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Quinton Dunbar Rated No. 1 Cornerback in NFL after Week 1

quinton dunbar

Heading into the start of the 2018 season, cornerback was one of the biggest questions for the Washington Redskins. The team reshaped the position in one offseason, letting Bashaud Breeland walk in free agency and trading slot corner Kendall Fuller to Kansas City in the deal that landed them Alex Smith. In large, the decision to part ways with Breeland and Fuller, two upcoming corners, was the development of Quinton Dunbar.

Dunbar has a full slate of potential and it was on display in Sunday’s Week 1 win over the Arizona Cardinals, his first start at outside cornerback since signing a multi-year deal with Washington during the offseason. Dunbar finished the game with five tackles, three pass defenses, and one interception. Head coach Jay Gruden described Dunbar as being “all over the place” when assessing his play. If Gruden’s words were not enough validation, Dunbar got it from Pro Football Focus. The analytical website graded Dunbar as the number one rated cornerback in the NFL for Week 1.

Dunbar received a grade of 92.3. The Redskins as a unit did a great job against Arizona’s Trips formations and rub routes. Dunbar was at the forefront of that coverage.

Here’s an example where Dunbar played the play to perfection. He dropped back holding the out route of wide receiver Chad Williams enough for Sam Bradford to move his eyes to Larry Fitzgerald, who Dunbar was baiting hoping Bradford would ultimately throw that way. Once Dunbar saw the ball in the air, he broke on the route, knocking the pass down.

What may have been just as impressive is the placement of Dunbar’s right hand, as he avoided hooking Fitzgerald looking for momentum on his jump and still smacking the ball down with his left.

When the Cardinals tried a similar route concept, Dunbar this time anticipated Bradford committing to flag route on the outside and was in prime position for Bradford’s overthrow for an interception.

It’s one game, but it’s clear why the Redskins were comfortable to let Breeland walk in free agency, as Dunbar is more than suitable replacement at outside cornerback. At 6-foot-2 and with good speed, the former Florida wide receiver has transitioned into a starting NFL cornerback. And one that at least for one week, his play is rated above everyone at the position.

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