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Kansas City Chiefs CB Bashaud Breeland is one of 11 defensive free agents to receive the “buyer beware” stamp from Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar. This is an interesting take from Farrar because, not even a year ago, he recognized Breeland as one of the best outside cornerbacks in the NFL.
So why the change of heart on Breeland this offseason? Well, simply put, he didn’t perform as well in 2020 against certain types of players and passes. On passes thrown of 20 or more air yards, Breeland was one of the best corners in the NFL.
“Against passes of 20 or more air yards last season, per Sports Info Solutions, he allowed two receptions on 13 targets for 60 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. Among cornerbacks with at least 10 deep targets, nobody allowed a lower QBR than Breeland’s 6.73 — the ridiculously underrated Darious Williams of the Rams ranked second at 17.00.”
The big problem for Breeland in 2020 was his ability to react and respond in the short passing game. He struggled to defend basically every short route and gave up plenty of yardage in the process.
“But on slants, flats, comebacks, digs, outs, curls, and short crossers — the routes that force cornerbacks to react quickly with their change-of-direction skills — things didn’t go as well. Against such throws, Breeland allowed 24 completions on 36 targets for 296 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions.”
The final verdict seems to be that Breeland needs the “buyer beware” stamp because people need to know what they’re getting in him. Obviously, there are concerns stemming from his suspension ahead of 2020, but even beyond that, are you getting a complete player? He can still match and defend with the best of them against deep routes, which makes him valuable to certain schemes. But If you’re going to ask him to cover a lot of the quick-breaking routes, you’re going to have a bad time.
We don’t expect Breeland to be back with the Chiefs in 2021, primarily due to salary cap restraints. Still, be sure to check out Farrar’s article as he provides some great examples of the types of plays in which Breeland excelled and struggled over the past year.