If I told you a Super Bowl champion, five-time Pro-Bowler, and a two-time All-Pro cornerback was available for trade for a fifth-round pick, what would you say?
Because the Los Angeles Rams sure as heck said to bring it on when they traded a fifth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Denver Broncos for CB Aqib Talib.
Talib was a first-round draft pick in 2008 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wading through various legal troubles, Talib found his way to the New England Patriots and then Broncos.
Throughout an memorable (for various reasons) and tremendous career, Talib continues to progress and improve like a fine wine. Pro Football Focus have two interesting stats from his 2017 and 2016 seasons:
Aqib Talib by the numbers in 2017! pic.twitter.com/TZiJ0QOsZa— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) March 3, 2018
Aqib Talib of the @Broncos in coverage in 2016.— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 7, 2017
In 11 seasons, Talib has registered 34 interceptions (10 of which were returned for touchdowns), and four forced fumbles.
Fellow first-year Ram CB Marcus Peters and Talib are in identical situations. They’ll start every game barring any injury, and they’ll line up outside of the numbers on every snap generally. They wont have any risk of losing their jobs because they’re both elite talent CB’s in a league starved for shutdown defensive play.
Slot CB Nickell Robey-Coleman (roster preview) rounds out the nickel secondary with Sam Shields (roster preview) and Troy Hill (roster preview) chomping at the bit for playing time.
I genuinely expect Talib to have a tremendous season. Talib played his best football under Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips in Denver and now gets to return to the system in which he thrived in. That’s not to say that he wasn’t great outside of that system (because he was), but Phillips is known to take defensive players to another level of play.
Having a defensive line comprised of stars in DL Ndamukong Suh (roster preview), DL Aaron Donald, and DL Michael Brockers (roster preview), elite CB Marcus Peters (roster preview) across, and maybe the league’s best safety duo with Lamarcus Joyner (roster preview) and John Johnson III (roster preview) won’t hurt either.
Chances of Making Final Roster (10/10)
Talib is making the roster, and it’s time for him to show Los Angeles just how truly dominant he can be.
To the NFC West receivers: tuck your chains.
You’ve been warned.