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49ers’ Richard Sherman still an elite cornerback for this reason, according to NFL exec

Richard Sherman, 49ers

Richard Sherman is still competing at a high level with the San Francisco 49ers despite playing into his early 30’s. While having a discussion about the best cornerbacks in the league, an NFL executive believes Sherman is still an elite cornerback due to his knowledge of the game.

“How smart he is makes up for the physical limitations at this stage,” an NFC executive said of Sherman to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. “If he doesn’t win at the line, he can struggle with instant separators, in-breaking stuff. Or if hit vertically, can be tough to recover. But from a ball skills standpoint and football instincts, toughness, tackling, still one of the best.”

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler recently conducted a survey of executives, coaches, and players voting on the top 10 players at each position. Despite Sherman’s omission from the list, it’s hard to argue that he wasn’t crucial to San Francisco’s success a season ago.

At 31 years old last season, Sherman arguably performed at an All-Pro level in his second year with the 49ers. The veteran cornerback would contribute 11 pass breakups and three interceptions en route to San Francisco’s run to the Super Bowl.

Of course, everyone will point out Sherman’s blown coverage in the Super Bowl as to why he’s no longer an elite option. Given his age, Sherman is no longer as athletic or quick as he once was. Although, his ability to make a play on the ball still rivals the other premier cornerbacks in the NFL ¬†With that being said, the veteran cornerback can make up for his physical limitations with his uncanny knowledge of the game.