Saints CB Delvin Breaux playing at Pro Bowl level

The comeback story of CB Delvin Breaux reached new heights on TNF with his stellar coverage of Julio Jones.

| 2 years ago
(Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini)

(Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini)

Saints CB Delvin Breaux playing at Pro Bowl level

The Saints did a lot to makeover their defense in the offseason. They drafted LBs Stephone Anthony and Hau’oli Kikaha, added CB Brandon Browner, CB Kyle Wilson and DT Kevin Williams in free agency, and traded for LB Dannell Ellerbe. While all of those players have seen significant playing time with the defense, the most impressive new starter for the Saints has been CB Delvin Breaux, an un-drafted free agent the Saints added early in the offseason, who worked his way to the top of the cornerback depth chart.

Breaux has an inspiring comeback story after breaking part of his vertebrae in high school, then working his way up from semi-pro football, the arena league, the CFL, and now, to an NFL starter. The heights he’s climbed don’t end with just a starting job, however; he is playing like one of the best cornerbacks in the league this season.

On Thursday, he was responsible for covering our highest rated wide receiver on the year (Julio Jones) whenever Jones lined up on the outside. There were five times where Jones was targeted and Breaux was covering him. Jones was held to just two catches on those plays, while Breaux also had two passes defended. When Jones played in the slot, Breaux did not line up across from him—so Jones lined up in the slot more than usual. The Falcons’ star found more success when others were responsible for covering him.

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This isn’t Breaux’s first big-time secondary performance this season. He has played in 99 percent of defensive snaps this season, and has yet to allow more than 60 receiving yards in a game. In over six games, he’s only allowed 45.2 percent of passes thrown his way to be caught, which is third-best in the league for those who have been thrown at 30 or more times. His 0.88 yards per coverage snap is sixth-best for cornerbacks with 180 or more coverage snaps, and his six passes defended are tied for second-most in the league.

This has all added up to a PFF coverage rating of 87.3, which is fifth-best in the league. His story is incredible, but it doesn’t stop at NFL starter. He is playing at a Pro Bowl level (according to our new 2015 Player Grades), and will help keep the Saints’ defense competitive.

| Director of Analytics

Nathan has been with Pro Football Focus since 2010. He is the Director of Analytics, an NFL analyst, and a fantasy writer.

  • Dimitric Viverette

    This guy was the biggest offseason steal by far. Glad my Saints gave him a shot.

    • Malachi

      like chris harris jr, but with a crazier story to make it to the league, and also it took CHJ a couple years to be at this kids level too

      • Bradley Bachman

        Harris went straight into the nfl after going undrafted, with no intermediary time spent in “d-leagues.”

        • Malachi

          they both went “straight into the nfl” after going undrafted… you mean harris actually played college football i’m guessing, which i realize.

          • Scott Kohler


          • Scott Kohler

            Chris Harris jr. Is an absolute beast. He was probably the best CB in the nfl last year.

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          • Malachi

            graded out as such according to this site

          • Bradley Bachman

            I was addressing your incorrect statement that Harris took “a couple years” to reach the level of Breaux. Harris is only 4 months older than Breaux. They both took roughly the same amount of time to get as good as they are.

          • Malachi

            wow… troll

          • Bradley Bachman

            The word you’re looking for is “truth.” Can’t accept you’ve been proven wrong?

          • Malachi

            pull up mofo, i’ll be waiting, 1921 stewart ave las vegas nv 89101. punk ass fagg

          • ChillyGilly808

            I think he’s saying he became the starter and also top 5 CB in the league faster then CHJ did it. Up untill last year CHJ was a nickel corner. Then earned his spot at the top. Delvin accomplished all that in no more then 5 games.

          • Malachi

            forgive him for he knows not how to read

          • #truth

            Besides thye not putting CHJ on Julio one on one he is to big

          • Malachi

            CHJ’s technique has always made up for his size, but yea i doubt we’d have him shadowing that beast, lol

  • nein9nein

    He’s better than anyone in the draft. Saints put him out on an island against jones, and Breaux frustrated him. Ryan stayed away. At the end of the game they were one on one and Ryan threw a deep ball to jones. Breaux shielded jones on the sideline and defended the pass, and might have picked it off. The guy is good.

    • octavia a henry

      Thank you

    • ThatGuy1155

      Slow down. Jones was dealing with an injury.

  • ricky dunbar

    Shutdown corner, welcome to Delvin’s island