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Breaking Down the Denver Broncos' Cornerback Competition

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  • Breaking Down the Denver Broncos' Cornerback Competition

    Going into the training camp, the team is currently carrying eight cornerbacks ranging from 14-year veterans to undrafted rookies. Below, we take a look at those defensive backs.



    Locks



    Champ Bailey

    Bailey was ranked as the 10th-best cornerback by ProFootballFocus.com (subscription required for the link), earning a 12.0 grade from PFF. Bailey earned an 8.7 coverage grade and a 3.7 grade against the run.

    Although he has slowed down to some extent, Bailey is the most experienced cornerback on the team's roster. He has lost his title as the most talented cornerback on the roster to the young defender listed below, but he is still the smartest and most important corner in Denver.



    Chris Harris Jr.

    Harris was ranked fifth overall among cornerbacks by PFF in 2012, earning an 18.4 overall grade. With a 10.5 coverage rating and a 7.7 grade against the run, Harris was by far the best cornerback on Denver's roster last season.

    Going forward, Harris figures to see time both across from Bailey and covering the slot in nickel and dime packages.



    Close Behind



    Omar Bolden

    Bolden was ranked 143rd among PFF's 2012 cornerbacks rankings, earning a minus-1.7 overall rating, a minus-0.1 rating against the pass and an unrated grade against the run. Although his numbers are not impressive, PFF had a small sample size to chose from and the Broncos like Bolden's chances of seizing more playing time going into 2013.

    When asked in a postseason press conference in January if Bolden has the potential to become a starter, team executive vice president of football operations John Elway told the Denver Post, "You bet. He's a fighter. His comment to me was that he is going to come back for next season and take somebody's job."



    Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

    Rodgers-Cromartie was PFF's 98th-ranked cornerback, earning a minus-7.1 overall grade, a 2.9 grade against the pass and a minus-4.6 grade against the run in 2012. DRC is an athletic defensive back who blows coverage nearly as often as he makes big plays.

    In DRC, the Broncos have an aggressive cornerback who will record a few interceptions, but may need to tone down his aggressiveness in order to not be beaten repeatedly by pass-heavy offenses. His experience gives him an edge over some of the younger corners on the roster.



    Up and Coming



    Tony Carter

    Carter took advantage of his limited opportunities in 2012 after Tracy Porter missed time due to seizure-like symptoms. A talented rotational rotational defensive back, Carter has a lot of potential but is not ready for starting responsibilities just yet.



    Kayvon Webster

    Webster was drafted in the third round by the Broncos in April and has been dubbed a "reach" by 99 percent of draftnicks. But the Broncos like his physical play, a skill set that could help him earn playing time in the slot early in his career.



    Young and Inexperienced



    Aaron Hester and Mario Butler

    Hester, a cousin of Devin Hester, signed with the team as an undrafted free agent after the draft, as did Butler. The two youngsters will compete to earn roster spots as special teams players this summer.



    Final Projections

    In each of the last two seasons, the Broncos have carried five cornerbacks. This year, it will be hard to carry any fewer than six.

    The top four cornerbacks listed are all but guaranteed to make the roster and Denver is not parting ways with Webster and do not want to see Carter playing anywhere else. That's already six and the team will surely want to see what Hester and Butler have to offer.

    A possible solution is carrying Hester and Butler on the practice squad (but they can be signed to another team's active roster from there). Alternatively, Carter seems to be the odd man out if the team has to cut one of the returning corners.

    Expect up to six cornerbacks to make Denver's final 53-roster. Watch for a fierce competition at the position during training camp this summer.



    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1...ck-competition

  • #2
    Here is my list! Five of the corners i'm confident will make the team.I think Bolden will have a fight on his hands to stay o the roster.

    Bailey
    Harris
    Cromartie
    Carter
    Webster
    Bolden ( maybe border line)

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    • #3
      A lot of people on this forum are very fond of Carter and I am not sure why? He had a couple of very good games and a bunch of so so games and a couple of lousy games. Bolden was returning from a major injury last season but I expect him to send Carter to the FA line this year. Webster may be a safety before it is over. I look for us to look for another CB in next draft time.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Kansas Bob View Post
        A lot of people on this forum are very fond of Carter and I am not sure why? He had a couple of very good games and a bunch of so so games and a couple of lousy games. Bolden was returning from a major injury last season but I expect him to send Carter to the FA line this year. Webster may be a safety before it is over. I look for us to look for another CB in next draft time.
        What games was he lousy in?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by beastlyskronk View Post
          What games was he lousy in?
          I would say the 2nd Chargers game he had a couple of touchdowns given up if I remember right. The playoff game as much as people blame Rahim Moore on that deep pass at the end of regulation Carter was the one covering if I remember right and just kind of gave up half way through the play.

          I like Carter and am excited to see what the competition does for all of these guys. A this point there is no telling how the final roster for the Corner position will play out. That might be one of the more exciting positions to watch during training camp.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by cdumler7 View Post
            I would say the 2nd Chargers game he had a couple of touchdowns given up if I remember right. The playoff game as much as people blame Rahim Moore on that deep pass at the end of regulation Carter was the one covering if I remember right and just kind of gave up half way through the play.

            I like Carter and am excited to see what the competition does for all of these guys. A this point there is no telling how the final roster for the Corner position will play out. That might be one of the more exciting positions to watch during training camp.
            He should have never been trying to cover a 6'5" WR in the redzone. JDR put him in a bad situation on both of those TDs. But even then, he had good coverage both times, he was simply too short. Carter was terrific last year, he allowed only 27 completions out of 60 targets.

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            • #7
              60 targets doesn't exactly mean all 60 were catchable does it?

              Carter is fine but should be a dime corner at most on the team. Kayvon I believe allows us to keep 6 corners and 4 safeties. Bolden really flashed at the seasons end. I expect DRC to play Carter's role last year. Having champ n Harris start with Harris moving to nickel and DRC taking his place outside when we run nickel. Dime corner is gonna be an absolute battle. Can't wait. How we keep all of them

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              • #8
                I also like Hester as a S/CB hybrid as a practice squad player.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by beastlyskronk View Post
                  He should have never been trying to cover a 6'5" WR in the redzone. JDR put him in a bad situation on both of those TDs. But even then, he had good coverage both times, he was simply too short. Carter was terrific last year, he allowed only 27 completions out of 60 targets.
                  How is 50% completion good?
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    DRC is not a "Not far behind" player. he is a lock.
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      I don't see where Cromartie fits into the team.

                      He may or may not get significant playing time this year, who knows, but with all the young talent the Broncos have and have drafted, he seems temporary.

                      That said, if the Broncos wanted a temporary corner they probably would've gone after someone older and someone who was actually decent last year. He's a player that has potential but is terrible~ sounds like Webster and Bolden both.

                      Definitely don't understand that one.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by broncos SB2010 View Post
                        How is 50% completion good?
                        It's 45% and you'll be hard pressed to find many CBs doing better than that. Bailey and Harris were around 55%. Richard Sherman was at 47%

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SoundsOfSuccess View Post
                          I don't see where Cromartie fits into the team.

                          He may or may not get significant playing time this year, who knows, but with all the young talent the Broncos have and have drafted, he seems temporary.

                          That said, if the Broncos wanted a temporary corner they probably would've gone after someone older and someone who was actually decent last year. He's a player that has potential but is terrible~ sounds like Webster and Bolden both.

                          Definitely don't understand that one.
                          He essentially has a one year contract so it is temporary

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by beastlyskronk View Post
                            It's 45% and you'll be hard pressed to find many CBs doing better than that. Bailey and Harris were around 55%. Richard Sherman was at 47%
                            Sherman and Bailey aren't going against #4 WR's very often. When Tony Carter went against #2's the results were fairly inconsistent

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                            • #15
                              Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a lock. $5 million guaranteed. And why is Omar Bolden higher than Tony Carter and Kayvon Webster? I guess some people did not see his receiver constantly open by 5 yards. Oh, it's Bleacher Report.
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