Johnathan Cyprien still developing after worst rookie season for a safety


Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell was dealt a tough hand when he took over the franchise, as he had to start his rebuild on the foundation of one of the worst drafts in recent history. The 2013 NFL draft was considered almost unanimously to be one of the least talented ever and the Jaguars happened to have the bad timing of the 2nd overall pick in that draft.

So far the Jaguars have seen mixed returns from that draft class, with late round picks like Denard Robinson and Demetrius McCray flashing potential, while higher pedigree picks like Luke Joeckel and Johnathan Cyprien have disappointed.

The player who has seemingly had the most hope of turning into an impact player has been Cyprien, but he’s had to recover from what was one of the worst seasons ever for a rookie safety. Pro Football Focus recently looked at the rookie seasons of safeties over the past several drafts, and Cyprien’s is the worst by a significant margin:

"Mid Round (2nd and 3rd) Outlook"

"Average Playing Time: 404 snaps"

"Average Overall Grade: -1.0"

"500+ Snap Seasons: 12/37 selections"

"Best Rookie Season: Michael Mitchell (2009), 217 snaps, +9.5 overall"

"Worst Rookie Season: John Cyprien (2013), 1,062 snaps, -17.0 overall"

Despite his rough rookie year, many thought Cyprien was primed to breakout in his second season, but he was plagued by poor play at the safety spot next to him all year, and an inconsistent pass rush kept him on his heels.

Even though he didn’t become a superstar, Cyprien improved immensely in his sophomore season, compiling an overall grade of (-3.7), a full 13.3 points higher than his rookie year. He still has a long way to go, but if Cyprien can keep improving at a similar rate, he could become one of the more complete strong safeties in the entire league.

Next: Jaguars in the running for first overall pick?

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