49ers Star Richard Sherman 'Still One of the Best' Cornerbacks, Says NFC Exec

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2020

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) walks off the field during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Kansas City Chiefs won 31-20. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)
Steve Luciano/Associated Press

Richard Sherman is no longer considered the shutdown cornerback he was earlier in his career, but opposing coaches still see the San Francisco 49ers veteran as a top player. 

"How smart he is makes up for the physical limitations at this stage," an NFC executive said of Sherman to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. "If he doesn't win at the line, he can struggle with instant separators, in-breaking stuff. Or if hit vertically, can be tough to recover. But from a ball skills standpoint and football instincts, toughness, tackling, still one of the best."

A poll of 50 league personnel didn't put Sherman among the top 10 cornerbacks in the NFL, although he did earn an honorable mention.

At his best, Sherman was considered one of the best defensive backs in football with two first-team All-Pro honors in 2013 and 2014. He was a key part of the Seattle Seahawks defense that led the NFL in points allowed in four straight seasons.

After a couple of quiet years, the 32-year-old played well in 2019 with the 49ers, totaling three interceptions with one returned for a touchdown. He was named second-team All-Pro and was the leading cornerback for a defense that ranked No. 1 in the NFL against the pass.

Younger players like Jalen Ramsey and Tre'Davious White have taken plenty of spotlight at the position in recent times, while Stephen Gilmore is coming off a career year with the New England Patriots. However, Sherman is still highly rated by coaches and executives around the league.

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