1. James Bradberry
New York Giants’ cornerback James Bradberry could all but decimate the Saints’ passing game in Week 4, and unless Michael Thomas rises from IR and saves us all, there will be nothing New Orleans can do about it.
Like almost every other Giants player on this list, Bradberry has had a rough start. The Giants, as we will repeat, are 0-3.
But ever since Bradberry joined New York in 2020, he’s been slowly sculpting the Giants’ secondary into one of the strongest units on the team (which, admittedly, is not saying much, but still.)
Last season, Bradberry earned his first Pro Bowl, the first Giants cornerback to do so since Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in 2015, and he was PFF’s seventh-ranked corner. His signature stat, according to ESPN, was that “opposing QBs had a 67.7 passer rating against Bradberry when he was the nearest defender, ninth among corners who faced at least 50 targets.”
And we thought Lattimore was good.
The Giants have used Bradberry to shut down elite wide receivers all of last year, and he’ll be expected to do the same against the Saints.
With fledgling No. 1 receiver prospects in Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harris, Bradberry might have his easiest assignment yet.
Lucky for New Orleans, Bradberry has struggled a bit this season ever since Week 1, when he allowed six of seven targets to be caught for 65 yards and a touchdown. But Bradberry is the Giants’ No. 1 cover man who will sniff out those interceptions and break up passes.
In 2021, the Giants rank 21st against the pass, allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 75 percent of their passes. New York’s secondary faces a fair matchup against New Orleans’ passing offense, though, and Bradberry will be keeping his eyes on the ball, ready to pounce.
God forbid this game comes down to a Hail Mary or any long-range attempt from Jameis Winston, we’d pick Bradberry to intercept that ball. Every time.