Last year Leon Hall and Brandon Meriweather were some of the defensive backs that broke out and took their games to another level. With the evolution of the passing game, defensive backs are more important than ever and these players should have huge impacts on their teams.
Louis Delmas, Detroit Lions: Delmas was all over the field as a rookie with 94 tackles two interceptions and a sack. With an improved front seven, Delmas should take his game to the next level and begin to earn national attention as the Lions defense improves.
Derek Cox, Jacksonville Jaguars: Cox became a starter right away for the Jaguars and didn’t disappoint. For the year, he recorded 72 tackles along with four interceptions. Cox should continue to get better and as Rashean Mathis gets older, should be the Jaguars top corner for years to come.
Vontae Davis, Miami Dolphins: Davis started in nine games as a rookie but played very well. He recorded 51 tackles and four interceptions. With the Dolphins slowly building into a contender in the AFC, Davis will need to build on his success and develop into the team’s number one corner.
Tyvon Branch, Oakland Raiders: Entering his third year, Branch is one of the most underrated players in the league. Last year he recorded 124 tackles a sack and two forced fumbles. The Raiders should be dramatically improved from last year and Branch should start getting the recognition he deserves.
Dashon Goldson, San Francisco 49ers: Goldson started all 16 games for the first time in his career and made the most of it. He was all over the field recording 94 tackles four interceptions, two sacks along with three forced fumbles. Goldson should continue playing at a Pro Bowl level this year and with the 49ers being a trendy playoff pick, should start getting some national attention.
Zack Bowman, Chicago Bears: Bowman was impressive with six interceptions last year, but he developed as an overall corner as the year went on. With a combined four matchups between the Vikings and Packers, the Bears will have lots of faith in Bowman as he will most likely develop into their number one corner.
Terrell Thomas, New York Giants: Thomas was one of the main bright spots on a Giants defense that struggled last year. He recorded 85 tackles to go along with five interceptions, a sack and a forced fumble in his second season. Now entering his third year, Thomas should thrive in an improved Giants defense and while many fans know about the elite cornerback on the other team in New York, an elite one is blossoming in the shadows.