Ranking the 10 best cornerbacks in the NFL in 2022

Xavien Howard
Jan 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) runs with the football after intercepting the ball against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

There are so many great cornerbacks in football these days that ranking the best cornerbacks in the NFL has become a near-impossible task.

In putting together our preseason position rankings, it was hard limiting the top cornerbacks in 2022 to a list of 10. It was also difficult to compare the best cornerbacks in the NFL to one another. 

Best cornerbacks in NFL

But if you want the best NFL cornerbacks ranked, we’ve got it.

The top cornerbacks for 2022 are all established stars who are all playing some of the best football of their careers. While it wasn’t easy putting together this list, here is our ranking of the NFL’s 10 best cornerbacks in 2022.

10. A.J. Terrell

In his first two seasons, A.J. Terrell has flashed the ability to become one of the truly elite cornerbacks in the league. His accomplishments have been a little hidden in Atlanta, although Terrell is clearly one of the bright spots the Falcons have had over the last two seasons.

With four interceptions through two seasons, his numbers don’t exactly stand out just yet. But Terrell’s efforts on the field last year were enough to earn him a Second-Team All-Pro selection, indicating a bright future for the Clemson product.

9. Jaire Alexander

A shoulder injury limited Jaire Alexander to just four games last year, so there is some question about how he’ll come back in 2022. Of course, the Packers are confident in him, giving Alexander a four-year extension during the offseason.

While he has just five career interceptions, Alexander does have 44 defended passes in 48 career games. Keep in mind that he was a Pro Bowler in 2020 and just starting to come into his own before last year’s injury, so there’s every chance that Alexander can pick up where he left off in 2022.


8. Denzel Ward

Denzel Ward may not be the most consistent cornerback in the league, but when he’s at the top of his game, he’s as good as anyone. He made the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2018 and returned to the Pro Bowl last season.

Physically, he has all of the tools to be an elite corner, which is why the Browns gave him a five-year extension worth as much as $100.5 million this past spring. At age 25, Ward should be entering his peak years, so there’s every chance he’ll start living up to that contract, starting with the 2022 campaign.

7. Marlon Humphrey

Marlon Humphrey’s stock is down a little heading into 2022 after an injury limited him to 12 games last season. To his credit, 13 defended passes and one interception in 12 games isn’t too shabby.

More importantly, Humphrey established himself as a top-flight cornerback in 2019 and 2020, going to the Pro Bowl both seasons and even leading the NFL with eight forced fumbles in 2020. Through five years, he has nine interceptions and 64 defended passes, which is more than enough to put himself in the same category as some of the league’s top corners.

6. Trevon Diggs

Only time will tell if Trevon Diggs will be one of the best cornerbacks in 2022 or if he’s just the flavor of the month.

However, he made a compelling case for the former last season, leading the NFL with 11 interceptions, including two that he returned for a touchdown.

Needless to say, those numbers earned him a Pro Bowl selection and made him a First-Team All-Pro. To be fair, it’ll take more than one good season to put him on par with the very best cornerbacks in the NFL. But with 14 interceptions and 35 defended passes in his first 28 games, Diggs is off to an excellent start in his career.

5. Tre’Davious White

The Bills and their fans can only dream about how things might have been different in the playoffs last year had White been available. Before tearing his ACL last November, White had undoubtedly become one of the NFL’s elite cornerbacks.

He’s an outstanding cover corner who also led the league with six interceptions in 2019. While his numbers are down over the last couple of seasons, that’s primarily because quarterbacks have tried to avoid throwing in his direction.

If not for the injury, White likely would have been a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro for the third straight year in 2021. As long as he comes back healthy this year, there’s no reason not to think that he won’t continue to be among the best corners in the league in 2022.

4. Marshon Lattimore

Marshon Lattimore has been nothing short of a bonafide star since the Saints drafted him 11th overall in 2017. He was a Pro Bowler as a rookie and took home Defensive Rookie of the Year honors that year.

Lattimore has only gotten better since then, making the Pro Bowl all but once in his first five seasons, earning him a five-year, $97.6 million extension before last year. While his interception numbers aren’t as gaudy as some of the other top cornerbacks, Lattimore is averaging around one defended pass per game, which is a stat that not many corners in the NFL can match.

3. Xavien Howard

Despite a lack of winning in recent years, the Miami defense has been one of the best defenses in the league over the last few years with Xavien Howard being a big reason why.

He’s been a Pro Bowler in three of the last four seasons, leading the NFL in interceptions in both 2018 and 2020. Howard also led the NFL with 20 passes defended in 2020, following that up with 16 defended passes and five interceptions in 2021.

There’s been no let-off in his performance, making Howard one of the most consistent and reliable corners in the league while helping to earn him a new contract that pays him what he’s worth as one of the best cornerbacks in 2022.

2. J.C. Jackson

J.C. Jackson has seen his sock skyrocket over the last two seasons, surely making him one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL heading into the 2022 campaign.

Naturally, the Chargers are hoping that is the case after giving him a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Jackson has tallied 17 interceptions and 37 defended passes over the past two seasons, leading the league with 23 defended passes in 2021.

Quarterbacks are still testing him by throwing in his direction and Jackson continues to make them pay for that mistake. In 2022, he’s entering a division with some of the best quarterbacks in the league, so he figures to still be tested, although we’re banking on Jackson still performing at a high level.

1. Jalen Ramsey

Reasonable people can disagree, but it’s hard to find a better cornerback than Jalen Ramsey right now. He’s played at an elite level over an extended period of time and is coming off a season in which he helped his team win the Super Bowl.

Ramsey has been a Pro Bowler in every year but his rookie season and has been a First-Team All-Pro selection in back-to-back seasons.

Even after the Rams made him the highest-paid defensive back in NFL history, Ramsey has lived up to his promise and potential. Quarterbacks have tried to stay away from him in recent years, but Ramsey still had an impressive four interceptions and 16 defended passes in 2021. Even amidst a sea of great cornerbacks, Ramsey continues to stand out as the best.

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About Bryan Zarpentine 262 Articles
Bryan Zarpentine is a freelance writer and editor with most of his work focusing on the world of sports. He is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and still resides in upstate New York.

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