The Jacksonville Jaguars are extremely slim at safety after releasing strong safety Dawan Landry last week. The team needs a starter at strong safety and a replacement for Chris Prosinski for depth behind Dwight Lowery. When Lowery was injured during 2012 it was apparent that Prosinski either needs to develop his game very, very quickly or else hit the pavement. While there are some good prospects in the draft, the Jaguars should take a look at some players in free agency who could fill and be a bridge for the team, if they need it.
Head coach Gus Bradley likes big, physical defensive backs for his defensive schemes. Here are some safeties to take a look at:
- 2012 Team: New York Giants
- Why: Phillips is an excellent free safety when he is on the field. Unfortunately, he doesn’t see the field all that often. He only saw the field in seven games last season so it’s unlikely that many teams will be running to pick him up as their next starter right away. If interest in him wanes (as I’m hoping it does) the Jaguars may be able to lure him onto the team to backup Dwight Lowery in order to save his body from too much pounding, at least for a season. It may be an expensive insurance policy, but he would be a massive upgrade over Prosinski and may appreciate a year to recuperate. Phillips also played strong safety for almost all of the 2010 season and could be put there if the Jags can’t find someone else to replace Landry.
- 2012 Team: San Diego Chargers
- Why: Lynch played well toward the end of the season for the Chargers in 2012. He started four of the final five games and looked pretty good overall. While he may not be an impact player, he could step in for the Jaguars immediately at strong safety to play alongside Lowery. Pro Football Focus graded him out higher than Landry during the 2012 season. Considering he has bounced through three teams in five season, Lynch could be a journeyman bridge for the Jags as they focus on rebuilding other parts of the roster.
- 2012 Team: New England Patriots
- Why: Chung is an above average, versatile safety. He isn’t the tallest safety available, but he packs a lot of power into his 5’11″ frame and could be used in a number of situations. Utilized both as a free safety and, predominantly, as a strong safety, Chung could fill in immediately for the Jaguars. Like a number of the younger safety prospects available in free agency, Chung is not the best player at the position but should provide a relatively consistent force on the backend of the Jaguars defense.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims