July 28, 2014

AFC North Top Dogs: Cornerback

It feels good to be on top.

Here’s another look at the best of the best (Eric Roberts? Bonus points if you get that reference) in the AFC North. Today, we look at cornerbacks.

My initial reaction was that it would be a clean sweep for the Bengals. And since the Bengals never seem to do very well in rankings of any sort, I had to do more research. But in this case, I was right. ESPN’s ScoutsInc. grades both Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph with an 84 out of 100, which makes both of them the best cornerbacks in the AFC North. Thus, the hard part would be deciding whom is the better Bengals defensive back.

Top Dog:  Leon Hall, Cincinnati

Big Dog:  Johnathan Joseph, Cincinnati

My Thoughts:  Hall gets the nod here because he is more durable and in my opinion, better in run support as well. Still, it would be advantageous to the Bengals if they can keep both players. With a blossoming pass rush and two solid corners (plus plenty of depth as well), the defense might be good enough to overcome the uncertainty surrounding the offense. I think Cincinnati might get some help as well in that area because I would not be surprised if Joseph becomes a restricted free agent when the new labor deal is finalized. Some players also might be willing to sign one-year deals given the likelihood of an abbreviated free agency period. Whatever the case, I’d prefer Cincinnati makes a legitimate effort to re-sign Joseph because they will likely face some competition for his services.