Colts Cornerbacks Ranked as 20th Best

Nov 8, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts cornerback Darius Butler (20) is congratulated by his teammates after making an interception against the Denver Broncos in the 4th quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Denver 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 8, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts cornerback Darius Butler (20) is congratulated by his teammates after making an interception against the Denver Broncos in the 4th quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Denver 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /
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According to Pro Football Focus, the Indianapolis Colts have the 20th ranked cornerback group in the entire NFL:

"20. Indianapolis ColtsTop CBs: Vontae Davis, Patrick Robinson, D’Joun SmithKey stat: Davis surrendered seven touchdowns last season, tied for fifth-most in the league.After his miraculous 2014 campaign (no TDs allowed, 13 pass defenses, 41.2 passer rating allowed) Davis returned to giving up too many touchdowns to be considered among the league’s elite, but 2015 was still a solid season for him. Behind him, however, the support was lacking. Another strong season from free-agent addition Patrick Robinson will give the Colts a quality starting pair, but the competition to be their third corner looks to be wide open."

With Vontae Davis in the fold, the Colts ranking seems a bit low.

Dec 20, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts cornerback Vontae Davis (21) intercepts a pass intended for Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) during the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 20, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts cornerback Vontae Davis (21) intercepts a pass intended for Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) during the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

However, he’s coming off a down season from just a season prior. That being said, he still made a consecutive Pro Bowl appearance and was one of the better cornerbacks in the league last season regardless.

If Davis can regain his prior elite form from 2014, the Colts cornerbacks ranking should increase significantly.

The Colts also figure to get a dramatic boost by the addition of free agent cornerback Patrick Robinson, who replaces departed starter Greg Toler.

The latter was much maligned during his time with the Colts, as he was frequently injured and demonstrated a propensity to give up the big play when on the field.

Per Pro Football Focus, Robinson received a +79.4 grade overall while with the Chargers last season–tied for the 30th best cornerback. Specifically, that grade tied him with the New York Jets Darrelle Revis and was just one spot lower than the Colts very own Vontae Davis, who received a +79.5 grade overall.

Oct 12, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Markus Wheaton (left) is defended by San Diego Chargers cornerback Patrick Robinson (26) during the fourth quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 12, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Markus Wheaton (left) is defended by San Diego Chargers cornerback Patrick Robinson (26) during the fourth quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

To put that in perspective, Toler received a +35.9 grade overall and was ranked 106th among 111 qualifiers at cornerback.

The Colts lower cornerback ranking by Pro Football Focus likely can be attributed to the lack of a promising 3rd cornerback.

8-year veteran Darius Butler is coming off a disappointing season, as he battled injuries and was forced to play on the outside more frequently instead of his usual slot position. Per Pro Football Focus, he received a +46.0 grade overall, which was the 89th best among 111 qualifying cornerbacks.

With the addition of Robinson, it should enable Butler to play more in the slot once again, where he is much more effective and comfortable at–assuming both Davis and Robinson can stay healthy. Therefore, Butler could be in-line for a bounceback season.

Dec 27, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Indianapolis Colts cornerback Darius Butler (20) breaks up a pass intended for Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry (14) during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. The Colts won 18-12. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 27, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Indianapolis Colts cornerback Darius Butler (20) breaks up a pass intended for Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry (14) during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. The Colts won 18-12. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

Otherwise, Butler’s primary competition could be 2nd-year pro D’Joun Smith, who was a 3rd round pick of the Colts last season, but only played in 4 games because of a lingering knee injury. Smith recently suffered a setback with the same knee, but is expected to be ready by training camp.

Overall, the Colts ranking at #20 seems a bit low with Davis and now the addition of Robinson as the team’s starting cornerbacks.

That being said, the Colts cornerback ranking could really jump if Davis regains his 2014 form, Robinson maintains his exceptional play from last season, and Butler becomes a reliable slot cornerback option once again–with Smith still the lone wildcard of the group.