Carolina Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn thinks the Eagles’ Alshon Jeffery is among the best receivers in the NFL.
But Munnerlyn hasn’t always had a high opinion of his fellow Gamecock.
Munnerlyn was a Panthers’ rookie in 2009 when Jeffery was a freshman at South Carolina. Munnerlyn spent a lot of time in Columbia that season, and says Jeffery has come a long way.
“He’s one of the best. He’s definitely a whole lot better than he was in college, and I tell him that every time,” Munnerlyn said Tuesday. “I look at him and I was like, ‘Bro, man you run better routes. You’re faster.’ I think he just started taking it very serious.”
Jeffery signed a one-year deal with Philadelphia after five seasons with Chicago, where he had two 1,000-yard receiving seasons and went to one Pro Bowl.
Though Jeffery’s stats aren’t eye-popping (20 catches for 246 yards and two TDs), Eagles coach Doug Pederson said recently that Jeffery’s presence on the outside has given tight end Zach Ertz, the team’s receiving leader, more single coverage in the middle of the field.
As the nickel back, Munnerlyn lines up against the opponent’s slot receivers, so he doesn’t figure to be matched up against the 6-foot-3 Jeffery too often Thursday night.
But if he is, the 5-9 Munnerlyn says he won’t back down.
“Everybody knows he’s bigger than me. The size advantage is definitely there for him,” Munnerlyn said, laughing. “But I’ve got the leverage.”