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PFF ranks Marlon Humphrey among elite tier of outside cornerbacks

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Minnesota Vikings v Baltimore Ravens

On Monday, PFF’s Anthony Treash gave his ranking of NFL outside cornerbacks. Five tiers were created for this exercise, with the first being elite. Among the nine players included in the elite tier was Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who rounded out the list at the No. 9 spot.

“There’s an argument to be made that Humphrey is better suited for the slot cornerback list (where he would claim the top spot), but he lands here because he has played more snaps on the outside since taking on a versatile role,” Treash wrote. “The Alabama product ranked second only to A.J. Terrell in completion percentage allowed on the outside last season (47.8%). His grade on the outside ranks in the 62nd percentile since 2018, while his slot grade places in the 91st percentile.”

The 2019 All-Pro cornerback struggled at times during the 2021 season before suffering a season-ending pectoral tear against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 13. Humphrey’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 7 particularly comes to mind, where he had difficulty keeping up with rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, and even allowed a deep touchdown to tight end C.J. Uzomah. Although not every yard came against Humphrey, Chase ended the game with 201 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Humphrey will be looking to return to form this season as both he and fellow 2019 All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters return from season-ending injuries. Peters, coming off an ACL tear before the start of the 2021 season, was put into the third tier titled “veterans with juice still in the tank.”

“The 29-year-old Peters is coming off a torn ACL suffered right before Week 1 of the 2021 season, ending his campaign prematurely. When he is healthy, though, there’s no denying he is liable to produce at a top-tier level,” Treash wrote. “He’s been nothing but a heady, physical playmaker in his NFL career. Since 2015, no cornerback has tallied more combined pass breakups and interceptions than Peters (83). And remember, he holds this spot even despite not playing a down in 2021. Peters is still prone to slip-ups given his aggressive nature, but he makes up for it with big plays.”