SF 49ers news: PFF names Richard Sherman No. 2 corner entering 2020

Richard Sherman #25 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Richard Sherman #25 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

While he’s getting up there in age, SF 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman is still highly thought of by the folks over at Pro Football Focus.

Don’t let SF 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman‘s catches allowed late in Super Bowl LIV fool you about his abilities to massively impact the defensive side of the field.

Simply put, Sherman is still an elite cornerback entering 2020.

Especially according to Pro Football Focus, which just released its top 25 cornerbacks heading into the upcoming season.

Surprisingly or not so surprisingly, Sherman was ranked No. 2 out of the top 25 listed. And PFF’s justification only endorsed the 32-year-old five-time Pro Bowler’s abilities:

"A torn Achilles threatened to torpedo Richard Sherman’s career, but last season he showed how good he could be when he is at his best and 100% healthy. Though he had a rough Super Bowl, Sherman allowed just 373 yards and one touchdown all season long, including the playoffs. Passes thrown his way resulted in a passer rating of only 45.3, or barely better than if the quarterback had just thrown the ball away every play instead. Sherman’s physical tools may be on the wane as he gets older, but he may be the smartest cornerback in the game and has a freakish understanding of how an offense tries to attack him."

A couple of things to digest here. True, Sherman’s abilities on the field may regress as time moves along. But if speed is to be considered here, Sherman has never relied on it as much as he has the combination of football IQ and physicality.

Both of those elements are still at a top-tier level.

Plus, as Sherman has honed his understanding, the game “has gotten easier” as he’s aged, or at least as he mentioned earlier this offseason.

As for the rest of PFF’s top 10, it went as follows:

  1. Stephon Gilmore, New England Patriots
  2. Richard Sherman, SF 49ers
  3. Casey Hayward Jr., Los Angeles Chargers
  4. Jalen Ramsey, Los Angeles Rams
  5. Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans Saints
  6. Chris Harris Jr., Los Angeles Chargers
  7. Byron Jones, Miami Dolphins
  8. Marlon Humphrey, Baltimore Ravens
  9. Marcus Peters, Baltimore Ravens
  10. Tre’Davious White, Buffalo Bills

Pro Football Focus includes SF 49ers’ K’Waun Williams in top 25

While Sherman making the list within the top 10 shouldn’t be too big a surprise, PFF also recognized the efforts from San Francisco’s nickel cornerback, K’Waun Williams.

Williams was ranked No. 21 overall heading into 2020.

Nickel corners rarely receive the attention they deserve, so perhaps it’s not too shocking Williams didn’t crack the top 10 or even the top 20, although there are some nickel corners up there on the list ahead of Williams.

Still, it’s pretty comforting knowing the SF 49ers boasted two of the best corners in the game last year, and they’ll both factor heavily into the Niners trying to maintain what was the league’s No. 1-ranked pass defense from a season ago.

Interestingly enough, both Sherman and Williams are entering contract years this season and are scheduled to hit free agency in 2021.

Next. Mocking 49ers' ideal rookie NFL Draft class for 2021. dark

If both players live up to their PFF rankings for 2020, San Francisco will surely have some tough decisions regarding both and whether or not to re-sign them next season.