Outside the NORMan

The NFL is a passing league, and if you want to win in this league you need to have a strong defensive secondary. The strongest defensive secondaries in the NFL are the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, and New England Patriots. Those teams also all have another thing in common. They have the top three conerbacks in the league on their team. The three best cornerbacks in the NFL are Richard Sherman, Patrick Peterson, and Darrelle Revis. We've all heard those names, but are there other cornerbacks ready and waiting?

One cornerback that comes to mind that should be mentioned is Josh Norman. He is not a top 10 cornerback yet, but I believe that he is the NEXT big thing. Have you heard of him? Yes, I am talking about the starting cornerback for the Carolina Panthers. Yes, the Carolina Panthers did finish the year 7-8-1. But, they won the NFC South!

Josh Norman was the starting cornerback for the Panthers when they went on their four game winning streak. In those four games they held opponents to only 10.75 points per game, and the defense finished the season 19th in passing only allowing 219.4 passing yards per game. Norman was key to the success of the Panthers defense, because he covered the star wide receivers. During that four game stretch he covered: Julio Jones (4 rec 58 yards), Josh Gordon (4 rec 45 yards), Mike Evans (2 rec 13 yards 1 TD), and Marques Colston (5 rec 72 yards). After looking at those stats you can tell how well Norman played, and what kind of player he will be in the NFL. Who does Norman remind me of? Josh Norman reminds me of Richard Sherman because of his size, and how he plays the game.

Scouting Profile Comparison

Richard Sherman

  • Born: March 30, 1988 (26 years old)
  • 40 Yard Dash: 4.56 seconds
  • Height: 6' 3”
  • Weight: 195 lbs
  • Arm Length: 32”
  • Hands: 9 3/4”

Josh Norman

  • Born: December 15, 1987 (27 years old)
  • 40 Yard Dash: 4.57 seconds
  • Height: 6' 0”
  • Weight: 195 lbs
  • Arm Length: 32 3/4”
  • Hands: 9 1/4”

NFL Career Stats

Richard Sherman-64 GP 183 Tackles 24 INT 65 PD

Josh Norman- 37 GP 125 Tackles 3 INT 18 PD

What is the main difference between Josh Norman & Richard Sherman?

There isn't much difference between Sherman, and Norman if you look at their physical measurements. They ran pretty similar 40 times, they both weigh 195 lbs, and are close in arm length. They also have similar attitudes. Both of them play hard, and talk trash to the opposing team. If there isn't much physical or emotional difference, then why is Sherman an “elite” cornerback?

The biggest difference between Sherman, and Norman is Sherman's superb ball skills. Sherman played wide receiver at Stanford so he understands how to go up, and catch the ball. It is the cornerback's job to cover the receivers, and make a play on the ball. If the ball is catchable you can change momentum by picking off the quarterback, and taking it to the house. Sherman is “elite” because of his ability to cover, tackle, and catch the ball.

Will Josh Norman ever reach Richard Sherman's level of play?

Josh Norman has great coverage skills, and play-making abilities. I don't think that Norman will ever be a ball-hawking cornerback like Sherman, but he doesn't have to be to be successful. Norman has the ability to mirror receivers, and can use his size to matchup with big, athletic wide receivers. He is a physical player, and a reliable tackler.

Do you think Josh Norman will make the NFL Pro Bowl next season?

By Justin Raymond

Follow me on Twitter @JayRay19