While a down of meaningful football won't be played for a few more months — meaning every single player is healthy, loving the scheme and optimistic about the season (all things that can change once the action picks up) — a list has recently been published that'll have Redskins fans beaming.
An analyst over at Pro Football Focus just ranked every cornerback group in the NFL based on each team's projected first three options, and for what feels like the first time in a long time, you have to look at the top of the list to see where Washington lands. The tippy-top, in fact.
The trio of Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland and Quinton Dunbar checks in at No. 3, behind only Arizona and Denver. No, not No. 30 like some of the Redskins' past pass defenders would end up. According to PFF, the Burgundy and Gold have an elite corps of corners.
"Even before the acquisition of Norman, this was a cornerback corps on the rise," writes Ben Stockwell. "Breeland had a breakout campaign in 2015, allowing 50 yards or more only three times after Washington’s Week 8 bye. Dunbar, an undrafted free agent and wide-receiver conversion, showed his potential in the wildcard defeat to Green Bay by breaking up two passes and allowing only 41 yards on seven receptions."
Something that'll sweeten this news is that Kendall Fuller, the franchise's third-round draft pick who has been looking spry and healthy lately in offseason work, wasn't even accounted for. As for the rest of the NFC East, the Giants are ninth, the Cowboys are 27th, and the Eagles are 29th. And, interestingly enough, the Panthers, sans Norman, finish last.
Now, if you haven't taken this with a grain of salt yet, go find a grain of salt; as mentioned earlier, preseason grades often don't mean much. However, just the idea that the Redskins could potentially boast a premier unit when it comes to pass prevention is something to behold. Times are changing in D.C., and FedEx Field may finally be a place opposing quarterbacks don't look forward to visiting in 2016.