Pro Football Focus has been a source of both fascinating statistics, maddening grades, and heated discussion over the past several years, and is sure to continue providing all of those items in the future. Today, we find that they are ranking every cornerback unit in the NFL from 1 through 32.
In that article, PFF ranks the Packers as having the seventh-best unit in the league.
Ahead of the Packers are the following teams, in order from 1 through 6: Denver, Arizona, Washington (thanks in huge part to the addition of Josh Norman), New England, Buffalo, and San Diego. The Chargers in particular are an interesting team to find on the list, since they added former Packer corner Casey Hayward in free agency this offseason.
Hayward has always been a PFF darling, and in the article's discussion about the Packers, they allude to him being the team's best cornerback:
Not many teams could lose their best cornerback and still boast a top-10 trio of CBs in the NFL. Such is the Packers’ outstanding turnover of cornerback talent that they should be able to sustain the loss of Casey Hayward to the Chargers and not miss a beat. All three of these corners went, on average, more than 10 snaps in coverage between receptions allowed; the Packers were one of only six teams to see their corners surrender completions so infrequently.
Packers fans - including this writer - would dispute that assertion, however, especially given the excellent season that Sam Shields posted last year. Still, it is clear that PFF thinks highly of Ted Thompson's pair of 2015 draft picks, Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins. They also cited the passer rating that Rollins allowed last season - just 58.4 - and noted that it was the 4th-best mark of any qualifying cornerback in the entire league.
And while the team's depth is not analyzed heavily in the article, the reserve group of LaDarius Gunter and Demetri Goodson also deserves mention. Gunter has been earning more snaps in the slot during OTAs to improve his versatility, and appears to be primed to develop into a great fourth option moving forward. This year's undrafted group of Makinton Dorleant, Josh Hawkins, and Randall Jette, along with returning youngster Robertson Daniel, all provide some intriguing physical upside as well.
Even with all that said, we have not yet mentioned Micah Hyde, who still has a role in this unit as a slot corner. Considering that only Hyde and Shields have been in the NFL for longer than two seasons and only Goodson has played more than one among the rest of the group, Packers fans have every reason to be excited about this position group moving forward into 2016 and beyond.