Jacksonville Jaguars 2015 Pro Bowl Candidates – Demetrius McCray
The Jacksonville Jaguars have been about as far from competitive as a team can be in the NFL over the past 3 seasons, accumulating a paltry 9 wins since 2012. General manager David Caldwell began a mass exodus of the roster when he took over in 2013, and the team is just starting to turn the corner in terms of talent.
While the returns haven’t begun to arrive in the wins column, the team is clearly more talented than it was prior to 2013. Since 2011, the Jaguars have only had 3 players make the Pro Bowl – Maurice Jones-Drew (2011), Montell Owens (2011), and Paul Posluszny (2013). Three pro bowlers in 4 years is quite scant, especially when one of those players made it for special teams, and another made it as a deep alternate.
Fortunately, the Jaguars have a bevy of young players ready to breakout and become Pro Bowl caliber guys. In what will be our most optimistic series this offseason, we are going to profile some of the guys ready to “make the leap” so to speak. We kick it off with one of the lesser known Jaguars on the defensive side of the ball – cornerback Demetrius McCray.
A 7th round pick out of Appalachian State in 2013, McCray was the final draft selection in an 8 player class that included 5 defensive backs. Consequently, expectations were extremely low for McCray, who initially sat behind 4 other corners on the depth chart. After only playing 96 snaps in 2013, McCray managed to crack the starting lineup by week 4 of his sophomore season. Since then, McCray has done enough to basically secure a starting cornerback spot moving forward.
- Pro Football Focus 2014 Overall Grade – (-2.7), ranked 63 out of 108
- Pro Football Focus 2014 Coverage Ranking – 8th out of 73
Targeted 57 times in 2014, McCray only allowed one touchdown when the ball was thrown in his direction. With his length and ability to recover, McCray is the prototypical corner for head coach Gus Bradley’s defensive scheme. With better safety play and a more consistent pass rush in front of him, McCray should be even more effective in 2015. The only knock on him so far is his lack of interceptions (0 last year), but that’s a problem across the board the Jaguars defense in general.
So what are the chances McCray makes it onto a Pro Bowl roster this year? Well he has his work cut out for him, since these are the corners on last year’s roster:
"CB Vontae DavisCB Brent GrimesCB Joe HadenCB Chris HarrisCB Patrick PetersonCB Darrelle RevisCB Richard ShermanCB Aqib Talib"
That’s an impressive group, but it’s not unthinkable that McCray can move into that group with Aqib Talib and Brent Grimes.
Next: What Role Will Allen Hurns Play?
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