Recently, NFL analyst Mike Detiller of the Daily Comet asked 12 people with ties to the NFL — director of player personnel chiefs, scouts and NFL coaches around the league for the best starting cornerback duo in the NFL. Now of course, the Bucs starting duo of Aqib Talib and Ronde Barber did not get top billing. But those 12-people with ties to NFL teams, do however believe Talib will end up being a Pro-Bowl player at some point in his career.
“What is amazing is that Porter, Leodis McKelvin with the Buffalo Bills, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie with the Arizona Cardinals, Aqib Talib with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Mike Jenkins with the Dallas Cowboys, and Brandon Flowers with the Kansas City Chiefs all came out in the 2008 draft. Every one of those guys will end up being a Pro-Bowl player. That is as strong a group of cornerbacks as I have seen in one draft in the past 20 years.”
“In 10 years, I won’t be the Bucs’ all-time leading interceptor,” Barber said. “It will be Aqib Talib. … He’s got 10 times the ball skills that I have.”
After spending the bulk of the 2009 campaign covering opposing team’s number one receivers many pundits believe this could be the year Talib finally breaks into the Pro-Bowl. During a stretch last season Talib had shut down the likes of Randy Moss, Steve Smith, and Greg Jennings holding the trio to just 11 catches for 134 yards.
The reoccurring tune amongst both local and national media scribes has always been when and if Talib can get the off-the-field distractions squared away and concentrates solely on football. He has the talent to ascend to that elite level among other great NFL corners. The only question now, becomes will it be this year that Talib takes that next step?
Upon Further Review
A further review of his stats from Pro Football Focus using corners who played in at least 75% of there teams defensive snaps Talib ranked 14th overall: Ranked 15th out of 41 corners with 191 yards after catch, ranked 16th in average yards per catch with an 11.9 yard average, tied for 3rd with 4-touchdowns given up, tied for 3rd with 5 interceptions.