In reality, it's well past time that people start respecting Tre Herndon and his game. The kid is playing one of the toughest positions in sports. And he's being asked to fill the shoes of Jalen Ramsey — you know, the guy who many believe is the best cornerback in football.
Signed as a priority undrafted free agent in 2018, It's only Herndon's second year in the league. Herndon did get some experience as a rookie and played 86 total snaps in 2018. But to expect an undrafted free agent to come in and start in his second year is a big ask.
Herndon had been preparing all summer as if he were a starter, that's the MO of backup Jaguars, and a standard the coaching staff holds all players to. He had an excellent summer, regularly making plays in practice throughout training camp and the preseason.
Ever since Jalen Ramsey went awol with a "back injury" prior to week four, Tre Herndon has been a starter for the Jaguars. He also started in week two against Houston due to an AJ Bouye hip injury. The young cornerback played well in Houston, giving up just three catches on seven targets, but Denver was a different story. The Broncos picked on Herndon all day, and he allowed six catches on nine targets in coverage. Two of those catches went for scores. Things weren't exactly heading in the right direction for Herndon.
But ever since that embarrassing performance at Mile High, Herndon has been phenomenal.
Don't believe me? Let's take a closer look.
Tre Herndon has been targeted in coverage 48 times this season. He's surrendered just 23 catches. That's a completion percentage of only 47.9. His QB rating allowed in coverage is a measly 68.7. Need some context? That QB rating allowed is the ninth-lowest of any cornerback this year with at least 200 snaps.
(PS: Jalen Ramsey's QB rating allowed in coverage is 115)
Herndon's week eight performance against the Jets is the crowning achievement to this point in his young career. Herndon picked off Sam Darnold two times and allowed just two catches for 19 yards on the day. His performance helped the Jaguars pick up a resounding — and much needed — victory.
Now, don't get me wrong: Tre Herndon still has work to do. Staying at the top of your game is a difficult task in the NFL. Especially when you're about to face teams like the Texans and Colts. DeAndre Hopkins, TY Hilton, and company are going to be a true litmus test for Herndon and the rest of the Jaguars' defense.
Earlier in the season, Tre Herndon had been a focal point of scorn from the Jaguars' faithful, but I'm here to tell you: PUT SOME RESPECT ON THIS MAN'S NAME!
Follow Jordan de Lugo on Twitter for all the latest Jaguars news and analysis.
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