James Bradberry earning more praise from Pro Football Focus
James Bradberry has had a strong start to his tenure with the Giants. After being signed in the offseason to serve as the team's top corner, Bradberry has been everything the Giants were hoping he would be and more.
Through three games, the 27-year-old has registered an interception, a forced fumble and a league-leading nine passes defended, four more than anyone else in the NFL. He has done well limiting opponents' top wide receivers, as wideouts such as JuJu Smith-Schuster and Allen Robinson were not able to garner much success seeing coverage from Bradberry.
The Giants corner has already been recognized for his play this season, as Pro Football Focus named him their Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against Robinson and the Bears in Week 2. With another week in the books, the analytics site has praised Bradberry yet again for his dominant play.
This week, PFF listed the veteran corner as one of the best free agent signings of the offseason through the first three games of the season.
As PFF's Brad Speilberger writes, "Because of the nature of the position, sometimes you have to trust traits/instincts, durability/accountability and a guy that can keep his floor consistently high with smart decision-making and by limiting mistakes. That's Bradberry. Another challenge in evaluating NFL cornerback play is, of course, presented when Bradberry spent his time in the NFC South and saw Julio Jones, Mike Evans and Michael Thomas twice a year.
At the end of the day, Bradberry is a quality Cover-3 corner at just 27 years of age who can also play well in press-man coverage when called upon...
Bradberry was absolutely dominant in Week 2 with a tough matchup against Allen Robinson. He ripped an interception away from Robinson without even turning back to look at the throw — just a pure instincts play.
In addition to the highlight plays, Bradberry has been great on a snap-to-snap basis. His 84.1 coverage grade ranks third among all cornerbacks with at least 50 snaps in 2020."
Overall, Bradberry ranks third among the league's corners with an 82.5 overall grade from PFF. According to the analytics site, he has forced tight coverage on seven of his 19 targets this season, with none of them being caught. That is the highest number of forced targets in tight coverage without one resulting in a reception of any cornerback in the NFL.
CB James Bradberry is everything the Giants hoped
James Bradberry has been everything the Giants hoped he would be when they made him one of their marquee offseason acquisitions last March.
The Giants' left cornerback, Bradberry's nine passes defensed are four more than anyone else in the NFL. He intercepted a pass spectacularly in Chicago, and he is fifth on the team with 10 tackles (nine solo).
"He's been very productive on the ball, he's been very steady, very reliable," defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson said. "There are areas where he has to get better as well. But he's been very productive on the ball. He's done a good job there."
Now the Giants need the rest of the secondary to catch up to Bradberry.
The unit has been beset by inconsistency and injuries through the first three games and will face its biggest challenge of the young season when the Giants visit the passing proficient and high-scoring Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. Coach Joe Judge is confident they can meet it.
"I think the guys are all working hard," Judge said. "We see a level of improvement on a weekly basis. We have to make sure we keep playing good football and take some bad plays off our plate, but that's up to us as coaches. We have to keep putting guys in the right position and they have to execute on the field when they're asked to."
"With the whole secondary, we have to play more consistently at a high level," Henderson said. "We have times where we play at a really high level and we have times where we're making errors and mistakes that are causing us to get beat. We have to get those things fixed as a group."
View photos of the Los Angeles Rams' starters ahead of the Week 4 matchup against the Giants, based on their unofficial depth chart.
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