On Monday, Pro Football Focus writer Anthony Treash ranked the NFL’s top 32 outside cornerbacks coming into the 2022 season. Just one Kansas City Chiefs cornerback made the list. Rashad Fenton ranked 31st.
31. RASHAD FENTON, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Fenton has quietly been highly reliable over his three-year NFL career. Despite being a sixth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the former South Carolina Gamecock owns the second-highest career coverage grade among cornerbacks in that class (83.0). He fell in the draft partly because of subpar physical traits for NFL standards, but that hasn’t been an issue. His tackling stands out more than any other part of his game, as he has missed just twice on 103 attempts since 2019.
As we’ve previously noted, “tiers” is the new buzzword in NFL rankings. In this one, Treash separated players into five groups: Elite, On the Cusp of Elite, Veterans with Juice Still in the Tank, Good Players with Boom or Bust Tendencies and Up-and-Comers. Fenton was in the last group, which included players ranked from 27th through 32nd.
Sometimes we’ve seen these tiers used to separate players based on their skill set — just as PFF’s Sam Monson did with safeties a couple of weeks ago. But here — unless a player is elite or near-elite — Treash seems to have decided that age should be a determining factor; Fenton appears to have been placed in the bottom tier strictly because he is a fourth-year player.
This makes little sense — because under PFF’s grading system, Fenton’s 2021 overall grade of 79.1 ranked sixth among all cornerbacks. That grade was higher than those for seven of the nine cornerbacks listed in Treash’s Elite tier!
It’s fair to argue about whether PFF grades represent an NFL player’s true value. But when one of the site’s own writers tosses them aside to rank a position group, you have to wonder what’s going on.
How do you feel about Rashad Fenton’s position in this ranking?
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