Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner remains No. 1.
The 2022 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and All-Pro has repeated as the NFL’s top cornerback in rankings by The Associated Press.
A panel of nine AP Pro Football Writers ranked the top five players at cornerback, making their selections based on current status through Week 8. First-place votes were worth 10 points. Second through fifth-place votes were worth 5, 3, 2 and 1 points.
Gardner, the New York Jets’ star, got seven first-place votes, one more than he received in the preseason poll. Patrick Surtain II received the other two.
Thirteen cornerbacks received at least one vote, including DaRon Bland, Jerry Jacobs, James Bradberry, Patrick Peterson, Darius Williams, Trent McDuffie, Devon Witherspoon and Charvarius Ward.
Gardner has been one of the NFL’s top shutdown cornerback since debuting last season. He’s allowed 19 catches for 155 yards and one touchdown this season while quarterbacks have only thrown his way 25 times.
Surtain has followed up an All-Pro season with another solid season. He’s given up 25 catches for 350 yards and two TDs. Surtain’s defensive grade, per Pro Football Focus, is down to 71.2 from 86.8 last year. He was named on eight ballots.
The man nicknamed “Big Play Slay” began the season with a 70-yard pick-6 against New England and had a red-zone interception against Miami two weeks ago. Slay already has allowed 36 catches, just 11 fewer than all of last season. He was named on six ballots.
Alexander stays in the same spot from the preseason poll. He’s been limited to four games because of injuries and has given up 13 catches for 183 yards and two scores.
The four-time Pro Bowl pick received two second-place votes and three total to claim the fifth spot. Lattimore has allowed just one touchdown and 25 catches for 302 yards.
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