The 3DownNation all-decade CFL team: defensive backs

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

No team can be successful without a solid secondary, which is why we went looking for the CFL’s best defensive backs of the decade.

Defensive backs move around — many of the players on this list spent their careers at a number of different positions in the secondary. We tried to place each candidate below at the position where they spent the majority (if not the entirety) of their careers.

The player who finished atop the reader ballot has his name marked with an asterisk (*).

Cornerback

Screengrab courtesy Ticats.ca

1) Delvin Breaux*

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2013-2014, 2018-2019)

49 games, 110 tackles, six forced fumbles, two interceptions, one sack

CFL all-star (2014, 2018)
East Division all-star (2014, 2018)

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

2) Jovon Johnson

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2010-2013)
Ottawa Redblacks (2014-2015)
Montreal Alouettes (2016)
Saskatchewan Roughriders (2017-2018)

151 games, 431 tackles, 26 interceptions, eight sacks, eight forced fumbles

CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player (2011)
CFL all-star (2011)
East Division all-star (2010-2012, 2015)

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

3) Dante Marsh

B.C. Lions (2010-2014)

83 games, 275 tackles, 16 interceptions, three forced fumbles, one sack

Grey Cup champion (2011)
West Division all-star (2011, 2013)

Honourable mentions

1) Tommie Campbell
2) Chris Randle
3) Dwight Anderson
4) Joe Burnett
5) Billy Parker
6) Chris Thompson
7) Geoff Tisdale

Halfback

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

1) Brandon Smith

Calgary Stampeders (2010-2019)

149 games, 578 tackles, 17 interceptions, seven forced fumbles, six sacks

Grey Cup champion (2014, 2018)
CFL all-star (2014)
West Division all-star (2014)

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

2) Ryan Phillips

B.C. Lions (2010-2016)
Montreal Alouettes (2017)

124 games, 267 tackles, 25 interceptions, four sacks, three forced fumbles

Grey Cup champion (2011)
CFL all-star (2010, 2012, 2013)
West Division all-star (2010, 2012, 2013, 2015)

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

3) Aaron Grymes

Edmonton Eskimos (2013-2015, 2017-2018)
B.C. Lions (2019-present)

82 games, 235 tackles, 12 interceptions, two forced fumbles, one sack

Grey Cup champion (2015)
CFL all-star (2015)
West Division all-star (2015)

Honourable mentions

1) Jamar Wall
2) Ed Gainey*
3) T.J. Lee
4) Jonathan Hefney
5) Emanuel Davis
6) Jerald Brown
7) T.J. Heath

Safety

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

1) Antoine Pruneau

Ottawa Redblacks (2014-present)

93 games, 321 tackles, nine interceptions, four sacks, four forced fumbles

Grey Cup champion (2016)
East Division all-star (2017)

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

2) Tyron Brackenridge*

Saskatchewan Roughriders (2011-2015)

75 games, 250 tackles, 10 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles, four sacks

Grey Cup champion (2013)
CFL all-star (2013, 2014)
West Division all-star (2013, 2014)

Honourable mentions

1) Marc-Olivier Brouillette
2) Craig Butler
3) Taylor Loffler
4) Mike Edem
5) Jermaine Gabriel

Depth chart

With two position groups down, here’s how our depth chart is shaping up. Yes, we’re aware that two players are wearing number 6. For the purposes of this team, we’ll allow it.