Friday, August 17, 2012
Poll results: AFC North's top cornerback
By Jamison Hensley
I wasn't surprised that this week's SportsNation poll on the AFC North's top cornerback was so close. The separation between top and bottom in the poll was 18 percent.
The Browns' Joe Haden finished first, which means Jordy Nelson would be the division's top wide receiver if he was in the AFC North. I kid. My vote would go to Haden because he is the most talented corner in the AFC North, although the Ravens' Lardarius Webb has looked strong in camp.
So, after an impressive 11,851 votes, this is the poll result: Haden (36 percent), the Steelers' Ike Taylor (25 percent), Webb (21 percent) and the Bengals' Leon Hall (18 percent).
Now this is where I was surprised. My ranking would go like this: Haden, Webb, Hall and Taylor. What separates Haden and Webb is their ability to make plays. All of these cornerbacks are talented and are a big reason why their defenses rank so high against the pass. But cornerbacks need to be playmakers. Haden intercepted six passes as a rookie and broke up 19 throws last season. Webb made eight interceptions last season, including three in the playoffs.
Perhaps my next question should be how many of these corners make their first Pro Bowl in 2012?