This past weekend's was the fourth consecutive "NFL selection meeting" at which cornerbacks, the least imposing football players (other than kickers), have been the most popular choice. In 2012, 34 cornerbacks were chosen; in 2011, 39 corners were picked; in 2010, 33 cornerbacks; in 2009, 36 corners came off the board. In previous drafts, either linebacker or wide receiver was the most popular choice, because teams have three to four starters at those positions. Now, for four straight drafts, it's been cornerbacks.
CB is Premium position
It's not that CB is a "premium" position, it's that teams now need more of them, especially given the rise of the use of 4 and 5 WR sets.But today's nickel and dime looks involve many downs on which five, six or even seven defensive backs play at once, which in turn requires lots of corners on the roster. Most NFL teams now keep nine or 10 defensive backs on the roster, up from a typical eight defensive backs a generation ago. Most of the additions are cornerbacks, who either line up as corners or cover slot receivers.
No one is saying that CB isn't an important position. What is being said is that while it is an important position, there are still limits as to what percent of a teams salary cap should go to a CB, even if he is the best in the NFL.