Execs, coaches, scouts rank NFL's top 10 cornerbacks for 2023

Pat Surtaiin might wear No. 2, but he has ascended to the top spot among NFL cornerbacks. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

NFL training camps are fast approaching, which means it is again time for the league's true insiders to have their say. As part of ESPN's 2023 NFL season preview, we surveyed league executives, coaches, scouts and players to help us rank the top 10 players at 11 different positions, from quarterback to cornerback and all positions in between. This is the fourth edition of these rankings, and as usual, several players have moved up or fallen off last year's lists.

By way of refresher, here's how our process works: Voters give us their best 10 players at a position, then we compile the results and rank candidates based on number of top-10 votes and composite average, along with dozens of interviews, research and film-study help from ESPN NFL analyst Matt Bowen. In total, more than 80 voters submitted a ballot on at least one position, and in many cases all positions. We had several ties, so we broke them with the help of additional voting and follow-up calls with those surveyed.

Each section includes quotes and nuggets from the voters on every ranked player -- even the honorable mentions. The objective is to identify the best players right now for 2023. This is not a five-year projection or a career achievement award. Who are the best players today? Check out who makes the list at every position on ESPN+.

We will roll out a position per day over 11 days. The schedule: off-ball linebackers (July 8), defensive tackles (July 9), edge rushers (July 10), cornerbacks (July 11), safeties (July 12), tight ends (July 13), running backs (July 14), offensive tackles (July 15), guards and centers (July 16), quarterbacks (July 17) and wide receivers (July 18).

The NFL cornerback pantheon will be entertaining for years to come.

The past two NFL drafts have produced elite cover men who could jockey for the top spot over the next decade. Pat Surtain II (2021) and Sauce Gardner (2022) are that promising. The hype is indeed real and warranted for both.

Several veterans who have been fixtures in our top-10 lists since 2020 aren't going away and in some cases are elevating their elite play well into their late 20s or early 30s. And two young players in the honorable mention category have major ability that could elevate them into the top five by next year.

Let's look at some of the game's top corners as ranked by execs, coaches, scouts and players around the NFL.