ESPN recently named its top defensive player of all-time at each position, and to no one’s surprise, Deion Sanders was named the top cornerback to play the game.
The current Jackson State head coach earned 64 percent of the 50 votes cast in ESPN’s voting system.
Here’s why Deion Sanders is the greatest of all-time (AKA GOAT) at defensive back according to ESPN.
“Sanders’ combination of bravado, talent and desire to win could be seen every time he played. He wasn’t consistently challenged by opposing quarterbacks but still finished his career with 53 interceptions, including two in his final season at 38 years old,” ESPN’s Jeff Legwold wrote. “And that total was impacted by a three-year retirement (2001-2003). Sanders intercepted six passes in 1994 — his only season with the 49ers — and returned three of them for touchdowns. And it’s worth pointing out that he played in 641 games for four teams in his Major League Baseball career and led the league in triples in 1992.”
Carolina Panthers reporter David Newton expounded on what Deion Sanders contributed to the NFL.
“Beyond the chatter and showboating, Sanders defined what it meant to be a shutdown cornerback,” Newton said. “Although quarterbacks avoided him, he still had 53 interceptions. And he did it against some of the best receivers in NFL history. Jerry Rice himself said Sanders and Darrell Green gave him the hardest time. That’s good enough for me.”
Southern University alumnus and former Pittsburgh Steelers star Mel Blount received one vote in the poll at the cornerback position. South Carolina State and Mississippi Valley State alumnus and Pro Football Hall of Famer David “Deacon” Jones received one vote in the defensive tackle poll.