2010 CFN Preview - Unit Rankings, DBs
Texas CB Curtis Brown
Texas CB Curtis Brown
Posted Aug 16, 2010

CFN 2010 Preview Unit Rankings from top to bottom - Defensive Backs

Preview 2010 - Unit Rankings

Defensive Backs

2010 CFN Preseason Rankings
- 1 to 5 | 6 to 10 | 11 to 20 | 21 to 30 | 31 to 40 | 41 to 50 | 51 to 60
- 61 to 70 | 71 to 80 | 81 to 90 | 91 to 100 | 101 to 110 | 111 to 120
- CFN Preseason Rankings 2009 | 2008 | 2007

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CFN 2010 Unit Rankings
- Offenses | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defenses | Defensive Lines | Linebackers | Secondaries  | Special Teams

1. Texas
Considering Texas plays mostly against teams that rely on the pass, and considering most teams have to bomb away to keep up, giving up 15 touchdown passes (with seven combined coming against Texas Tech and Texas A&M) along with 25 picks was amazing. Everyone of note is back except for Earl Thomas, and while there will be moments when the better quarterbacks will connect for over 300 yards, the secondary should be among the most effective and productive in America.

2. South Carolina
The secondary had to undergo some major changes and came up with a tremendous year allowing just 11 touchdown passes and no more than two in any one game. Three fantastic starters return (Chris Culliver, Akeem Auguste, and Stephon Gilmore) to a pass defense that was second in the SEC and eighth in the nation and was 26th in pass efficiency defense, and it should be terrific once again with speed, skill, and NFL-caliber prospects.

3. North Carolina
Like the rest of the defense, the secondary is flush with talent and returning starters, two of which should again be all-stars. Not only can this group cover and create mistakes, but combined with a hellacious pass rush, will once again be one of the nation's best pass defenses. The Tar Heels, led by free safety, Deunta Williams, do the two things really, really well: create turnovers and limit big plays. They return the same starting quartet that picked off 15 passes, took a couple back for touchdowns, and limited opponents to a nation's-low 9.7 yards a completion.

4. LSU
Without the benefit of a killer pass rush, the secondary was terrific allowing 194 yards per game and finishing 19th in the country in pass efficiency defense. With more pressure on the quarterback from a more athletic group of ends, the fast, talented Tiger secondary could flourish. The DBs aren't going to be big-time playmakers against the run, but they'll be tough to go deep on. LSU has four corners in the secondary and should be able run with anyone. No one's going to be faster than the starting foursome led by a corner situation that might be the best in America with Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne forming a special twosome.

5. Iowa
It's not like the Iowa secondary isn't beatable. It might have finished fourth in the nation in pass defense and third in pass efficiency defense, and it takes a desperate effort to produce big yards. When focused and with everything working, the secondary can be stifling, and if everyone is healthy and if Micah Hyde can shine, this will once again be a brilliant group. The Iowa secondary has been a brick wall over the last three seasons as one of the best in the nation in pass efficiency defense while coming up with plenty of picks. After taking the ball away 23 times in 2008, the defense picked off 21 last year. With three returning starters, there likely won't be much of a drop off.

6. Alabama
Bama sent three starting defensive backs off to the NFL, but this year's secondary has more talent. There isn't a lot of experience, but on size, speed, and skills, this group is loaded. Mark Barron will be a steadying playmaking force who'll help make the transition easier, and when the light goes on for players like Dre Kirkpatrick, John Fulton, and DeMarcus Milliner, good luck getting a passing game going.

7. Miami
Although depth will be an on-going concern, the starting unit has as much potential as anyone in the ACC. Harris is pro-caliber, DeMarcus Van Dyke is experienced, and the sky is the limit for Vaughn Telemaque and Ray-Ray Armstrong at safety. Provided everyone stays healthy, this will be a very, very good group that should only get better.

8. Tennessee
The secondary was one of the team's biggest strengths finishing 12th in the nation in both pass defense and pass efficiency defense allowing just five touchdowns passes and one over the final five games. Losing Eric Berry is tough, but the safeties will be great, Art Evans and Eric Gordon will emerge as stars on the outside, and there's good depth to rely on.

9. Florida
After a nightmare of a 2007 season, the Gator pass defense was fantastic in 2008 and 2009 with one of the stingiest secondaries in America. Joe Haden and Major Wright will be missed, but there's a slew of great freshman to provide quality depth while players like Will Hill and Janoris Jenkins appear ready to step up with more responsibility. This won't be the pass defense of the last few years, but it'll be awfully strong.

10. Oklahoma
As always, OU has speed and talent to burn in the secondary. While the Sooner DBs will get burned here and there by the big play, they can all move and they can all tackle. With good depth and great options at each spot, expect another year with one of the most productive pass defenses in America. Sam Proctor and Quinton Carter might not be special, but they're rock solid veterans who should do a good job of helping the new corners. They can both hit and they can both move, and while it would be nice to get a little more out of Proctor, this is one of the team's strengths.


Air Force M-West
Arizona Pac 10
Arizona State Pac 10
Boston College ACC
Colorado   Big 12
Nebraska Big 12
TCU M-West
Virginia Tech ACC
West Virginia Big East

Auburn SEC
Boise State WAC
BYU M-West
California Pac 10
Clemson ACC
Connecticut Big East
Florida State ACC
Georgia SEC
Georgia Tech ACC
Kentucky SEC
Michigan Big Ten
Minnesota Big Ten
Mississippi State SEC
Missouri Big 12
Ohio State Big Ten
Oregon Pac 10
Oregon State Pac 10
Penn State Big Ten
Pitt Big East
Rutgers  Big East
South Florida Big East
Texas A&M Big 12
Texas Tech Big 12
UCLA  Pac 10
USC Pac 10
Vanderbilt SEC
Virginia   ACC
Wake Forest ACC
Wisconsin Big Ten


Arkansas SEC
Baylor Big 12
Cincinnati Big East
East Carolina C-USAE
Hawaii WAC
Illinois Big Ten
Iowa State Big 12
Kansas Big 12
Kansas State Big 12
Louisiana Tech WAC
Michigan State Big Ten
Middle Tennessee Sun Belt
Navy Ind
NC State ACC
Northwestern Big Ten
Notre Dame Ind
Ohio   MAC
Oklahoma State Big 12
Ole Miss SEC
San Jose State WAC
Stanford Pac 10
Syracuse Big East
Utah   M-West
Washington   Pac 10
Wyoming M-West


Arkansas State Sun Belt
Army Ind
Bowling Green MAC
Buffalo MAC
Central Michigan MAC
Duke ACC
Eastern Michigan MAC
FIU Sun Belt
Florida Atlantic Sun Belt
Fresno State WAC
Houston C-USAW
Indiana  Big Ten
Kent State MAC
Louisville  Big East
Maryland  ACC
Miami Univ. MAC
New Mexico State WAC
Northern Illinois MAC
Purdue Big Ten
San Diego State M-West
Southern Miss C-USAE
UL Lafayette Sun Belt
Washington State Pac 10
Western Michigan MAC


Akron MAC
Ball State MAC
Colorado State M-West
Idaho WAC
Marshall C-USAE
Memphis C-USAE
North Texas Sun Belt
Temple MAC
Toledo MAC
Troy Sun Belt


Nevada WAC
New Mexico   M-West
Tulane C-USAW
Tulsa C-USAW
UL Monroe Sun Belt
Utah State WAC
Western Kentucky Sun Belt

CFN 2010 Unit Rankings
- Offenses | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defenses | Defensive Lines | Linebackers | Secondaries  | Special Teams
2010 CFN Preseason Rankings
- 1 to 5 | 6 to 10 | 11 to 20 | 21 to 30 | 31 to 40 | 41 to 50 | 51 to 60
- 61 to 70 | 71 to 80 | 81 to 90 | 91 to 100 | 101 to 110 | 111 to 120
- CFN Preseason Rankings 2009 | 2008 | 2007