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Best cornerbacks available in the 2021 NFL Draft and free agency

Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) reacts during Super Bowl LIV against the Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It’s team-building season, and that means all 32 franchises are spending countless hours figuring out how to shape their respective rosters for 2021 and beyond. One of the big decisions is where to add talent, whether from the NFL draft, in free agency or via trade. Teams assess their weaknesses and look at all potential options in a given position group.

In this series, we’ll investigate the strengths and weaknesses of all positions this offseason with an eye toward the draft, free agency and potential trade options. Here’s a look at the 2021 offseason cornerback market.

Best Cornerbacks Available via Free Agency (Free-Agent board rank)

  1. William Jackson III (16)
  2. Richard Sherman (18)
  3. Desmond King II (20)
  4. Mike Hilton (26)
  5. Shaquill Griffin (36)
  6. Troy Hill (41)
  7. Chidobe Awuzie (42)
  8. Brian Poole (49)
  9. Quinton Dunbar (52)
  10. Xavier Rhodes (61)
  11. Ronald Darby (62)
  12. Jason Verrett (64)
  13. Patrick Peterson (71)
  14. Nickell Robey-Coleman (76)
  15. Mackensie Alexander (80)

Editor's note: PFF’s 2021 NFL free-agency rankings offer three-year player grades, updated contract information, in-depth player analysis and PFF’s newly developed Wins Above Replacement (WAR) metric for all of the top NFL free agents. Click here to view the full list.

The cornerback position is inherently volatile from year to year, and nothing exemplifies that quite like this group of free agents. Many players on this list could lay claim to the top coverage grade in any given season over the last few years, but consistency has been lacking from this particular group.


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