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Darius Slay, Detroit Lions

While most shutdown cornerbacks have a short shelf life due to the demands of the position, there are exceptions to every rule.

Aqib Talib, who’s coming into his 11th NFL season,nfl jersey for kids  can still bring it against receivers who were in grade school when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took him in the first round of the 2008 draft.

It took a while for Talib to match his discipline and football acumen to his athleticism, but once he did, he became nearly impossible for any receiver to beat on a regular basis. Though he was tasked to play off the ball more last season—which goes against his physical, press-coverage style—he still allowed only 250 receiving yards, per Monson. He also hasn’t allowed a catch longer than 32 yards over the last two seasons, according to Monson.nfl kid jerseys

Talib is as aggressive as they come at the cornerback position, but he’s learned to offset the potential dangers that come with that aggression. He’s become a technician who can mirror receivers and jump routes with precision.nfl jerseys for kids on sale

After the Broncos traded him to the Rams in March, Talib now once again has a defensive coordinator in Wade Phillips who will deploy him in ways that best suit his talents. Phillips wants his cornerbacks challenging receivers physically all the way through the route, and no one in the league does that better than Talib.
Of everyone featured here, Darius Slay is likely talked about the least.

He tied with Titans safety Kevin Byard for the league lead in interceptions last season (eight), but there doesn’t seem to be much talk about his rightful status among the NFL’s best cornerbacks. He also had an incredible 26 passes defensed in 2017.nfl kids jersey

A second-round pick out of Mississippi State in 2013, Slay amassed two picks per season every year from 2014 through 2016, but that doesn’t mean he’s only coming around now. Slay was just as good in 2016 in coverage, but he didn’t have the same number of interception opportunities.

When you watch Slay’s tape—especially if you watch a reel of his interceptions—you’ll see a player with an uncanny knack for when a quarterback doesn’t have the velocity to make the throw he’s attempting, or when a receiver is about to make a turn for a catch in his route. He’s especially good at playing bail coverage, which allows him to keep his eye on the quarterback as he’s trailing a receiver down the boundary.kids jerseys nfl

It’s hard to play off the ball as much as Slay does and still be a shutdown cornerback—by definition, off-the-ball defenders are going to give up easy catches underneath. But when it counts, Slay has the timing, quickness and physicality to erase big plays on a consistent basis. kids nfl football jerseys