Cre’Von LeBlanc is all too familiar with overcoming adversity. From his upbringing in a gritty part of South Florida, to his brother’s incarceration, to his father’s passing due to a heart attack while Cre’Von was in high school; LeBlanc handled it all. He even made a promise to his father that he has kept to the fullest in my opinion:
From Week 15 to the most recent Saints’ loss, LeBlanc proved his worth to be on this Eagles roster moving forward. He embraced the next man up mentality and dismissed many people’s low expectations of him.
In that 5 game span including two playoff games, LeBlanc totaled 21 tackles (17 solo), four pass deflections, and one interception. He was also named Pro Football Focus’ top-rated cornerback for the 2018 playoffs, by a pretty significant margin as well. Not bad for an undrafted free agent out of Florida Atlantic University.
Coming out of Glades Central High School, Cre’Von LeBlanc received sporadic playing time at FAU as a Freshman and Sophomore. But whenever his number was called, Cre’Von always tackled extremely well and helped in kickoffs/punt returns. As a full-time starter in his Junior and Senior season, LeBlanc excelled as an open-field tackler and his ball-skills were unmatched in FAU’s secondary. He totaled 55 solo takedowns and a 76-yard pick six during his Junior season.
During that breakout 2014 campaign, opposing offenses targeted the opposite LeBlanc a lot. That season, it was D’Joun Smith, who was a 3rd round pick that draft by the Colts. His Senior season Cre’Von was voted as a Team Captain. While teams still rarely threw his way, LeBlanc totaled four interceptions and 11 pass breakups, and was named FAU’s 2015 Team Defensive MVP.
Entering the 2016 NFL Draft, LeBlanc put on a mediocre performance at the combine. Some analysts said he was too small (5-11) to play on the outside or too slow (4.65 40-yard dash) to play nickel or move to safety. After going undrafted, Cre’Von was signed by the New England Patriots for their 2016 training camp. Unfortunately, LeBlanc was released at final cuts with a designation to be added to the injured reserve.
The following year, the Chicago Bears claimed him off waivers and Cre’Von LeBlanc started in nine games. He finished with 40 solo tackles, 10 pass deflections, and two interceptions (one pick six) in those games. After battling with Bryce Callahan for the CB2 spot in his second year with the Bears, LeBlanc was once again released at the start of the 2018 season.
Shortly after, Cre’Von signed with his third team since he had been drafted in 2016 by joining the Detroit Lions practice squad. He eventually was added to the active roster, but cut in November. This was the part of the season where the Eagles secondary was coming apart at the seams, and LeBlanc joined the Birds on November 5th.
LeBlanc’s attitude and work ethic made him a perfect fit for the situation in Philadelphia. He played the underdog role his entire NFL career, and his skill-set fits Jim Schwartz’s defensive scheme perfectly. He reminds me of Ron Brooks, who played the same position for Schwartz in Buffalo and briefly in Philly.
Cre’Von has a knack for the finding the football, rarely misses a tackle, and has improved greatly at dislodging 50/50 balls from receivers’ hands. It was a small sample size, but Cre’Von LeBlanc has serious consideration to be the Eagles 2019 nickel cornerback.
He will definitely battle others for one of the most important positions on Jim Schwartz’s defense, but that’s what Cre’Von LeBlanc’s done his entire career. He is signed for $720K for the 2019 season and set to be a free agent in 2020. The fine-tuning of the secondary this offseason should be very interesting, and Cre’Von LeBlanc will be in the mix for a starting spot.
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.