James Bradberry's stats prove he's the dominant cornerback Giants had hoped for

Scott Thompson
·3 min read
James Bradberry treated
James Bradberry treated

When the Giants brought CB James Bradberry in during free agency, it was a move that many didn't believe GM Dave Gettleman would make. That was mainly due to the price tag that Bradberry was expected to have. 

This move, though, was one that actually made tons of sense for the Giants. First, they lacked a No. 1 cornerback after Janoris Jenkins was released during the 2019 season, leaving that spot up for grabs for the youngsters behind him. But no one really stepped up there and a move needed to be made. 

Then, you recognize Gettleman was familiar with a player he drafted in the second round during his time with the Carolina Panthers, where Bradberry had his fair share of time hawking top receivers in the tough NFC South. So the contract was written out and Bradberry headed to New York. 

It's a move that has really worked out thus far. Heading into the bye week, Bradberry has been one of the best corners in the NFL and he has the stats to prove it.

The big one is pass breakups, as Pro Football Focus has him leading the league with 11 on the year. Teams have been picking on Bradberry, and he is simply making plays on the ball. It was evident this past Sunday against the Eagles where he had two more pass breakups and held five different receivers to a total of 2-for-8 for 15 yards through the air.

Looking more in depth, Bradberry is among some of the best corners in the league in terms of overall PFF grades. His 75.0 coverage grade is better than the reigning Defensive Players of the Year -- Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore and Rams CB Jalen Ramsey, who is the highest-paid corner in the NFL.

Bradberry is also producing a 68.2 passer rating in coverage and has a 55.4 catch percentage (31 receptions on 56 targets). And he's only allowed 328 yards all season (32.8 per game), which is good for seventh in the league.

So you could say the Giants got this free agent pickup right. Bradberry isn't just filling the void left by Jenkins, but he has solidified his role quickly as the team's best option in the secondary. 

And thanks to his quick acclimation to the league by matching up with top receivers, he's shown he can shut some down like Chicago's Allen Robinson in Week 2 (1-for-6, 14 yards, INT, 3 PBU) and Dallas' Amari Cooper (1-for-3, eight yards, 1 PBU).

The best part about Bradberry is he's a building block after signing that three-year, $43.5 million deal. At just 27 this season, the Giants will have him under contract until after the 2022 season. If he continues playing like this, that would be worth the money.

Coming off the bye, the Giants will find themselves still in the hunt for the NFC East title, and solid play from Bradberry -- as well as the rest of the team -- will be needed against some tough opponents like the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals after facing the Cincinnati Bengals. That means pairing up with D.K. Metcalf and DeAndre Hopkins down the road.

Those will be fun matchups to watch, as Bradberry will continue to try to prove he deserves that No. 1 corner rank for Patrick Graham's defense.

He's earned it up to this point.