The Bucs’ fearsome cornerback duo is getting some respect as the season draws nearer.
Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson released his list of the NFL’s 32 best corners, and both CB Jamel Dean and CB Carlton Davis made the cut. Dean was ranked at No. 10 on his list, while Davis came in at No. 29.
Here is what Monson had to say about Dean, complimenting his ability to lock down receivers at the point of attack:
One of the league’s most underrated cornerbacks, Dean finally cashed in this offseason with a big payday from the Bucs. He has four straight seasons with a PFF coverage grade between 74.7 and 78.9, and though he doesn’t make a lot of plays on the football, he makes quarterbacks and receivers work for every yard.
The entire Bucs defense didn’t get a lot of interceptions in 2022, so that’s certainly an area Dean will look to work on for 2023. Many may call him underrated, but Dean’s likely hoping that fans around the NFL learn his name as he plays the first year on his new contract this coming season.
Meanwhile, Monson acknowledged that Davis didn’t have a marquee year in 2022 but still managed to impress in his time on the field.
Davis isn’t coming off his best year, but he still led the Tampa Bay cornerbacks last season with 11 pass breakups, more than double the next-best total. He allowed an 85.8 passer rating into his coverage and has elite size and strength for the position.
Davis is set to have a higher base salary and prorated bonus than Dean for both 2023 and 2024, but his contract ends after that with three void years. As such, Davis might have some incentive to play at his best in the two coming seasons in hopes of getting a new deal himself, so he could be poised for a breakout year sooner than later.