SEC’s top cornerback duos for 2013

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Previous Top Duos:

Shutdown corners are coveted by every team in the country, as well as every NFL team. Cornerbacks require speed and agility, as well as great anticipation of what the quarterback and the offense are trying to accomplish.

The SEC has a long history of top cornerbacks in recent years. Patrick Peterson, Morris Claiborne, Dee Milliner and Dre Kirkpatrick quickly come to mind.

There are some great corners in 2013. Vandy’s Andre Hal, Georgia’s Damian Swann and Missouri’s EJ Gaines are great players, but they lack a proven counterpart. That’s why they’re absent on this list.

Here are the five best cornerback tandems for 2013:

1. Marcus Roberson and Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida

The Skinny: Look no further than Florida as having the SEC’s top corner tandem with Marcus Roberson and Loucheiz Purifoy. Purifoy gets all the ink for being a superb athlete, but Roberson is the better pure cover corner. He notched 12 breakups and 14 passes defended in 2012. Combined, these two help show why Florida has the best defensive backfield in the SEC.

2. Deion Belue and Geno Smith, Alabama

The Skinny: Deion Belue is a solid cover corner and returning starter, but rising sophomore Geno Smith has All-American potential that Dee Milliner and Dre Kirkpatrick flashed. Belue registered seven pass breakups in 2012. Smith played minimal minutes to start 2012, but he won the starting Nickel job as a freshman by season’s end. Look for Alabama to have another top defensive backfield.

3. Jalen Collins and Jalen Mills, LSU

The Skinny: Other than Alabama, LSU is known to have top corners year after year, and 2013 will be no exception. Returning starter Jalen Mills combines with Jalen Collins to give the Tigers another sexy tandem for John Chavis’ defense. Both were forced into action last fall, stood their ground and showed flashes for a big future. I expect these two to have a better-than-expected 2013.

4. De’Vante Harris and Deshazor Everett, Texas A&M

The Skinny: The strength of the TAMU defense will lie in the secondary, and corners De’Vante Harris and Deshazor Everett are a big reason why. Harris and Everett both are strong cover corners, with Everett being the better tackler of the two. The Aggies’ secondary wasn’t all that impressive in 2012, but I expect them to make a big jump in ‘13. Although we’re not sure how long Everett will be suspended.

5. Victor Hampton and Jimmy Legree, South Carolina

The Skinny: Victor Hampton is one of the best corners you’ve never heard of, and Jimmy Legree was thrust into the lineup last year because of injuries. Hampton notched one INT and six breakups last season in his first year starting. He gets to top speed quickly. Legree managed three INTs and six breakups in 2012. This underrated duo will get big help from a nasty pass rush.

Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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