With the 2014 NFL Draft in our rearview mirror, it’s time to look ahead and see what the Jacksonville Jaguars’ roster might look like come week 1 of the regular season. With 9 draft picks and several free-agent acquisitions this offseason, the active roster in 2014 will likely look very different from what we saw in 2013.
Today we take a look one of the most promising position groups on the roster – safety.
Former general manager Gene Smith thought he had the safety position figured out when he signed free agent Dawan Landry and traded for former New York Jet Dwight Lowery in 2011. Unsurprisingly, Smith was wrong, as Landry never lived up to his big contract and Lowery had trouble staying healthy. Like he did with the cornerback position, new general manager David Caldwell was aggressive in trying to fix the safety position in his first offseason.
Here’s how the safeties looked in 2013:
Second round pick Johnathan Cyprien played the entire season and progressed significantly from week 1 to week 17. Looking lost in coverage and completely out of position at first, Cyprien started to get a better feel for the speed of the game and Gus Bradley’s defense in the 2nd half of the year. Fellow rookie Josh Evans was thrown into the starting lineup by necessity and he looked every bit like a 6th round pick. Dwight Lowery played early in the season but it was clear he wasn’t in the team’s long-term plans. Winston Guy came in as a street free-agent and played fairly decent other than a few big plays.
Here’s how I see the safety group in 2014:
|1||Johnathan Cyprien||Strong Safety|
|2||Josh Evans||Free Safety|
|3||Craig Loston||Strong Safety|
|4||Chris Prosinski||Free Safety|
|5||Winston Guy||Free Safety|
Cyprien looks poised to breakout in 2014 as a defensive force, but the free safety position next to him is more of a question mark. Evans has the range and speed to play safety in this scheme, but there’s a reason he fell to the 6th round. He’ll have to hold off Winston Guy, who showed some ability last season. Prosinski shouldn’t see the field as a safety, but he’s been a valuable special teams player. Loston is a sleeper to make the roster as an undrafted free-agent.