Defensive Backs

Atlanta Firebirds

Cornerbacks

Brandon Boykin – 9$

Stanley Jean-Baptiste – 6aa

Loucheiz Purifoy – 6a

Nick Marshall – 6aa

Rashaad Reynolds – 6aa

Terrance Sanders – 7

Safeties

Matt Daniels – 6aa

Marquis Floyd – 8D

Isaiah Johnson – 6aa

Corey Moore – 6aa

Bacarri Rambo – 8aa

Projected Starters
CB1: Brandon Boykin
CB2: Terrance Sanders
Nickel: Nick Marshall
Dime: Stanley Jean-Baptiste
FS: Marquis Floyd
SS: Bacarri Rambo

Summary: The Firebirds return one of the more productive corners in the league in Brandon Boykin (five picks in 2015) but are not particularly impressive at the corner position outside of him. At safety, the team is hoping for big things and a breakout season from safety Bacarri Rambo after a three pick season while Marquis Floyd, a well-traveled veteran, is a solid starter at free safety, but is at the end of his career. The Firebirds have a quality starting secondary, however quality and experienced depth could be an issue should any injuries happen to their starters.

Carolina Generals

Cornerbacks

Courtney Bridget – 6a

Montell Garner – 6aa

James Harrell – 7a

Dwayne Hollis – 6aa

James Romain – 7aa

Safeties

Bernard Pollard – 9d$

Bryce Peila – 7a

Projected Starters
CB1: James Romain
CB2: James Harrell
Nickel: Montell Garner
Dime: Dwayne Hollis
FS: Bryce Peila
SS: Bernard Pollard

Summary: The Generals have done a good job of finding some quality starters for their secondary. From the AFL comes James Romain and James Harrell who should do a decent job holding down the outside corner positions with Montell Garner and Dwayne Hollis filling in the slot while they develop. At safety NFL veteran Bernard Pollard really solidifies the credibility of the secondary as a down-in-the-box safety who will bring a physicality that will help in defending the run. Bryce Peila brings his talents from the AFL to Carolina and looks to be the free safety even though he’s probably more suited at strong safety; one-on-one matchups and speedy receivers might be an issue for the Generals’ safeties all season.

Charleston Dragons

Cornerbacks

Javier Arenas – 7c

Justin Coleman – 7aa

Travis Hawkins – 6a

Leonard Johnson – 7aa

Leon McFadden – 6aa

Josh Norman – 9a

Akwasi Owusu-Ansah – 7aa

Nickell Robey – 7aa

Sammy Seamster – 6aa

Safeties

Winston Guy – 8a

Zeke Motta – 6a

Jack Nelson – 5a

Kyle Sebetic – 6aa

DeShawn Shead – 8a

Phillip Thomas – 7a

Garrett Waggoner – 6a

Projected Starters
CB1: Josh Norman
CB2: Akwasi Owusu-Ansah
Nickel: Nickell Robey
Dime: Leonard Johnson
FS: DeShawn Shead
SS: Winston Guy

Summary: You would be hard pressed to find a better secondary put together by an expansion franchise. Headlining the group is Josh Norman who had a quiet, but productive season in Columbus last year and will draw a matchup with the opposing team’s best receivers week-in-and-week out. The Dragons have several solid options for the number two corner spot with Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Justin Coleman, and Leonard Johnson all competing for the job. Nickell Robey had two picks a year ago and looks to have the nickel back position locked down. At safety, there are two qualified starters in DeShawn Shead and Winston Guy although both guys look more like a linebackers than safeties.

Columbus Explorers

Cornerbacks

Zack Bowman – 9d

T.J. Carrie – 8aa

Marcus Cooper – 8c

Doran Grant – 6aa

Isaiah Green – 6aa

Kendall James – 6aa

Devin Smith – 6a

Brady Gravyhold – 6a

Bill Bentley – 7c

Safeties

Jamie Bender – 6aa

Quintin Demps – 10f$

Kurtis Drummond – 7a

Brandian Ross – 8c

Daniel Sorensen – 7a

Earl Wolff – 7ai$

Projected Starters
CB1: Zack Bowman
CB2: T.J. Carrie
Nickel: Marcus Cooper
Dime: Bill Bentley
FS: Brandian Ross
SS: Quintin Demps

Summary: Despite losing potential all SFL cornerback Josh Norman and Nickell Robey, the Explorers secondary doesn’t look to take a step back in 2016. Former All-SFL corner Zack Bowman still has plenty of game left in him and returns to the SFL after a two year layoff in the NFL. T.J. Carrie had a real nice camp and Marcus Cooper looks to build off the limited action he saw as a rookie. At the safety position Columbus returns both starters in Brandian Ross and Quintin Demps look to continue to have another productive season.

Dallas Six-Shooters

Cornerbacks

Kenneth Acker – 8aa

Alfonzo Dennard – 8c

LaDarius Gunter – 6aa

Tyler Patmon – 7a

Kevin White – 6a

Safeties

Otha Foster – 6aa

Dejon Gomes – 7d

Anthony Harris – 6aa

Jeff Heath – 8aa

Antoine Pruneau – 7a

Johnny Sears Jr. – 7a

Pat Watkins – 9

Projected Starters
CB1: Kenneth Acker
CB 2: Alfonzo Dennard
Nickel: Tyler Patmon
Dime: LaDarius Gunter
FS: Pat Watkins
SS: Jeff Heath

Summary: Despite failing to record an interception last season the loss of Perrish Cox will be difficult to replace. Dallas had a strong secondary a year ago and are putting a lot of faith into Kenneth Acker after a very strong camp. Acker was limited by injuries his rookie year, but has looked fantastic in practice. Alfonzo Dennard had a poor camp and it’s a bit surprising he has survived cuts after all his off the field issues. Tyler Patmon is a solid nickel and LaDarius Gunter has potential to develop and play the dime back this year. Pat Watkins and Jeff Heath are a pair of very capable starting safeties.

Los Angeles Stars

Cornerbacks

Antone Exum – 7a

Victor Hampton – 6a

Jordan Poyer – 8aa

Asante Samuel – 8df

Josh Shaw – 7a

Melvin White – 7a

Safeties

Dion Bailey – 7a

George Iloka – 9a

Kyshoen Jarrett – 7a

Robert Lester – 8a

James Sample – 6aa

Projected Starters
CB1: Jordan Poyer
CB2: Asante Samuel
Nickel: Josh Shaw
Dime: Melvin White
FS: George Iloka
SS: Robert Lester

Summary: The L.A. secondary had a very good 2015 after recording 11 interceptions and it will be interesting to see if they can have an even better season in 2016. At cornerback Asante Samuel is clearly on his last leg at 35 and although Jordan Poyer is very good at corner some believe he could be twice the player at safety. The Stars feature two high quality safeties in potential All SFL player George Iloka whom the secondary can rally around and hard hitter Robert Lester.

Louisville Cougars

Cornerbacks

Mike Harris – 7c

Paul Woldu – 6a

Laron Scott – 6a

Safeties 

Ashley Lowery – 6a

Brandon Turman – 6a

Braylon Webb – 6a

Martel Durant – 6a

Projected Starters
CB1: Mike Harris
CB2: Laron Scott
Nickel: Paul Woldu
FS: Martel Durant
SS: Braylon Webb

Summary: The new look Cougars secondary might be in store for a rough inaugural season. The only proven quality player that the Cougars have is late camp addition Mike Harris who started all 16 games for the Michigan Stags in 2015. He should be able to hold his own, but when matched against elite receivers might struggle with the limited help he’ll get from the supporting cast around him.

Michigan Stags

Cornerbacks

Charles Gaines – 7aa

Josh Johnson – 7a

Jovon Johnson – 8

Tony Lippett – 6aa

John Ojo – 8a

Varmah Sonie – 7a

Safeties

Sanders Commings – 6a

Michael Huff – 8D

Shiloh Keo – 8

Alfred Phillips – 7d

Clayton Geathers – 7aa

Projected Starters
CB1: John Ojo
CB2: Jovon Johnson
Nickel: Charles Gaines
Dime: Josh Johnson
FS: Michael Huff
SS: Shiloh Keo

Summary: For all the money that was spent on the secondary for the expansion Stags last year the production did not live up to the price. The secondary only recorded four interceptions and big name signings in Michael Huff and Chris Houston didn’t make any splash plays. Chris Houston retired after the 2015 season and the Stags look to have revamped the corner position for 2016. CFL All-Star John Ojo had a very good camp the Stags are hopeful he can provide the production that Houston was unable to. Long time veteran Jovon Johnson had a surprisingly strong camp as well as rookie 8th round pick Charles Gaines having a very good showing and locking up the nickel position. Improved play from the secondary in 2016 could help turn Michigan into a legitimate contender.

Minnesota Freeze

Cornerbacks

Malcolm Butler – 8aa

Micah Hyde – 8aa

Cord Parks – 7

Ryan Phillips – 8

Safeties

Husain Abdullah – 8

Mark LeGree – 7c

Robensen Therezie – 7aa

Projected Starters
CB1: Malcolm Butler
CB2: Micah Hyde
Nickel: Ryan Phillips
Dime: Cord Parks
FS: Robensen Therezie
SS: Hussain Abdullah

Summary: The Freeze secondary was still productive last season despite losing a pair of All-SFL corners following the 2014 season. Malcolm Butler looks like the next big star back there and should take over the top corner job with Micah Hyde having a solid camp, but most agree he would twice the player at safety. Veteran Ryan Phillips has had a very productive career and could do an adequate job as a number two corner if Hyde does get kicked back to free safety. Hussain Abdullah was once considered an All-SFL player, but has slowed down in recent years and is coming off a poor season and is paired with rookie Robensen Therezie.

Nashville Renegades

Cornerbacks

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu – 6aa

Dominic Jones – 6a

Rod Isaac – 6aa

Richard Marshall – 8D$

Mike McMillan – 6a

LaRico Stevenson – 7

Safeties

Kenny Ladler – 6aa

Derron Smith – 6aa

Darian Stewart – 8a$

Projected Starters
CB1: Richard Marshall
CB2: LaRico Stevenson
Nickel: Rod Isaac
Dime: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu
FS: Darian Stewart
SS: Kenny Ladler

Summary: New management for the ‘Gades made it known that they’re not afraid of wheeling and dealing, but the moves to improve their secondary have fallen short. Richard Marshall is a potential Hall of Famer, but maybe has a year left and could struggle with the speed of the top receivers he’ll be asked to cover. Aside from LaRico Stevenson opposite Marshall the rest of the corners are interchangeable backups right now. At safety, Darian Stewart is the only one ready to be thrust into the starting lineup.

New Orleans Nightmare

Cornerbacks

Dante Marsh – 7d

D.J. Moore – 8c

Eddie Moten – 8D

Clevan Thomas – 8D$

Geoff Tisdale – 8D

Safeties

Tyron Brackenridge – 7

Kyries Hebert – 7

Craig Loston – 6aa

Ronald Martin – 6aa

Projected Starters
CB1: Geoff Tisdale
CB2: Clevan Thomas
Nickel: Eddie Moten
Dime: Dante Marsh
FS: Tyron Brackenridge
SS: Kyries Hebert

Summary: The Nightmare secondary was incredibly disappointing last year recording only four picks. The bad news for New Orleans is that the same cast returns, but now a year older and slower. While the names of Tyron Brackenridge, Kyries Hebert, Geoff Tisdale, and Clevan Thomas might have struck fear in offenses two or three years ago, those days are past are now looked at match-ups to exploit.

New York Marauders

Cornerbacks

Danny Gorrer – 7c

Jonathan Hefney – 7

Keon Raymond – 7

Tye Smith – 6aa

Josh Thomas – 7c

Darrin Walls – 7c

Safeties

C.J. Barnett – 6a

Durrell Eskridge – 6aa

Gerod Holliman – 6aa

Dawan Landry – 9d$

Projected Starters
CB1: Keon Raymond
CB2: Jonathan Hefney
Nickel: Josh Thomas
Dime: Darrin Walls
FS: Gerod Holliman
SS: Dawan Landry

Summary: Of the league leading 16 interceptions in 2015 (tied with Columbus), the only player to return from any of that production is the two picks Vontaze Burfict had. Expect some struggles and a decline in production from this year’s secondary, which was scrambled together after Kurt Coleman, Adam Jones and Richard Freeman all bolted for the NFL. The Marauders best defensive back looks to be safety Dawan Landry, who at 33, is a shadow of himself and wasn’t exactly lighting it up in camp. New York is going to need one hell of a year from the front half of their defense to aid an average, at best, secondary.

Orlando Rockets

Cornerbacks

Jacoby Glenn – 6aa

Andre Hal – 8aa

Demetrius McCray – 7aa

Captain Munnerlyn – 10$

Marcus Roberson – 7aa

Damian Swann – 7aa

Safeties

Adrian Amos – 7aa

Josh Evans – 7aa

Duke Ihenacho – 7aa

Dexter McCoil – 8aa

Vinnie Suneri – 6aa

Projected Starters
CB1: Captain Munnerlyn
CB2: Andre Hal
Nickel: Demetrius McCray
Dime: Marcus Roberson
FS: Josh Evans
SS: Dexter McCoil

Summary: Jason McCourty will be a tough loss for Orlando, but the Rockets still possess a very deep core of defensive backs. Captain Munnerlyn is arguably the best corner in the league now that Richard Sherman has left. Andre Hal is a solid number two corner, but many feel he has All-SFL potential at free safety. Josh Evans has been a bit of a letdown at safety recording only one interception a year ago. Dexter McCoil is hoping for a better year after just recording 25 tackles and no interceptions while splitting reps with others.

Philadelphia Bulldogs

Cornerbacks

Justin King – 9df$

Mario Norman – 7

Garry Peters – 6a

Greg Reid – 7aa

Kent Richardson – 7

JaCorey Shepherd – 6aa

Jamar Wall – 7a

Safeties

Jahleel Addae – 8a

Antonio Allen – 9

Ken Fontenette – 8

Projected Starters
CB1: Justin King
CB2: Greg Reid
Nickel: Jamar Wall
Dime: Mario Norman
FS: Jahleel Addae
SS: Antonio Allen

Summary: Despite the reigning SFL Defensive MVP failing to record an interception last season, Philly’s secondary had a very productive season in a down year for defenses, picking up 13 interceptions. Antonio Allen is hoping to produce another All-SFL type season after breaking out with six interceptions in 2015. Jahleel Addae also had a solid season with three picks, but the Bulldogs will need a bounce back year out of King to legitimize their shot at a Grand Finale appearance. Greg Reid looks to have been a great signing out of the AFL and could develop into a real solid number two and heir apparent to King.

Phoenix Scorpions

Cornerbacks

Chykie Brown – 7c

Derek Cox – 7c

Emmanuel Davis – 6

Dominique Franks – 7

Brandon Ghee – 7c

Safeties

Josh Boyett – 7a

Rob Henry – 6a

Maurice Leggett – 7a

Kenny Phillips – 8D

Cornerbacks
CB1: Dominique Franks
CB2: Derek Cox
Nickel: Chykie Brown
Dime: Brandon Ghee
FS: Kenny Phillips
SS: Maurice Leggett

Summary: For such short notice, the Scorpions assembled a quality group of veteran players for their secondary. They’re still probably going to struggle, but with many of the players possessing NFL and SFL experience should guide them to make plays, compete, and be a competitive group.

San Antonio Marshalls

Cornerbacks

Johnny Adams – 7aa

Tevaughn Campbell – 6a

Quinton Carter – 7c

Quandre Diggs – 7aa

Jeremy Kellam – 8

Cody Riggs – 6aa

Kevin Rutland – 7a

Daxton Swanson – 6a

Corey White – 7aa

Safeties

Cody Davis – 6aa

Thomas DeCoud – 9d

Jon Dowling – 6aa

Corey Moore – 6aa

Mykelle Thompson – 6a

Projected Starters
CB1: Jeremy Kellam
CB2: Johnny Adams
Nickel: Corey White
Dime: Kevin Rutland
FS: Thomas DeCoud
SS: Cody Davis

Summary: The outlook looks better for the Marshalls secondary with the return of Thomas DeCoud and AFL-Star Jeremy Kellam, who combined for four of the team’s six interceptions. Johnny Adams had a much better camp and is on the right path to potential becoming a quality starter and star. While the Marshalls corner position is deep with quality depth, the safety position is really lacking outside of DeCoud in regards to depth and another starter.

Seattle Orcas

Cornerbacks

A.J. Bouye – 9a

Greg Ducre – 7a

E.J. Gaines – 8a

Rayshaun Kizer – 8c

Micheaux Robinson – 7

Safeties

Chip Cox – 7

Travell Dixon – 6a

Tashaun Gipson – 10f

Tony Jefferson – 9a

Projected Starters
CB1: A.J. Buoye
CB2: E.J. Gaines
Nickel: Rayshaun Kizer
Dime: Greg Ducre
FS: Tashaun Gipson
SS: Tony Jefferson

Summary: The Orcas sport the best starting safety tandem in the SFL with Tashaun Gipson and Tony Jefferson roaming the back half. Seattle also has a very solid group of cornerbacks, but will need more plays from them than just the one interception E.J. Gaines had last year. If the corners can ball hawk better and force more turnovers Seattle could end up with several All-SFL candidates and one of the best secondaries in the league.

Washington Wave

Cornerbacks

Chris Cook – 7c

Chase Minnifield – 6a

Safeties

Detrick Bonner – 6a

Michael Carter – 6

Parrish Gaines – 6a

Jacob Hagen – 6aa

Vic Hall – 7c

Projected Starters
CB1: Chris Cook
CB2: Chase Minnifield
FS: Vic Hall
SS: Jacob Hagen

Summary: Putting together a secondary without a draft or earlier shot at free agency has proven tough for the Wave. Vic Hall, who always had trouble breaking through in Orlando, looks like the only capable starter at safety and former NFL corner Chris Cook looks to be the only quality starter on the outside.