Top 20 CFL Pass Defenders: Week 1 through Week 4

MONTREAL, QC - JULY 04: Frankie Williams #37 of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats tackles B.J. Cunningham #85 of the Montreal Alouettes during the CFL game at Percival Molson Stadium on July 4, 2019 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Montreal Alouettes defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 36-29. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Below are my rankings of CFL defenders against the pass through one month of action, with some additional notes for added context.

Nine Observations of the CFL Defenders

  • To start, this chart isn’t the definitive answer to who are the best defensive backs. First, I have to make an educated guess at the play call, which becomes harder when it’s a zone or match call. Second, this doesn’t factor in pass breakups, inaccurate throws that count as a target, or 100 per cent accurate responsibility on blown coverages. Note: I’d love if players spoke out to me and even corrected me.
  • I factor in a player’s position. While Kyrie Wilson and other weakside linebackers have impressive numbers, i.e. 10 targets and seven catches for 34 yards in three games, they’re not lining in man coverage as often as a player like Tre Roberson.
  • Frankie Williams has been a stud. Lining up at the opposite corner of Delvin Breaux, Williams has given up six completions for 91 yards on 17 targets. He’s been tested too, breaking up numerous slants while in man.
  • Tre Roberson’s a prime example of why this isn’t the tell all. Five interceptions is super impressive while a chunk of the completions “against” him were in non-meaningful moments in games when Roberson’s playing off from his man.
  • Aaron Grymes has been outstanding. He’s playing a difficult boundary halfback spot; he’d be my number one if not for Eric Rogers’ late touchdown on Grymes. He was right there… but Eric Rogers.
  • Good luck picking between Anthony Cioffi and Rico Murray as the East Division’s all-star strong-side linebacker.
  • Jeff Hecht having as many targets as interceptions through three games shows that teams aren’t throwing deep over the middle on Winnipeg.
  • Abdul Kanneh’s been a lone bright spot on the Argos defence.
  • After a rough start, Delvin Breaux is climbing this list. He did commit a pair of costly pass interference penalties last week though.

    Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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