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Top-30 Cornerbacks in NFL History

The best lock-down players
Publish Date: 09/29/2021
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Active players are not eligible for this list.

30) Bobby Dillon

Bobby Dillon made it to four Pro Bowls with the Packers in the 1950s. He is also Green Bay’s all-time interception leader, having attained 52.Β As an interesting tidbit, he did that with just one eye. He also managed to have nine interceptions in two separate seasons.

29) Pat Fischer

Pat Fischer was undersized, but he made up for it with instincts and toughness. Well, not only did Pat Fischer have an incredible 56 career interceptions, he managed to be selected to the Pro Bowl three times in the 1960s and is considered by many to be one of the greatest Washington Redskins. He spent most of his career in the 1960s with the St. Louis Cardinals before moving to Washington. His career spanned the incredible time frame of 1961-1977.

28) Louis Wright

Wright spent his entire career with the Denver Broncos. Among his notable achievements were 5 Pro Bowl invitations in a dozen-year career and being named a member of the 1970s NFL All-Decade team. What is holding Wright down on many lists is his limited number of career interceptions, which totals in at only 26. That is likely partially because people didn’t throw at him, but that does hurt him in most people’s formulas for ranking the top corners.

27) Bobby Boyd

Bobby Boyd spent eight years with the Baltimore Colts after being drafted out of Oklahoma in 1960. Among his accomplishments include two Pro Bowls and being named to the 1960s All-Decade team. If that wasn’t enough, his staggering career total of 57 interceptions is a Colts franchise record not likely to be soon broken, and he managed it in fewer than ten seasons.

26) Bob Jeter

Bob Jeter was part of the Packer’s team that won the first two Super Bowls, and he is also enshrined in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. Also, it may be the most underrated cornerback in NFL history.

Video: Gary Jeter discusses Bob Jeter former Packer legend!

Gary Jeter discusses Bob Jeter former Packer legend!

25) Frank Minnifield-Hanford Dixon

Minnifield was only in the NFL for eight years but still made the 1980s NFL All-Decade team. He also went to four Pro Bowls. Very underrated because of the shortness of his career.

Dixon managed to be a three-time Pro Bowl selection, but let’s face it when you think of one, you think of the other.

Video: Frank Minnifield & Hanford Dixon

Frank Minnifield & Hanford Dixon

24) Ty Law

Ty Law won three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots in the past decade. He also was named to five Pro Bowls and had an impressive career total of 53 interceptions. He is a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade team.

23) Jimmy Johnson

Jimmy Johnson was a five-time Pro Bowler, member of the NFL Hall of Fame, and the NFL 1970s All-Decade team. He finished his career with 47 interceptions.

22) Emmitt Thomas

Emmitt Thomas played in Kansas City for most of the 1970s. In his career, he managed five Pro Bowl appearances and an incredible 58 interceptions.

Video: BLACK COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2016 ENSHRINEMENT VIDEO: EMMITT THOMAS

BLACK COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2016 ENSHRINEMENT VIDEO: EMMITT THOMAS

21) Eddie Meador

Eddie Meador is an unbelievable eight-time Pro Bowler who played for the Los Angeles Rams during the 1960s. He also was named to the NFL’s 1960s All-Decade team. He is still the Rams all-time interception leader with 46. Meador was recently inducted into Mike Ditka’s Gridiron Greats hall of fame.

Video: Former Rams Great Eddie Meador

Former Rams Great Eddie Meador

20) Lester Hayes

Lester Hayes was a five-time Pro Bowler, two-time Superbowl Champion, and a 1980s NFL All-Decade Team member. He also managed to win a Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1980.

Video: Lester Hayes

Lester Hayes

19) Albert Lewis

Jerry Rice called Albert Lewis the toughest cornerback he ever played against. Lewis was a four-time pro bowler and intercepted 42 passes.

18) Aeneas Williams

He played with the Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams from 1991 to 2004 and eight Pro Bowls. He has a career total of 55 interceptions.

Video: Aeneas Williams Highlights

Aeneas Williams Highlights

17) Dick Lebeau

Most of his career was spent in Detroit, where he put together 62 interceptions (the seventh most all-time). Became one of the best assistant coaches in NFL history after retiring as a player.

Video: Dick LeBeau's Enshrinement speech

Dick LeBeau’s Enshrinement speech

16) Ken Riley

He managed a staggering 65 career interceptions, the fourth most in NFL history when he retired.

15) Roger Wehrli

A 7-time Pro Bowler, Roger Wehrli dominated the 1970s as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.Β As a member of the NFL Hall of Fame, and a member of the 1970s All-Decade team, Wehrli is definitely among the best who have ever played the position.

Video: Roger Wehrli Highlight Video

Roger Wehrli Highlight Video

14) Lemar Parrish

Lemar Parrish made an incredible eight Pro Bowls in a career with the Cincinnati Bengals that spanned the 1970s. He also managed 47 career interceptions, and the Bengals used him as an effective kick returner.

13) Lem Barney

Lem Barney was a seven-time Pro Bowler who played for the Lions from 1967 to 1977. His career interceptions total 56. He was also named to the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team, and he was the 1967 NFL defensive rookie of the year.

Video: Lem Barney, NFL Hall of Famer and Jackson State Univeristy alumnus ...

Lem Barney, NFL Hall of Famer and Jackson State Univeristy alumnus …

12) Mel Renfro

As an incredible 10-time Pro Bowler, Mel Renfro played with the Cowboys from 1964 until 1977.

Video: Cowboys Legends Show: Mel Renfro

Cowboys Legends Show: Mel Renfro

11) Herb Adderley

Herb Adderley is a Green Bay Packers legend who made the 1960s All-Decade team. He was in five Pro Bowls. He was on the Packers Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II winning teams and the Dallas Cowboys team that won Superbowl VI.

Β 

10) Emlen Tunnell

As a nine-time Pro Bowler who played for the New York Giants in the 1950s, Emlen Tunnell had an astounding 79 career interceptions. That magnitude is almost incomprehensible in today’s game, which is why he earned his nickname, “Offense on Defense.” He was also a 9-time Pro Bowler, 2-time NFL Champion (pre-Superbowl), and an 8-time All-Pro selection.

Video: Tribute to Emlen Tunnell

Tribute to Emlen Tunnell

9) Charles Woodson

Sixty-five interceptions and has won almost every award a cornerback can win.

Β 

8) Champ Bailey

12 Time pro bowler and the epitome of an actual shutdown corner.

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7) Willie Brown

Brown invented “bump and run” coverage. Granted, in the 1960s and 1970s, the rules on pass interference were much lighter. Nevertheless, it is hard to knock a guy who became a sensational champion. He is often remembered for his interception of Fran Tarkenton in Super Bowl XI which he returned 75 yards for a touchdown.

6) Deion Sanders

Sanders had an impressive 8 Pro Bowl selections and won 2 Superbowls (XXIX, XXX). He was also the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1994. Unfortunately, his numbers don’t stack up against the players in the top 5. In addition, he was not great against the run.

5) Mel Blount

He was a 5-time Pro Bowl selection and a 4-time All-Pro. He is a member of the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team and the NFL 75th anniversary All-Time team. He was also the NFL’s 1975 Defensive Player of the Year. Throw in 5 Super Bowl rings, and you have a top 5 all-time cornerback.

Video: Steelers Hall of Famers: Mel Blount

Steelers Hall of Famers: Mel Blount

4) Rod Woodson

He won a Superbowl (XXXV), was the 1993 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, is a member of the 1990s NFL All-Decade team, is a member of the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, and joined the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

3) Mike Haynes

Haynes was named to the 75th Anniversary NFL All-Time team. He busted into the NFL as the 1976 Rookie of the Year, but he didn’t enjoy championship-caliber success until playing with the Oakland Raiders, where he won Superbowl XVIII. He is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Β 

2) Darrell Green

Darrell Green is a seven-time Pro Bowler who had an incredibly long career from 1983-2002. He is one of the greatest Washington Redskins ever and frankly deserves to be here because of his career’s length and his ability to do a little bit of everything on a football field. Throw in. He was one of the NFL’s greatest punt returners in NFL history, also.

Video: The Great Darrell Green Feature

The Great Darrell Green Feature

1) Dick “Night train” Lane

He was a 7-time Pro Bowl selection, a member of the NFL 1950s All-Decade Team, a member of the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time team, and in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His most impressive stat, however, is the 14 interceptions recorded in his rookie season.

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