Top 5 Cornerbacks: No. 2, Richard Sherman

We all know about Richard Sherman’s trash talk. The Seahawks corner’s 2012 season was widely remembered for numerous “beefs” he had with his opponents, most notably post-game encounters with Tom Brady and Trent Williams. Quite frankly, we need to get off that.

“That’s something I’m trying to get away from, too,” Sherman said regarding his reputation. “I think people are trying to use that to overshadow my talent.”

The caricature that has been made of Richard Sherman’s personality completely diminishes what he has done in his young NFL career. Here’s what Sherman did — not said — during the 2012 season: 64 tackles, eight interceptions, 24 passes defended and an NFL All-Pro selection. The trash talk is a valuable part of his game, but all of his more important plaudits get swept under the rug.

With great size for his position, Sherman specializes in being a bully. He played wide receiver at Stanford for two seasons, but then he took that 6’3, 195 pound frame to the defensive side of the ball. On top of that, he loves to lay down hits, and has no problem doing that himself. Of his 64 tackles, 53 of them were unassisted, which is an impressive return coming from a corner.

Guys like Sherman and his partner-in-crime Brandon Browner (6’4, 221 pounds) have ushered in a new era of cornerbacks in the NFL. Only one of the first eight cornerbacks selected in the 2013 draft is under six-feet tall, as teams are looking for the next Richard Sherman — with or without the trash talking.

From the National Football Post:

The success the Seahawks had with tall, press and run corners Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner has forced a lot of teams to rethink the position.

“There are a lot of defensive coordinators and head coaches and general managers who are tired of seeing their corners out jumped and outmuscled for balls by big receivers,” Dimitroff said. “So there has been a wave of consideration for approaching it like Seattle does with bigger, athletic corners who can get up and jam and run and do the jump ball thing.”

So while other top cornerbacks can say they make an impact during games, Sherman can claim that he’s impacted the league itself when it comes to teams’ scouting habits. He may be known as a slick-talking rabble-rouser now, but soon he will be recognized as the best corner in the league as well as a prototype of the new defensive back — who just so happens to have a few quips up his sleeve.