Aaron Colvin: 3 questions for 2015

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Aaron Colvin only saw the field for a handful of games in 2015 but is one of the most exciting players for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Among the most lauded picks by the Jags in the 2014 NFL Draft, the team couldn’t wait for Colvin’s injury to heal so they could showcase his talent at cornerback.

Colvin immediately proved to be valuable, coming in with a fumble recovery for a touchdown against the New York Giants.

With his electrifying play, Colvin’s return for a full season in 2015 is highly anticipated.

We have a number of questions for the young cornerback as we approach the year.

Nov 30, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Aaron Colvin (22) returns a fumble for a 41-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at EverBank Field. The Jaguars won 25-24. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

1) Can Aaron Colvin secure the nickel corner job?

While this seems like a given at this point, Aaron Colvin must still beat out other defensive backs for the nickel corner spot in the Jaguars defense. While Davon House, Demetrius McCray, and Dwayne Gratz are expected to battle it out for the two starting spots on the outside, it seems that the nickel spot is Colvin’s to lose.

That doesn’t mean he’s just handed the position, though.

Colvin has to prove that he can secure the spot and continue to show signs of progress during training camp and the preseason.

Last year, opposing quarterbacks had a 97.7 rating against Colvin’s coverage (not exactly shutdown performance) as measured by Pro Football Focus. PFF also measured Colvin’s coverage to have allowed 87% of passes thrown his way. Colvin also had one of their lowest coverage snaps/reception ratios among nickel backs last year.

Those aren’t the kind of numbers that make a defensive back intimidating. While Colvin has the knack for the big play, if an offense can get consistent gains through an entire game then it’s worth it to keep coming back at Colvin even if the threat of a big play is there.

Now the data shouldn’t automatically dissuade us from the notion that Colvin can be a competent nickel corner. It should, however, give us perspective as we continue to measure his abilities. When we hear things like Colvin being a breakout candidate and a near-immediate success, keep some numbers in your head.

It’s important to support the Jaguars and it’s important to support picks like Colvin, but he is not the complete package this point. The nickel spot may appear to be his to lose right now, but there are plenty of other promising young cornerbacks on the roster that could usurp him if he doesn’t improve.

Next: Can Colvin limit catches?