Darrelle Revis and the New York Jets might be interested in this next point: Detroit Lions fans everywhere are praying they get the cornerback they want in Jeffery Okudah, who is unanimously seen as the best corner in this draft who can be plugged into an NFL defense and make a significant impact.
Some experts, including Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, compared Okudah to future NFL Hall-of-Famer Darrelle Revis. That is some pretty high praise, but not many coverage prospects in the history of the NFL can measure up to what Revis did in his illustrious career.
Before hanging up his cleats in 2018, Revis had accumulated seven Pro Bowl invites, four All-Pro appearances, and a Super Bowl ring in one of the most successful careers ever by a cornerback.
Revis was at his best at the turn of the decade, as in a three-game stretch in November of 2010, he held Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, and Chad Ochocinco to a combined three catches for 31 yards on nine targets. At a certain point in his career, opposing flat-out stopped throwing to his side of the field.
The previous season was even better, as including the playoffs, he spent eight games lined up opposite Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Ochocinco, and Reggie Wayne. He allowed an average of 2.9 receptions for 27.3 yards.
His dominance in 2009 helped him to receive a 97.6 score from Pro Football Focus, which still remains as the highest single-season grade for a corner since PFF began calculating performances in 2006. His reign inspired the creation of “Revis Island,” the mythological vacation spot receivers were stuck on when they faced Revis.
Revis played right at the precipice of the NFL’s passing boom, where offenses were throwing complicated routes and confusing schemes at him and he rarely ever misstepped.
As Danny Heifeitz of The Ringer in a piece following Revis’ retirement in 2018, rarely has a cornerback been one of the leading reasons why a team has made it to consecutive conference championship games, but that’s exactly what Revis helped do in his time with the Jets.
“Revis’s peak was as high as any player’s at any position in recent NFL history. He could erase the opposing team’s no. 1 receiver in one-on-one coverage without safety help, an ultra-rare ability that gave then–Jets head coach Rex Ryan the schematic flexibility to develop exotic blitz packages and turn the 2009 and 2010 Jets into the league’s best defense. New York went to back-to-back AFC championship games in rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez’s first two seasons, and Revis was the defensive fulcrum.”
Revis was a whole different type of defender who defenses planned their whole game plan around, as in the past 10 years, aspiring young corners have been studying Revis’tape as if it is the Zapruder Film. And even though he regressed quite mightily in his closing years with the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs, his reputation alone contributed to the large chunk of change ($124 million to be exact) that he made throughout his career.
So to answer the question that happens to be the title of this article: Just how good was Darelle Revis in his prime with the New York Jets?