No. 9: CB Jabari Greer (-5 from 2012, 4-time list member)
Credit: (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Say what you want about the defense last season – and there’s a lot to say – but Greer wasn’t at fault for most of it. In fact, Greer quietly recorded a solid season. In 14 games, Greer made 51 tackles, seventh-most on the team, and had a career-high three interceptions. His 14 passes defensed were second-most on the team.
His value comes in his ability to do a little bit of everything. But he’s proficient in run defense, where he ranked in the top 20 percent of NFL cornerbacks playing at least 50 percent of their teams’ run snaps. He was middle of the pack in coverage rating, but far higher than opposite corner Patrick Robinson.
But it’s his ability to face the fire when something goes wrong that may be his biggest asset to the team. In a profession in which players more and more ignore problems and don’t own up to mistakes, Greer does it time and again, never wavering in his belief that he should talk in both good and bad times.
It’s a powerful message to send to young players, which is mostly what New Orleans’ secondary is made up of these days.
Combined with his ability to play on an island without help, it’s what makes Greer one of the players the Saints would have a hard time replacing at this point.
He had a somewhat down year in 2012, but also was playing through various injuries. And when he's inactive or not close to full strength, his backups struggled.