have opposing offensive coordinators and their quarterbacks staying up late on the eve of their games versus Philly.
CBS Sports may not have gotten that memo. Sure, they know that Slay and Bradberry are two of the best in the game. Who doesn’t? But, that didn’t stop them from shutting them out on one of their recent player rankings.
CBS Sports releases a ranking of the NFL’s top ten cornerbacks and no Philadelphia Eagles are mentioned.
Heading into June’s final full weekend, CBS Sports’ Patrik Walker dropped his list of the top ten cornerbacks in the National Football League. Here’s who made the list:
- Jalen Ramsey, L.A. Rams
- Xavien Howard, Miami Dolphins
- J.C. Jackson, L.A. Chargers
- Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans Saints
- Trevon Diggs, Dallas Cowboys
- Denzel Ward, Cleveland Browns
- Kenny Moore II, Indianapolis Colts
- Tre’Davious White, Buffalo Bills
- A.J. Terrell, Atlanta Falcons
- Marlon Humphrey, Baltimore Ravens
Walker sits Green Bay Packers star Jaire Alexander right outside of the top ten. Perhaps we’re biased, but we were disappointed to see Darius Slay and James Bradberry ignored.
We were this close to crying foul as Walker, as most know, is one of the more well-known media voices in the Dallas Cowboys community (as you see Trevon Diggs earned a top-five ranking). Then, we remembered that he just mentioned Kenneth Gainwell as a breakout candidate for the coming season, so we backed off some. As any good football mind would, we placed the challenge flag back in our pockets.
We’re teasing of course… sort of. Patrik Walker puts a nice group of names together here, and arguing Slay and/or Bradberry on the list means we have to argue one or two guys off. That was an exercise that we didn’t feel like undertaking, so we’ll leave that to the rest of you. Here’s what we can say though.
Slay is a four-time Pro Bowler whose most recent nod came at the end of this past season. He’s coming off of a campaign in which he tallied 52 total tackles, three interceptions, nine pass breakups, two fumble recoveries, and three defensive touchdowns. One would assume he’ll have to level off at some point. So far, there’s been no regression, however, so we’re enjoying the ride while it lasts.
Bradberry had an off-year by James Bradberry standards, but come on. Everyone from players to coaches to front-office personnel has an off-year with what’s become a downtrodden New York Giants franchise. Expect a bounceback from him, especially seeing as how he’s looking for a long-term deal and the Philadelphia Eagles got him for a bargain.
The point is this. Forget the power rankings and positional comparisons. Philadelphia has one of the best starting cornerback combos in Slay and Bradberry, and their starter in the slot, Avonte Maddox is no slouch either. If three of these young guys can evolve into key depth pieces, you may not hear any complaints about the Eagles’ cornerback room all season.