James Bradberry is now the Eagles CB2: What to expect from him in 2022

23 May 2022 53-Man Roster Eagles News Film Review Free Agency NFL News & Updates Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles GM Howie Roseman continues to put together one of his best off-season’s in recent memory, and it only got better by adding former Giants CB James Bradberry to a 1-year deal for up to $10 million dollars. The Giants found themselves in a compromising situation with dwindling cap space in a rebuild, and Bradberry became a common sense cap casualty. Despite having multiple teams looking to pay Bradberry more to fill their CB spot, Bradberry chose the Eagles citing their competitiveness and system fit. So much for free agents not wanting to come and play in Philadelphia as the Eagles have picked up several key additions this off-season via the free agent market.

Philly has now addressed one of their biggest holes on defense, and with Bradberry joining incumbents Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox, the Eagles now field one of the best secondaries in the NFL. Lets take a look at Bradberry’s tape from 2021 to see what the Eagles are getting and how he may fit with their defense.

James Bradberry- 6’1 211 lbs


  • Playmaking
  • Pass Break Ups (PBUs)
  • Tackling
  • IQ


  • Short area quickness
  • Long speed
  • Penalties



James Bradberry is a true playmaker and someone that will make your defense better with his ability to create turnovers. He has 15 career INTs, with 7 of them coming in his last two seasons as a Giant. He also produced 2 fumble recoveries and a forced fumble in ’21, with his 2 fumble recoveries tying for the team lead.

Bradberry does an excellent job of using his size and leaping ability to out jump the New Orleans Saints WR to make a clutch INT to bring the New Orleans drive to a halt. Bradberry is a large corner that uses his size to his advantage.
Bradberry has come a long way in regards to his IQ and understanding of route concepts. When he can keep the routes in front of him he’s able to make plays consistently on the ball. Here he sits on the route and is able to beat the WR to the ball for the INT.
Bradberry is able to punch the ball loose from Denver Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy to force a fumble and turnover for the Giants defense. Bradberry has 4 FF in his career.
Bradberry is again able to make a great play on the ball in off coverage, reading the route and QB’s eyes to jump in front of the Washington WR for an interception.
Bradberry is Johnny on the spot scooping up the forced fumble and returns it for some good yardage to end the Kansas City drive and give the Giants offense an opportunity to take the lead.


James Bradberry is a maestro of breaking up passes, collecting a ridiculous 82 in his career so far, with 35 over the past two seasons. His ability to read route progressions and QB tendencies allows him to get in position quickly to break up passes as well as any CB in the NFL.

Bradberry sits on the route of the Rams WR, shadowing him until he’s able to break on the football and make a diving break up that almost results in an INT.
Bradberry does an excellent job again of shadowing the receiver, this time it’s Raiders All-Pro TE Darren Waller. Bradberry uses his length and physicality to break up the pass to prevent a possible TD.
Bradberry is able to once again sit on the route from the Rams WR and attack downhill to make a pass break up preventing a possible 1st down.
This time Bradberry breaks off his pass defense after reading Mahomes’s eyes and breaks the pass up while almost being able to pull in another interception.
On this final play Bradberry is draped all over Eagles TE Dallas Goedert, breaking up the play to prevent a possible 1st down. Bradberry’s size is a huge plus in the secondary as he’s able to take on the bigger WRs and TEs around the NFL.


Bradberry uses all of his 211 lbs to pack a punch in the running game and is a willing tackler as a defensive back. He is really good at maintaining the edge and pushing the ball carrier back inside to his help. He’s also a good one on one tackler that can make stops in space versus any back in the NFL. He has 303 solo tackles in his career, and his toughness will be a positive addition to the Eagles defense.

Bradberry makes a very physical stop against the back on the swing pass in open space stopping the play before it even started.
Bradberry does a great job to set the edge on the screen pass and pushes the receiver back inside while also being able to make the combo tackle.
Bradberry is a really good tackler one on one versus running backs and here he’s able to square up Eagles RB Miles Sanders and drag him down to the ground.
Bradberry blows up the RB after the dump down pass, defeating the block before delivering a big hit. Bradberry is a solid form tackler, but even when he doesn’t wrap up he’s smart about attacking the legs of the ball carrier’s to get them to the ground.


As shown above Bradberry is adept at using his IQ to make plays in a variety of ways, as he’s able to see plays develop in front of him and attack down hill to break passes up or create turnovers. He has grown a lot as a cover corner during his time in the NFL and despite having a somewhat down 2021 season, he still put plenty of plays on tape that show his intelligence.

Bradberry reads the quickly developing route and jumps it to make a pass break up which was nearly an INT. Bradberry is at his best when he’s in off coverage, whether that’s man or zone, where he can use his eyes and IQ to decipher the route/play.
Here Bradberry basically runs the route for the receiver and undercuts the route to cause the incompletion.
Bradberry again is able to undercut the route of the wide receiver who ends up stumbling and falling to the ground.
Bradberry is in off coverage, reads the inside route, and then breaks on it to disrupt the pass for an incompletion.


Short area quickness

There’s a big reason why Bradberry plays off coverage so frequently, because he doesn’t have the prerequisite short area quickness to stay with receivers that are able to make quick adjustments to their routes. Speed has never really been Bradberry’s calling card, so he’s had to develop his IQ and use his physicality in order to disrupt routes. When he can’t be physical however, he tends to give up quick hitting passes that add up over time. In 2021 he allowed 71 completions for 848 receiving yards and 8 TDs on 115 targets.

Bradberry had a tough time against Washington WR Terry McLaurin, who was able to consistently use his speed and quickness to beat Bradberry on quick hitting routes.
Bradberry had similar issues against the Eagles WR here on this play, as the WR runs a quick slant right across Bradberry’s face.
McLaurin again is able to beat Bradberry on a slant in the end zone and rises up to make an outstanding catch.
Another play, another instance of McLaurin using his speed to beat Bradberry for a reception. This isn’t meant to pick on Bradberry as much as highlight an area of weakness for Bradberry and to check our expectations of him as an Eagle.

Long speed

Bradberry tested with a 4.5 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine, so he isn’t slow by any stretch of the imagination. But on tape he showed several times where he was either beat immediately at the line of scrimmage (LOS), or was unable to keep up with a receiver deep down field. When he’s able to get his hands on the receiver he can prevent big plays over the top, but when he can’t make contact things can get ugly.

Like mentioned about when Bradberry can’t get his hands on a receiver on a deep route he struggles to remain step for step with the faster receivers in the NFL. On this play Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb beats Bradberry on a go route (9 route) and pulls in the deep reception for a TD.
Different play, same situation. Bradberry doesn’t get a hand on Saints WR Marquez Callaway and also gets turned inside out on a deep route and gets blown by. The concerning part is that Callaway tested with a 4.55 40 yard dash yet still pulled away from Bradberry.
Bradberry is in off man coverage and loses Panthers WR DJ Moore on a crossing route where Moore pulls away and makes a great catch.


Because of his lack of lateral quickness and long speed, Bradberry has a habit of getting grabby with receivers on their routes. During the tape I watched of his play in 2021, Bradberry drew a few flags for being too grabby or overly aggressive. He was hit with 5 total defensive penalties in ’21, and he’s averaging slightly over 4 penalties per season. Cornerback is one of the most difficult positions on the field to play, so I understand how penalties happen on an island, but defensive pass interference is a back breaking penalty during games, and one the Eagles can ill afford consistently.

Bradberry got a bit too aggressive playing the out against the Bears TE and gets flagged for pass interference.
Bradberry gets grabby here with Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb, trying to prevent Lamb from breaking inside of him on a quick slant. Bradberry was flagged for defensive holding.
Here Bradberry makes illegal contact with former Raiders WR Bryan Edwards on an out route down the field.
On this last play Bradberry again gets overly aggressive against the receiver, jumping on the slot receiver before the ball gets there to draw another pass interference penalty.


To say that this move was a home run would be an understatement. Bradberry not only fits an immediate need for the Eagles, he also doesn’t cost the Eagles much on paper ($2.278 million against the cap in ’22), making this a win-win. Bradberry has been one of the better cover corners in the NFL, and even if he’s losing a step at this point in his career, he’s joining a defense that will help to mask some of his inefficiencies. Playing opposite of Eagles CB Darius Slay will give Bradberry the ability to play mostly against the WR2’s of opposing teams, which more often than not gives the Eagles defense an advantage. It’s encouraging to see Eagles GM Howie Roseman continue to address Philadelphia’s needs in a proactive and intelligent way, identifying good players on prove it deals.

Bradberry’s average lateral speed and diminishing long speed are two areas for concern, but they should also be mitigated to an extent by joining a less aggressive defensive scheme in Philly. He won’t be asked to run stride for stride with opposing WRs as often in Philly, and will be able to play a bit more off man/zone coverage to keep plays in front of him. I imagine that Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon will draw up plays that accentuate Bradberry’s strengths and put him in position to win more often than not.

Grade: A

This was an easy one to grade even with some of Bradberry’s difficulties with quicker players and his diminishing long speed. Being tasked with taking on WR2’s as opposed to each team’s alpha each week will help Bradberry in the long run and should provide him a chance to bounce back to his ’20 level production. Bradberry should get an opportunity to prove his worth, and maybe even get a shot to re-sign with Philly for the near future.

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