Is Davon House the Perfect Corner for Jacksonville?
Davon House to the Jacksonville Jaguars is one of the more underrated signings of the 2015 NFL Free Agency period so far. He isn’t a flashy name and he isn’t a full-time starter (yet) but his fit with the Jags should be as near perfect as possible.
I gave the signing just a B grade as the potential is there but right now we haven’t seen House capitalize on his potential.
So, why could his situation in Jacksonville be near perfect?
Enter: Gus Bradley.
Head coach Gus Bradley loves defensive backs with size and defensive backs that play aggressively. At six feet tall, House is a great fit for Bradley’s defense (you may call it Seattle South if you want). He expects to come in and start. That’s all well and good (and aggressive) but he’s got to beat out players Dwayne Gratz and Demetrius McCray. None of them are slouches by any means. At 5’11” and 6′ they also have the size to play in Bradley’s scheme. They’ve been around that system and the team longer, too.
Davon House just may do what is needed, better.
House is able to play physically against big receivers and he’s able to stay matched with them through the game. For a team that struggles with its safeties, this is critical. If you have a player who can essentially lock down an opposition’s receiver then your other defensive backs are free because you don’t have to worry about that receiving option as much. House has been able to lock down receivers with the Packers and the Jags expect him to do the same in the AFC South.
For example, per Pro Football Focus, Davon House allowed the fourth lowest percentage of caught balls (46.8%) among corners taking at least 25% of snaps. Alan Ball was eighth on that list (no slouch) at 51.2%, but other Jags corners were further down: Demetrius McCray at 37th with 57.9%, Dwayne Gratz at 56th with 61.8%. House comes in and locks a player down. Gus Bradley and his coaching staff will be more than happy to take a chance that the opposing QB will complete less than half his passes toward House.
Another great thing that makes House a quality fit is his limiting yards after the catch. He is eighth overall in cornerbacks in yards after the catch allowed (those with 25% of snaps or more per PFF). Counting only CBs who had at least 20 passes caught on them, then he moves up to sixth. Sure tackling is surprisingly hard to come by among the Jaguars secondary and House promises to be that. He only missed six tackles in 2014.
What the Jaguars are getting in Davon House is a big, physical corner who can lock an opposing player down. He makes the tackle when needed and he limits yards after the catch. That sounds exactly like the kind of guy Gus Bradley needs.
He goes beyond that, though.
House doesn’t even let some receivers touch the ball. Remember that 46.8% completion rate? Well, of the 25 targets that didn’t become receptions, eight of them were passes defensed by House. That’s an impressive 17% of the 47 targets going his way. I’d love to see him get more interceptions (just one in 2014) but he’s doing a great job limiting the opposition from even getting the ball in his hands, already. His eight passes defensed is 16th in the league, but he was targeted 11+ times less than his peers (some of them were targeted well over double what House was).
All of this may make it look like I think that House is the best cornerback to come to the Jaguars in a generation. He isn’t. At least not right now. Davon House has some nice stats, but he can still grow as a player. The Jaguars are taking a chance on him, relying on his schematic fit to help the Jaguars going forward. To me, he seems like he’ll fit in perfectly.
Next: Latest Jaguars Free Agent Signings
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