I am not surprised the player I voted No. 1 in our cornerback Power Rankings did not finish on top. Actually, I’m surprised I had company in voting Oakland Raiders free-agent Nnamdi Asomugha No. 1 on the list and that he was actually within man-to-man coverage distance of winner Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets.
John Clayton and Paul Kuharsky also voted Asomugha ahead of Revis. It was not enough to elevate Asomugha to the top of the cornerback food chain. Revis finished with 77 voting points and Asomugha finished with 75 points. Former Raider and current Green Bay Packers star Charles Woodson finished a distant third with 58 points.
Revis and Asomugha had a monopoly on all the first and second-place votes. That’s the way it should be. They are the two best corners in the game and they’d be our two starting cornerbacks in any dream game.
However, I gave Asomugha the edge because I think he has a longer résumé and he has had a bigger impact on the game. Asomugha has been in the league since 2003 and Revis has been in the league since 2007. Both men are in their prime.
I’ve seen passes completed against Revis in a limited view of his work. I’ve watched Asomugha play live for years. I can count on one hand the balls that have been completed against him. I’m sure plenty of teams will agree on Asomugha’s worth when he will be showered with lucrative free-agents offers once the lockout ends.
The AFC West influence didn’t end with Asomugha. Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey finished fifth with 53 points. He was one vote behind the Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel. I had Bailey ranked fourth. He may be 32, but he is still playing at a high level. That’s why Denver just gave him a lucrative new deal to keep him off of the free-agent market.
In a bit of a surprise, Oakland’s Stanford Routt finished two points out of the top 10. I did not vote for Routt. I actually voted San Diego’s Quentin Jammer 10th. I think Jammer is an underrated player, so I’m not surprised I was alone in recognizing him. Routt received two votes, including a sixth-place spot by Clayton.
I like Routt and I’m interested to see what he does, in 2011 after signing a fat, new contract. Especially if Asomugha leaves and Routt is the No. 1 cornerback in Oakland. I think Routt was awarded in this ranking for his strong “burn rate" numbers. I’ll be prepared to put Routt in the top 10 next year if he performs well in 2011.
Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers received three voting points. Like Routt, I could see myself considering Flowers next year. Former Oakland player DeAngelo Hall finished ninth and former Charger Antonio Cromartie received five points. I didn’t consider either because I think they are both overrated. Neither Oakland nor San Diego misses those two players.
Overall, this exercise shows that is a strong time for cornerback play in the AFC West.