Nov 29, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones (24) against the St. Louis Rams at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 31-7. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
2. Adam Jones
Adam Jones has been one of the NFL’s best return men of the past half-decade, but he has also emerged as a standout cover corner in 2015. Jones wasn’t even Cincinnati’s top corner in 2014, yet he has played at an elite level this season.
Halfway through the season, Pacman was the league’s fourth-best corner, per Pro Football Focus. If it weren’t for the foot injury he suffered, Jones would be a legitimate Pro Bowl candidate and would be a strong All-Pro candidate.
Even with lockdown corners Josh Norman, Chris Harris and Richard Sherman turning heads, Jones deserves to be in the conversation. His dominance has helped Cincinnati’s defense evolve into one of the league’s top units in 2015, a year after it was one of the most vulnerable groups.
Jones has recorded 57 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, 10 pass defenses and three interceptions in just 12 games.
Aside from a notable outburst in Week 1, the once-troubled corner has been very composed all season long. His dominant play has been icing on the cake.
Jones’ versatility is evident in both the impressive coverage skills he displays as a corner and in his impact as a returner. Pacman has recorded 179 punt return yards on 16 attempts, only calling one fair catch. His longest return of the season to date went for 35 yards. Jones also took 10 kickoffs for 235 yards, with a long of 49 yards.
Jones is the seventh-alternate at corner. That’s just disrespectful to a player who has been nothing short of outstanding this season.
Next: 3. Carlos Dunlap