Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Sherman, Williams, Moseley listed among best cornerback trios by Pro Football Focus

Jul 6, 2020 at 2:30 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers boasted the league's best pass defense last year, which was led by veteran cornerback Richard Sherman. He didn't do it alone, though. The group, consisting of Emmanuel Moseley opposite Sherman, and K'Waun Williams covering in the slot, earned a combined Pro Football Focus grade of 89.2 between the three players. That was good enough to rank it No. 2 on the analytics site's list of the NFL's best cornerback trios (h/t to Jeff Deeney).

The trio of Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty, and Jonathan Jones with the New England Patriots was the lone group listed above San Francisco's.

"Sherman earned the highest individual coverage grade (90.1) among cornerbacks in the regular season and led the way while allowing only one touchdown reception on 549 coverage snaps," wrote Solomon Wilcots of Pro Football Focus. "Backing him up, slot cornerback K'Waun Williams earned an impressive 76.5 coverage grade as an inside defender, the seventh-best grade among the NFL's 47 qualifying slot defenders."

Moseley, who first received significant playing time following an injury to starter Ahkello Witherspoon, earned a coverage grade of 68.8, which was good enough to rank No. 27 among NFL cornerbacks who played at least 50 percent of snaps.

Wilcots notes that Moseley's coverage grade increased to 74.8 on passes that left the opposing quarterback's hands in three-or-fewer seconds.

Moseley's play was so impressive that he continued taking the majority of snaps even after Witherspoon returned from injury and started for San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl LIV.

"Together, this group contributed to a 49ers secondary that allowed the lowest yards per reception average (9.7) during the 2019 regular season," added Wilcots.

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