There are Arizona’s Patrick Peterson, Seattle’s Richard Sherman, Kansas City’s Marcus Peters, and Denver’s Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. Add in Josh Norman in Washington, Malcolm Butler in New England, Janoris Jenkins with the New York Giants and Xavier Rhodes with Minnesota. And the Chargers’ Casey Hayward absolutely belongs in that group of the NFL’s best cornerbacks. Just ask him. Hayward, along with the other nine players mentioned, was selected as one of the NFL’s top 100 players this past offseason. He was ranked No. 64 — eighth at his position ahead of only Rhodes and Butler in the group mentioned above. Hayward felt gratitude about his position. “Salute to everybody that voted for me on the top 100,” he tweeted. “Means a lot coming from my peers.” Thirty-two minutes later, Hayward told all his peers who didn’t vote for him how wrong they were. “I was the best corner in the League last year,” he tweeted. “# 1 ints, #6 in PBU, #3 in passes def, #3 in QBR and matched #1 wr most of the year. (Wide-eyed emoji) #NoDebate.” “I think I’m a confident guy,” Hayward said, flashing the smile new and old coaches and teammates recognize. Hayward’s coming off his best game of the season against Philadelphia — he graded out significantly higher than anyone else in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. Shadowing Eagles receiver Alshon Jeffrey, Hayward got credited with five pass breakups. And Sunday, he’ll get even a bigger test, matched against one of the NFL’s best, the Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr., and a challenge that’s done little to shake Hayward’s confidence.
Chargers' Casey Hayward emerges as one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL
Los Angeles Times | Oct 8