This offseason I'll be introducing you to each position group of the 2019 Jacksonville Jaguars. If you've watched a Jaguars game since 2017, then you know that this team features a stout defense that's at its best when playing with a lead, thus forcing their opponents to move the ball through the air. You'd be hard-pressed to find a weak spot on the defensive side of the ball for the Jaguars, but the strength of the defense is it's secondary. The heart and soul of the secondary? The cornerbacks.
Currently On The Roster: Breon Borders, A.J. Bouye, D.J. Hayden, Tae Hayes, Tre Herndon, Jocquez Kalil, Quenton Meeks, Picasso Nelson, Jalen Ramsey, Savion Smith, Brandon Watson.
Last year the Jaguars kept five cornerbacks on the roster. That group was led by the All-Pro duo of Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye and featured D.J. Hayden at the nickel. If everyone stays healthy, the Jaguars should be featuring the same starting cornerbacks in 2019.
Going into his fourth year, Jalen Ramsey is the feature cornerback of the unit. Ramsey is considered by many (myself included) to be the best corner in the league. Since being drafted fifth overall in 2016 by the Jaguars, Ramsey has registered nine interceptions. He allowed only 53 catches on 97 targets last year. He doesn't just make headlines with his play on the field, his competitive attitude and trash talk get him noticed off the field too. I expect to see the same Jalen this year, on and off the field.
The other starter on the outside, A.J. Bouye, came to the Jaguars as a free agent in 2017 after being signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2013. In his first year in black and teal, Bouye hauled in a whopping six interceptions, tied for the third-most in the NFL that season. Some would consider last year a down year for Bouye, but he's still young (27) and down years happen. With a renewed hunger, look for Bouye to look more like the 2017 version of himself than the 2018 version.
D.J. Hayden had big shoes to fill in 2018 when he was called upon to replace Aaron Colvin as the Jaguars' starting nickel corner. He was forced to miss six games after he got hurt in practice before the Week 3 game against the rival Tennessee Titans. Despite missing time, Hayden still finished the season second on the team in tackles by a non-linebacker with 37 and had an interception. If Hayden stays healthy, along with Ramsey and Bouye, good luck passing the ball on the Jaguars this season.
It remains to be seen who else the Jaguars will keep on the roster, last year Tre Herndon, Quenton Meeks, and Tyler Patmon claimed the remaining spots. Defensive Coordinator, Todd Wash, was quoted saying he's "really excited about Tre Herndon" at the end of minicamp this year. I expect Meeks and Herndon to make the roster again in 2019, and as for who else makes the 2019 roster, it'll be a fun battle to watch in training camp in a few weeks.
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