Giants' James Bradberry, Adoree' Jackson land in Top 15 of PFF's best CBs heading into 2021

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James Bradberry/Adoree' Jackson Treated Image
James Bradberry/Adoree' Jackson Treated Image

Heading into the 2021 NFL season, Pro Football Focus has been breaking down the best players at each position entering the new year. This time around, cornerbacks were brought into the fold and a couple of Giants found themselves on the list of the top 32 players.

The first is probably an obvious one: James Bradberry.

A Pro Bowl season in 2020 in his first campaign with the Giants was tremendous to watch, as quarterbacks consistently tried to pick on him with their best receiver usually on his side and he was lockdown. That’s why PFF has him on the list at No. 5.

“Bradberry put up solid performances against a difficult slate of NFC South cornerbacks across the first four seasons of his career with the Carolina Panthers, but he took a clear step forward in his first year with the Giants last season,” PFF wrote. “Bradberry was the fourth-most valuable cornerback in the league in 2020 per PFF WAR, with career-best coverage numbers across the board.”

PFF also highlighted Bradberry’s game against the Chicago Bears in Week 2 when he was matched up with Allen Robinson II, who gave corners trouble all season long. But Bradberry held him to just one catch on six targets with three pass breakups and an interception -- his first as a Giant.

While Bradberry was a clear favorite to land on this list, one might be surprised that Adoree’ Jackson came in at No. 12.

The reasoning behind that is Jackson didn’t play most of the 2020 campaign with a knee injury, but PFF is looking past that. Here’s their explanation:

“Tennessee’s loss has turned into the Giants’ gain,” they wrote. “Jackson missed the majority of the 2020 season with a lingering knee injury, but he profiled as one of the most promising young cornerbacks in the league before last year, fresh off a career-high 82.5 coverage grade in 2019.

“Jackson has been one of the stingiest cornerbacks in the league on deep targets since entering the league. Since 2017, he has forced more incompletions on passes 20-plus yards downfield (18) than he has receptions allowed (14).”

When healthy, the former first-round pick by the Titans has been one of the fastest corners in the league since he broke in as a rookie. That’s why his numbers on deep ball threats are so good.

But, since he didn’t play a lot of last season, there is some concern about how he'll play in 2021. His knee injury, as mentioned, lingered to the point where Jackson just couldn’t find his way back on the field.

When he does lace up his cleats, though, he’s provided solid defense – enough to warrant a $13 million per year contract from Big Blue for the next three years.

Having two cornerbacks in the Top 15 of any list is great with training camp a little over a month away. But the real ranking at the end of the season is all that matters, so we’ll see if both Bradberry and Jackson can live up to their position here during the 2021 season.