Cornerback isn’t a position for those who lack confidence, so it’s not too surprising that every player at the position at the Pro Bowl seems to believe they’re the best in the league.
On Saturday morning, ESPN posted a video that shows Casey Hayward of the Los Angeles Chargers making his case as the NFL’s best cornerback at an AFC Pro Bowl practice, which didn’t go over well with Jalen Ramsey of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The video starts with Hayward telling Ramsey “y’all the best duo, but ain’t the best corner” referring to the pairing of Ramsey and A.J. Bouye in Jacksonville. Ramsey responds with “I am, though!” and that’s when Hayward makes a pretty compelling case for himself.
“He follows the No. 1 [receiver], I follow the No. 1,” Hayward says. “My completion [percentage] was better than his, my QBR was better than his, I had more pass breakups than him. What is he talking about? We both followed the No. 1 and everything was better than his.
“We did the same exact thing, he’s just taller than me and he can run faster. I’m a football player, man.”
All of which is true. Hayward held opposing quarterbacks to a completion percentage of 42.7 and a passer rating of 58.6 with 22 pass breakups. Ramsey held quarterbacks to a 51.0 percent completion rate with a rating of 63.9 and had 17 pass breakups.
Then Talib, a Pro Bowl cornerback in the last five years, entered the fold with some logic that didn’t make much sense.
“Y’all didn’t even make the playoffs,” Talib says.
“You didn’t either,” Hayward replies.
Hayward finished the year as the highest graded cornerback on Pro Football Focus (subscription required), but if there’s an argument in favor of Ramsey and Talib it’s that both graded much better against the run than Hayward.
Either way, the Chargers, Jaguars and Broncos all have reason to feel good about their confident and brash cornerbacks who shut down receivers in 2017 and intend to continue to make their case as the best in the game in 2018.