PFF ranks two Bucs cornerbacks in NFL’s Top 32

The Bucs’ defense was the team’s strength last year. And this year the numbers will be more of the same. When most think of the best players in Tampa Bay, more falls on the defensive side of the ball than the offensive side of it.

While Pewter Report’s Josh Queipo recently busted two Bucs linebackers that made the Pro Football Focus Top 32 rankings, two more Bucs players on defense, this time at cornerback, made PFF’s list.

That would be Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis III.

Bucs CB Jamel Dean

Former Pewter Reporter Trevor Sikkema has taken the liberty of ranking many players around the NFL, which continues with his breakdown of the cornerback position. Jamel Dean claims the number 10 spot on his list. Sikkema gave his opinion on the now highly compensated cornerback:

Bucs CB Jamel Dean – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“One of the most underrated cornerbacks in the league, Dean finally earned a big payout from the Bucs this offseason. He has four consecutive seasons with a PFF coverage rating between 74.7 and 78.9, and while he doesn’t play much on the football, he makes quarterbacks and receivers work for every yard.

Yes, Dean doesn’t have stats that jump off the page, but last season he took the next step to establish himself as a No. 1 cornerback. Breaking down some of his advanced numbers further, he allowed only 34 receptions for 412 yards, though he was credited with giving up five touchdowns.

He did have two interceptions, but he’s been out at that point in three seasons. Dean has to eclipse his previous interception total for someone who is now being paid to play in what is now a renewed secondary behind him.

Jamel Dean is criminally underrated

While he hasn’t collected any accolades or awards so far in his career, it seems that the people in the league (and in Tampa Bay) are starting to appreciate Dean’s game.

It was not certain that he would win the second spot in the corner to Davis who entered last season, but Dean won easily and exceeded expectations, so much so that it led to a four-year, $52 million dollar contract. While he was recently picked as the team’s most underrated playermaybe it won’t be long now.

His catchphrase is “Don’t make a scene, it’s just Dean,” but the Bucs hope he makes a scene and puts together a performance worthy of actor-level awards.

Bucs CB Carlton Davis III

Carlton Davis is number 29 in the PFF list. A late entry after a somewhat lesser year, Davis still makes the cut for his track record and upwards.

Bucs CB Carlton Davis III

Bucs CB Carlton Davis III – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“Davis isn’t coming off his best year, but he still led the Tampa Bay cornerbacks last season with 11 pass breakups, more than double the second-best total.” Sikkema wrote. “He allowed an 85.8 passer rating in his coverage and has elite size and strength for the position.”

He had the lion’s share of targets in his path as he was mostly up against No. 1 WRs. Although he was targeted 90 times, the sixth highest mark in the league, he only completed 54.4% of the passes thrown in his path.

Carlton Davis looking for bounce back 2023

Although stingy to make passes and stick to his matchups, Davis struggled to get takeaways. You would expect more game-changing plays from a No. 1 cornerback who often gets the ball thrown at him.

After averaging more than one stride error per game between 2019-2021 (1.36 in 2019, 1.29 in 2020 and 1.1 in 2021), it was 0.92 last season. That number and other stats, such as his coverage ratio, have slipped somewhat in his career, so he’ll need a recovery season to maintain his ranking spot and status as a high-level starting cornerback.

Former 2022 Bucs CB makes Top 32 list

What was extremely surprising in this ranking is that a third Bucs cornerback from last season made it to this list. While no longer on the team, it’s worth noting that now-Tennessee Titan Sean Murphy-Bunting is ranked No. 19.

That’s higher than expected, especially since he signed just a one-year, proof-it deal in free agency. After his first three seasons as a starting player in Tampa Bay, he only started in five of the 12 games he played in 2022.

He was still making plays in secondary when he was on the field, but he was clearly the number 3 cornerback on the team. It’s worth keeping an eye on him and seeing if his game improves with a new team.

Bucs have Top 5 CB Duo

Based on the rankings, the Bucs have a top-five cornerback duo. Having the No. 10 and No. 29 cornerbacks only puts them below the Jets, Dolphins, Cowboys and Eagles in terms of star power, courtesy of this image.

Bucs fans, do these rankings affect your view of the team next season? The defense is filled with plenty of star power, and this ranking just keeps going.

They’re subjective, but there’s no doubt there’s a good chunk of defense ranks near the top of their respective positions. Cornerback is no different, and it really is a luxury for a team to have two cornerbacks who would both be the best of many other teams. Clearly, from Auburn to the pros, Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis III are never far away from being talked about together.

#PFF #ranks #Bucs #cornerbacks #NFLs #Top

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