Is Bashaud Breeland Worth the Hype?

You’re sick of it. I’m sick of it. “Finding the next Richard Sherman.” Let’s get two things clear here:

  1. Big corners are NOT taking over the NFL.
  2. Sherman isn’t Sherman because of his size, it’s because of his instincts/awareness/route recognition. So stop. Please.

Many times the big talking heads of the NFL draft (Kiper, McShay, Jeremiah to name a few) will name drop a player and cause us to go watch and deliver the hottest of hot takes. That’s where Breeland comes in, who Daniel Jeremiah said is a lock to go in the 2nd round. I know who he is, but hadn’t really watched him up close. Knowing the Chargers need a cornerback, I wanted to take a good look at Breeland to see how his skill set translated to the next level.

Now, is Bashaud Breeland worth this recent hype?

What Skills Translate

  • Winning at the Line of Scrimmage
  • Being in a position to make a play
  • Ball Skills

It sounds simple, but in the NFL, if you don’t win at the line of scrimmage, you don’t have a shot. From there it snowballs to not being in a position to make a play, and giving up the catch. These are all things Breeland excels at.

Breeland stands 6’0 tall with inspector gadget arms. He’s a boundary corner that is incredibly patient at the line of scrimmage. He doesn’t fall for initial fakes, and he doesn’t lunge. He does a good job of getting the initial jam, and continuing his jam as he’s retreating.

But what makes Breeland good is he doesn’t just have to be physical with you at the line. He mirrors exceptionally well, and does a good job of moving his feet and again, being patient.

 

The biggest takeaway I have for college CBs if they’re in a position to make the play, and if they can finish. Breeland has shown the ability to do both. You’re going to give up catches, that’s natural. Breeland is a guy that has the length to be incredibly disruptive, so as long as he’s around the ball, there’s a good chance he can break the pass up, or finish the play altogether.

 

 

In the above GIF, it’s 4 & 3, Breeland does a good job of playing the sticks and using his length.

Similar “spot route” this time on 2nd & 9, same result.

It’s the ball skills that might be his most impressive trait. He attacks the ball in the air, and his physical through the catch point, as you’ll see in the 1st GIF below.

Though I only have 1 example, Breeland is a quick reactor to screens and run plays. He does a good job with his run fits, and though he doesn’t have the greatest form when it comes to tackling, he puts himself in a position to make plays. Breeland blitzed from the boundary a couple times a game, showing his versatility as well.

Where He’ll Struggle Initially 

  • Driving on the ball out of his breaks
  • Closing Speed/Burst
  • Gets Grabby late in the route

I do believe Breeland is comfortable in off coverage. I also believe he struggles to break on the ball. It’s a combination of things, primarily his footwork. When the receiver goes to break on his route, Breeland’s feet go outside of his frame, and that’s what causes him to be late.

BBFeet

He’s at the bottom of the screen in the above picture. He doesn’t have the suddenness to sit on routes the way he does, he’s also stiff in the lower body. This his feet to get wide, forcing him to over compensate, take extra steps, and be late breaking on the ball. Then because his burst isn’t above average, he can be late at times.

The last issue I have with Breeland is he gets grabby late in the route. Darqueze Dennard gets away with it because he’s subtle, and doesn’t extend his arms, almost like an 8 year veteran. Breeland is the opposite. He grabs late in the route when he’s about to get beat, and fully extends his arms, sometimes lunging. Against Florida State he almost pulled Rashad Greene’s jersey off on a vertical route. He got away with one against Kelvin Benjamin as well. In the picture below, it was an in breaking route and Breeland was beat, and he didn’t hide the hold at all.

BB

 

Grade/Final Thought

Multiple Pro Bowl Player, Top 10   8.5 – 9.0
Highly Productive Starter, 1st Round   8.0 – 8.4
Very Good Starter, Early 2nd Round   7.8 – 7.9
Reliable Starter, 2nd Round   7.5 – 7.7
Potential Starter in Year 2, 3rd Round   7.0 – 7.4
Backup/Spot Starter, 4th Round   6.5 – 6.9
Productive Backup, 5th Round   6.0 – 6.4
Very Good Backup/STs, 6th Round   5.5 – 5.9
Quality Backup/Good STs, 7th Round   5.0 – 5.4
Backup/STs/Project Player, 7th Round   4.5 – 4.9
Priority Free Agent w/ Limitations   4.0 – 4.4
Non-Draftable     < 4.0

 

Skill Weight Grade
Long Speed 2 1.6
Closing Speed/Acceleration 2 1.3
Ball Skills 3 2.9
Eye Discipline 2 1.7
Strength 2 1.6
Athletcism 2 1.6
Route Recognition/Instincts 3 2.6
Tackling/Run Fits 2 1.6
Cover Skills 4 3.8
Change of direction/Feet 3 2.4

Breeland grades out to a 7.59, or a late 2nd round pick. The skill set is there. The upside is there. He has top notch ball skills, and his ability to win at the line of scrimmage will have coordinators drooling. Then you’ll see he gets grabby, and isn’t fluid in and out of his breaks. There’s so much to like about his game and I believe he’s refined enough to be considered beyond the popular “boom or bust” label.