The NFL is doing all sorts of “all-time” content this month as we all work through the slow period before training camp. Gil Brandt has been ranking out the 25 best by position, and recently, Elliott Harrison joined in on the cornerback position. He put together a video looking at the top five all-time cornerback duos.
Harrison’s list included Ronnie Lott and Eric Wright, ranking them No. 4 all time. Here are Harrison’s top five:
1. Lester Hayes, Mike Haynes - 1983 Los Angeles Raiders
2. Dick “Night Train” Lane, Dick LeBeau - 1962 Detroit Lions
3. Chris Harris, Aqib Talib - 2016 Denver Broncos
4. Ronnie Lott, Eric Wright - 1983 San Francisco 49ers
5. Patrick Surtain, Sam Madison - 2000 Miami Dolphins
Gil Brandt ranked out the top 31 cornerbacks of all time, and the 49ers were well-represented. Eric Wright (the first one, not the second one!) ranked No. 31 and Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson ranked No. 13. Deion Sanders spent his one season with the 49ers and ranked No. 1. Rod Woodson also spent a year with the 49ers and ranked No. 2.
The 49ers have had some solid cornerbacks in recent years, but they have lacked a big shutdown corner for some time. Rashard Robinson only has one year under his belt, so it is way too early to say what he will become. However, he looked really solid for stretches of his rookie season, and has quickly emerged at the top of the 49ers depth chart. Keith Reaser and Dontae Johnson are the veterans competing opposite him, but rookie Ahkello Witherspoon had some solid moments in the offseason workout program.
I am not going to say Robinson and Witherspoon will be the next great 49ers cornerback duo, but I can certainly hope for it! The 49ers defense has a chance to take a noticeable step forward this season, and part of that will depend on how this cornerback overhaul goes. Maybe we see the start of something special.