In the second part of our look at the NFC East Cornerbacks, we’ll look at the inside, or slot, CBs. This group features a plethora of youth with a sprinkle of promising talent. Heres how they stack up.
Also, if you’ve missed any posts, please check out the archives below to see how other positions have stacked up in the NFC East.
1. Cre’Von LeBlanc - SCB - Philadelphia Eagles
2018 Stats (from Slot): 35 Tgt - 23 Rec | 216 Yds - 1 TD - 0 INT | 92.1 Coverage Rating
PFF Grade: 65.5
Key Stat: 1.02 Yards per Coverage Snap (from slot) ranks 2nd among NFC East CBs
While LeBlanc didn’t really excel in any particular category, he is probably the most well-rounded guy in this group. His coverage was solid, he was a middle of the road run defender, he rarely missed a tackle, and considering he wasn’t even on the Eagles roster until November 5th, LeBlanc really showed he is capable of being thrown into the fire and leaving with just minor burns. Unfortunately, LeBlanc is somewhat buried on the depth chart so it remains to be seen how much playing time if any, he’ll get for the Eagles in 2019.
2. Grant Haley - SCB - New York Giants
2018 Stats (from Slot): 30 Tgt - 22 Rec | 249 Yds - 3 TD - 0 INT | 131.1 Coverage Rating
PFF Grade: 69.3
Key Stat: Highest passer rating allowed among NFC East Slot CBs
While Haley left a lot to be desired in coverage, he made up for it by being a reliable tackler, limiting YAC, and shutting down opposing running attacks. At just 23 years old, Haley is one of many promising young CBs in this division.
3. Anthony Brown - SCB - Dallas Cowboys
2018 Stats (from Slot): 44 Tgt - 33 Rec | 370 Yds - 3 TD - 1 INT | 112.9 Coverage Rating
PFF Grade: 64.1
Key Stat: 6 QB pressures was most among NFC East CBs
In his third year as a starter, Brown seems to be what he is at this point. He’s a guy who allows catches on 60-65% of targets, who will give up a handful of touchdowns, and will get an interception or two. He did show a slight improvement above his career average in a handful of categories including touchdowns allowed (3 compared to 6), total QB pressures (6 compared to 2.5), and yards allowed (466 compared to 571). Brown is far from the biggest concern for the Cowboys on the defensive side of the ball.
4. Fabian Moreau - SCB - Washington
2018 Stats (from Slot): 71 Tgt - 41 Rec | 418 Yds - 3 TD - 1 INT | 86.5 Coverage Rating
PFF Grade: 60.4
Key Stat: Targeted 1 out of every 7.7 passing plays (ranks 1st among remaining slot CBs in division)
In his first full year as a starter, Moreau looked the part of a starting CB in the league, albeit a somewhat average one. He was rarely targeted but usually, when he was, it’s because he had been beaten deep, allowing 14.5 yards per reception. With 14 tackles in the running game, Moreau was among the leaders in the division. If Moreau can take another step forward in his third season, Washington could have a pretty solid player in their hands.
5. Sidney Jones - SCB - Philadelphia Eagles
2018 Stats (from Slot): 26 Tgt - 16 Rec | 126 Yds - 1 TD - 0 INT | 86.4 Coverage Rating
PFF Grade: 47.5
Key Stat: Missed 1 of every 4 attempted tackles (2nd worst among qualified CBs)
The good news? Sidney Jones was actually pretty solid in coverage last year. The bad news? He wasn’t very good at anything else. He was among the worst tackling CBs in the league, he was nonexistent as a pass rusher, he was useless against the run, and he has done nothing to remove the injury-prone label he was drafted with. It’s do-or-die time for the young cornerback.
I wouldn’t be surprised if none of these guys were in the league in 5 years, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if all of them signed a second contract. The unfortunate thing about this group is that Cre’Von Leblanc will likely get the least playing time of the bunch. Stay tuned as we move inside to the linebacker position, next. Thanks to PFF for all data and stats featured in this series.