Analysis

NFL Summer Games, cornerback: Patrick Peterson rules position

American football isn't an Olympic sport -- yet. But with the world's best athletes set to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, we thought we'd get in on the fun by holding a medal competition at nine key positions. NFL Media analysts ranked the top three players at each spot, with points assigned accordingly -- three points for each first-place ranking, two for each second-place ranking and one for each third-place ranking. The points were totaled, resulting in final gold-, silver- and bronze-medal finishers. Below, you'll find the results -- and each analyst's individual ballot -- at cornerback.

The Cornerback Podium

GOLD MEDAL:Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals (53 total points)

SILVER MEDAL:Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks (39)

BRONZE MEDAL:Darrelle Revis, New York Jets (14)

Analyst Ballots

Peterson has the ideal size and speed for the position. He's the only defensive player in NFL history to make five Pro Bowls before turning 26. I don't think anybody in the NFL is better than Sherman at locking down one side of the field; his teammates feed off him. Peters was tested as a rookie and passed with flying colors. There's no reason to think he can't be even better in 2016.

Willie McGinest: 1) Richard Sherman 2) Patrick Peterson 3) Aqib Talib

Sherman has top-level ball skills and technique -- and he is such a competitor. Peterson is a student of the game, has great anticipation and is arguably the most aggressive corner in the league right now. Talib has great instincts and reads the ball well. One other thing he has going for him? The guy doesn't back down from anyone.

Gregg Rosenthal: 1) Richard Sherman 2) Patrick Peterson 3) Chris Harris Jr.

People say you can't separate Sherman from his system, but isn't that true of every great player on some level? Plenty of cornerbacks have suited up for Pete Carroll in the NFL. No one compares with Sherman, especially when it comes to his ability to close on the ball.

Charley Casserly: 1) Patrick Peterson 2) Josh Norman 3) Richard Sherman

Despite what Josh Norman says, there is no Champ Bailey, Darrell Green or Deion Sanders in this group. Peterson has been the most consistent all-around player at the position recently. Norman is a physical press CB. Meanwhile, Harris gets overshadowed by his teammate, Aqib Talib, but is still a better pure man-coverage CB.

Nate Burleson: 1) Patrick Peterson 2) Josh Norman 3) Richard Sherman

Peterson is the most athletic corner in the league, while Norman's make-up speed and length keep him in every play. Sherman is a smart player and that -- combined with his other attributes -- gives opposing receivers fits.

Elliot Harrison: 1) Patrick Peterson 2) Darrelle Revis 3) Jason Verrett

Patrick Peterson has come a long way over his five-year career and is no longer overvalued at corner. He often sticks with the No. 1 receiver, as opposed to being a cog in a system. He is also a team leader in Arizona. Many are anticipating the decline of Darrelle Revis. Maybe he had an off year in 2015, but I am not ready to put him out to stud just yet. Jason Verrett is an oft-forgotten fantastic player in San Diego -- have a feeling about him this year.

Michael Robinson: 1) Patrick Peterson 2) Richard Sherman 3) Chris Harris Jr.

Peterson is very physical and aggressive. He wins matchups against the league's top receivers, week in and week out. Sherman's length and intelligence allow him to consistently make plays. Harris played a vital role in Denver's championship campaign, and he doesn't shy away from challenges.

Marcas Grant: 1) Patrick Peterson 2) Chris Harris Jr. 3) Richard Sherman

The title of top shutdown corner in the NFL has traded hands quite a bit over the last few years, but right now, it belongs to Peterson. This time next year, this list could be completely rearranged.

Shaun O'Hara: 1) Darrelle Revis 2) Patrick Peterson 3) Aqib Talib

Revis is still the gold standard to me. He erroneously gets pushed into the background at times because he's not a braggadocian corner. Peterson is the most athletic corner, while Talib's physicality boosts him in the ranks.

Bucky Brooks: 1) Richard Sherman 2) Patrick Peterson 3) Josh Norman

To the dismay of Peterson and Norman, Sherman remains the top CB1 in the game. He is a savvy ballhawk with a high football IQ and superb instincts. Now that he has started to "travel" -- i.e., shadow premier WR1s all over the field -- he is clearly the top choice at the position.

To borrow a phrase from NFL Media's Bucky Brooks, Josh Norman is a "system guy" until I see him do it in another system. For now, Sherman rules all.

Solomon Wilcots: 1) Richard Sherman 2) Patrick Peterson 3) Aqib Talib

Sherman has stayed on top since announcing his arrival. Peterson is a powerfully athletic corner and matches up well with some of the bigger receivers in the league. Talib is as physical as they come, and his confidence and swagger allow him to take on -- and beat -- some of the top receivers in the game.

Dave Dameshek: 1) Patrick Peterson 2) Richard Sherman 3) Darrelle Revis

With our national obsession over "elite QBs" shifting to "shutdown corners" the last couple years, "Pat Pete" has emerged as the best CB in the game. Sherman deserves credit for proving doubters wrong by "traveling" all over the field with opponents' best WRs in '15. And I know Revis wasn't great last year ... but he deserves at least one year's worth of benefit of the doubt.

Ike Taylor: 1) Richard Sherman 2) Patrick Peterson 3) Darrelle Revis

Last season, Sherman proved he can travel with top receivers and still produce. Peterson has developed into a shutdown corner, following in Revis' footsteps.

Calais Campbell compared Peterson to Deion Sanders in his prime on my CBS Sports Network show, "Time to Schein." Enough said.

Alex Gelhar: 1) Patrick Peterson 2) Richard Sherman 3) Josh Norman

Peterson's performance in 2015 -- after being diagnosed with diabetes, following a substandard 2014 campaign -- re-established him as the game's top corner. Sherman proved he could shadow No. 1 WRs in 2015, adding to his résumé, while Norman is a solid bronze-medal winner.

Brian Baldinger: 1) Darrelle Revis 2) Aqib Talib 3) Patrick Peterson

Revis, my favorite player, is the smartest corner in the NFL. Even though he doesn't have the same athletic ability that he had five years ago, he makes up for it in scouting, intelligence and his understanding of the game.

I'm more bullish on Trufant than most.

Eric Davis: 1) Patrick Peterson 2) Richard Sherman 3) Chris Harris Jr.

Peterson can match up against any receiver in the league, and if the ball touches his hands, you have to be concerned about his ability to score. Sherman is one of the best players on a defensive unit that's been in the top two for the last three or four seasons. Harris has posted three good seasons in a row. He doesn't give up touchdowns and gets his team off the field on third down.

Jamie Dukes: 1) Patrick Peterson 2) Darrelle Revis 3) Richard Sherman

Peterson clearly had the best year of all the league's corners. Revis is still playing at a high level despite his injuries. Sherman has been a top-tier corner on a consistently great defense.

I feel like we've taken Sherman for granted now. Like we've all just come to assume that players of Sherman's size can be amazing cornerbacks. I grew up with Deion Sanders as the top corner in the game. He wasn't super tall and certainly didn't like to tackle people. And I know that might seem a little rude of me to say of a fellow NFL Media employee. But it's the truth. Like, I couldn't get mad at Prime if he described me as a bald person. It's just the truth. And it's not like Deion knows who I am, so we're all good.

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