I say this because D.J. Hayden will be called upon to become a vocal leader of a very young defensive secondary. But with that comes the realization the veteran is one of the highest-paid players on the roster and rookies Josiah Scott and Daniel Thomas are the future of the nickel cornerback position.
It’s a similar situation with Ronnie Harrison and Barry Church in 2018 when the rookie from Alabama took snaps away from the veteran and moved into the starting lineup with about a month left in the season.
The same thing could happen here as the Jacksonville Jaguars may look to move on from Hayden’s big price tag in 2021.
The coaching staff needs more veterans to step forward in the locker rook and on the field to help this young squad acclimate itself to playing bigger, stronger, and faster wide receivers. It’s also possible the secondary, with its youth, may need more time molding together.
The hope is Harrison takes another step forward as a hard-hitting strong safety and Jarrod Wilson works to find better footing this season. At cornerback, Tre Herndon and rookie C.J. Henderson should start. There is adequate depth, but it is still a concern for the Jaguars coaching staff.
It’s a storyline to watch this season.