2011 NFL Draft Aftermath: Ranking the Top 5 Cornerback Tandems in the NFL

Eli Nachmany@EliNachmanyCorrespondent IIIMay 6, 2011

2011 NFL Draft Aftermath: Ranking the Top 5 Cornerback Tandems in the NFL

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) greets Patrick Peterson, #5 overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals, during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    The dust has settled, the players picked.

    The 2011 NFL draft is officially closed.

    Now that Patrick Peterson, Prince Amukamara and their draft-class counterparts all have new homes, it is time to rank the top cornerback tandems in the NFL.

    Because they are impending free agents, and although they may well return, we are going to respectfully exclude Antonio Cromartie, Jonathan Joseph, Aqib Talib, Brent Grimes and Nnamdi Asomugha from list consideration.

    Without further ado, the top five cornerback tandems in the NFL.

5. New England Patriots

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 02: Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots is congratulated by teammate Jerod Mayo #51 after McCourty intercepted a pass by the Miami Dolphins on January 2, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The Patriots got a steal in Devin McCourty in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft.

    McCourty went on to be a Pro Bowler.

    He also garnered consideration as a finalist for the Defensive Rookie of the Year.

    Adding second-rounder Ras-I Dowling on his other side only makes McCourty more lethal going into 2011, and gives the Patriots the fifth-best cornerback duo in the NFL.

4. New York Giants

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) poses for a photo with Prince Amukamara, #19 overall pick by the New York Giants, on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    The Giants had an average secondary coming into the 2011 NFL draft, but got fantastic value at the 19th pick with Prince Amukamara.

    Adding Amukamara alongside Corey Webster, an above-average cornerback in his own right, gives the Giants the fourth-best cornerback tandem in the NFL.

    The two will have to face Tony Romo, Michael Vick and other top passers in 2011, but are certainly up to the challenge.

    The Giants vastly improved their cornerback duo by adding Amukamara and are rewarded for it here.

3. San Diego Chargers

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    SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 29:   Steve Gregory #28 and Quentin Jammer #23 of the San Diego Chargers forces a fumble by Runningback Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the NFL game on November 29, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Califo
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    Certainly, the Chargers aren't the flashiest pick here, but San Diego's fantastic statistical output in 2010 can't be ignored.

    Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason are talented veterans at the position, and the two helped the Chragers rank first against the pass in 2010.

    Neither corner has great big-play propensity, but the two are fantastic at holding to their assignments and minimizing yards gained through the air.

    The two are a top cornerback duo in the league, and in an AFC West division becoming more and more pass-friendly, the Chargers can still hold their heads above water because of their superior cornerbacks.

2. Arizona Cardinals

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    ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 19:  Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie #29 of the Arizona Cardinals against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on September 19, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Cardinals selected Patrick Peterson with the fifth overall pick in the draft and have now assembled one of the most dynamic one-two punches at cornerback in the NFL.

    Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has built a reputation as a game-changer at the position, and fortunately for the Cardinals, Peterson will bring the same capability to Arizona.

    The Cardinals' cornerback duo is young, fast and should be lights-out from the start.

    With Peterson in the fold, Arizona will once again contend for the NFC West title.

1. Green Bay Packers

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    ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06:  Tramon Williams #38 and Charles Woodson #21 of the Green Bay Packers warm up before taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Get
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The best cornerback tandem in the NFL belongs to the Green Bay Packers.

    Charles Woodson put together a fantastic campaign in 2009 and followed up well in 2010, helping the Packers to a Wild Card spot.

    Woodson needed someone to step up as his capable counterpart, and Tramon Williams did so in a big way by intercepting three postseason passes, one of which sealed the game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

    The Packers needed two shut-down cornerbacks if they wanted to run the radical blitz packages they did.

    The presence of Woodson and Williams allowed the Packers to rush a crazy number of defenders, and as such, Green Bay won the Super Bowl.