Ravens best cornerback: Marlon Humphrey or Marcus Peters?

Marcus Peters #24, Marlon Humphrey #44, Baltimore Ravens (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Marcus Peters #24, Marlon Humphrey #44, Baltimore Ravens (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

In a recent CBS Sports article ranking the NFL’s top-10 cornerbacks, Marcus Peters was included but Marlon Humphrey was not. Is Peters really the Ravens’ best cornerback?

The Baltimore Ravens managed to get by in 2019 with a sub-par four-man pass rush, relying heavily on blitzes and schemed pressure.

Why? It’s because they have an elite tandem of defensive backs, namely corners Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey.

Peters made the list of CBS Sports’ top 10 cornerbacks entering the upcoming 2020 season. Yet Humphrey, a 2019 first-team All-Pro, just missed the cut and was listed as an honorable mention.

So, who is Baltimore’s best cornerback? Peters or Humphrey?

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The Case for Marcus Peters:

Since being drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2015, Peters has accumulated a league-leading 27 interceptions but has also been traded twice in his career. After landing in Baltimore, Peters made an immediate impact, having a game-sealing pick-six against the Seattle Seahawks in his first game as a Raven in Week 7, and making many key pass breakups in the following weeks en route to earning All-Pro honors alongside Humphrey.

Although having more interceptions and breaking up passes better than Humphrey, Peters’ coverage ability and physicality is far inferior to Humphrey. Although the less complete cornerback, he has game-changing moments and complements Humphrey marvelously.

The Case for Marlon Humphrey:

From a statistical vantage point, Humphrey actually put in the better season in 2019. He also recorded three interceptions. And while Humphrey’s 14 interception yards pales in comparison to Peters’ 178 with two defensive touchdowns, one should point out the former actually got in the way of 14 passes compared to Peters’ 10.

Humphrey also forced two fumbles, recovered three and returned two of them for touchdowns.

So, if anything, Humphrey actually had a more notable impact than his fellow teammate.

The Verdict:

Although Peters accumulates more interceptions, Humphrey is the overall better cornerback, being arguably top three in the NFL along with the New England Patriots’ Stephon Gilmore and the Buffalo Bills’ Tre’Davious White.

Humphrey is much more reliable than Peters, getting beaten and missing tackles much less often. Perhaps only Peters’ longer history and impact at the NFL level made him a top-10 selection on CBS’ list.

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Meanwhile, Humphrey is the NFL’s cornerback of the future, and leaving him out of the top 10 and putting Peters at No. 2 is preposterous.