Best Returning G5 Defensive Backs

Best Returning G5 Defensive Backs

The ‘Group of Five’ and its teams have produced many talented players in the NFL in recent years. We have covered the Best Returning G5 Quarterbacks so now we move to the other side of the ball. Many of these players have come from the defensive side of the ball.  In any defense, you need stability and knowledge to succeed. As we know, the defensive backs are the final line of protection and the most crucial element. These four players stood out to me out of an incredibly crowded talent pool to choose from. These young men are the best returning defensive backs in the group of five.

Best Returning G5 Defensive Backs

#4 – Quindell Johnson – FS- Memphis

Quindell Johnson had a superior 2021 season accumulating a tremendous and #4 ranked in the AAC with 104 total tackles and solo with sixty-six on the season. Johnson’s most impressive stat was his fifth-ranked n conference and tied for seventeenth nationally with eleven pass deflections. The most talented player on the Memphis roster, Johnson looks to improve both the Tigers and his performance in 2022. The Tigers bring Matt Barnes from Ohio State this offseason to lead a talented defense. Memphis starts the season with a road trip to Starkville, Mississippi, to take on the Bulldogs from the SEC. Could Johnson lead the Tigers back to the Ny6 Bowl games in 2022?

#3 – Darrell Luther Jr- CB – South Alabama

  Darrell Luther came into the Jaguars program from the JUCO ranks and did not disappoint. Luther would be thrown at 45 times in coverage in 2021. Luther would go away with a higher number of combined pass breakups and interceptions, in 14, than the number of catches he would allow at 12. The talented corner would lead the SunBelt with his ten pass deflections and finish 4th in the conference with his four interceptions. A program gaining momentum in Mobile, Luther will be considered to continue this play. The Jaguars begin the season with a home visit from Nichols State before a road trip to UCLA on September 17th. South Alabama has an NFL talent on their defensive backend in Luther. It will be interesting to see how he and the Jaguars perform in a new, more competitive SunBelt conference.

#2 Davonte Brown – CB – Central Florida

In 2021, Davonte Brown was thrust into the starting lineup. Brown would finish with 37 tackles {24 solos, 13 assisted}, 13 pass deflections, and one sack. His pass deflections ranked him 8th nationally and helped the Knight’s defense improve from 121st to 36th, allowing passing yards per game. Central Florida will compete in the American for their final season in 2022 before the leap to the Big12 beginning next season.  It will be intriguing to see if head coach Gus Malzahn can continue to improve on a 9-4 season in 2021.

#1 JL Skinner – Safety – Boise State

The number one choice was evident in what was quite a complex list to compile. JL Skinner from Boise State will be a name you hear in next season’s NFL Draft quickly. Skinner earned the 2022 Preseason Defensive Player of The Year; based on his 2021 performance. Skinner finished last season with 92 tackles [ 66 solos, 26 assisted} and two interceptions for the Broncos. His season-high 11 solo tackles came on the road at Utah State. He would tie his season high for total tackles in a game at 13 twice. Once in the Utah State game and the opening week against UCF. The Broncos open the season with a road trip to Corvallis to take on Oregon State.