For a long stretch in the NFL 3 cornerbacks were universally considered the best in the business in Darrelle Revis (New York Jets/T. Bay Bucs/New England Patriots), Richard Sherman (Seattle Seahawks) and Patrick Peterson (Arizona Cardinals).
The NFL went through a long draft run in which there were more first and second round pick busts and underachievers at the cornerback spot than starters in the league and the emergence nationally of 7-on-7 football in the high school ranks seemingly was cranking out many more top wide receivers than defenders.
The wave of top wide receivers like Julio Jones (Falcons), A.J. Green (Bengals), Golden Tate (Lions), Doug Baldwin (Seahawks), Antonio Brown (Steelers), DeAndre Hopkins (Texans), Mike Evans (Buccaneers), Odell Beckham, Jr. (Giants), Jarvis Landry (Dolphins), Michael Thomas (Saints), Amari Cooper (Raiders), Tyreek Hill (Chiefs), Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen (Vikings) and T.Y. Hilton (Colts) hit the league and many NFL executives wondered how the league defensively could slow down this offensive-tsunami of pass catchers.
But just like 7-on-7 affected the offensive side of the ball it has also had a positive impact in the secondary.
In a span of 5 years four elite cornerbacks have entered the NFL.
You can make a strong argument today that Rhodes, Peters, Ramsey and Lattimore are four of the top five cornerbacks playing in the NFL today.
And you throw in the young talents of Darius Slay (Detroit Lions), A.J. Bouye (Jacksonville Jaguars), Tre’Davious White (Buffalo Bills), Adoree’ Jackson (Tennessee Titans) and Trumaine Johnson (Los Angeles Rams) and fears about the coverage part of the game are quickly fading away.