Would the Jacksonville Jaguars draft a cornerback in the first round?
The Jacksonville Jaguars currently have two first-round selections in the 2021 NFL Draft. It’ almost a given they will use the first overall selection to take Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, but it’s uncertain at this point of the process what they will do with their second first-round selection. Pro Football Focus projects they will choose Clemson cornerback Derion Kendrick.
Anthony Treash of PFF believes the ‘Jags’ will draft Clemson cornerback Kendrick with the 25th overall selection, which they got from the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for cornerback Jalen Ramsey in 2019.
Treash says that even though Kendrick had subpar performances in both the 2019-20 National Championship game and the 2020-21 College Football Playoff semifinal, he was a shutdown corner for the Tigers in the last two years and gave up 14.5 yards per game. What makes this even more surprising is the fact Kendrick just switched positions, playing wide receiver up until 2018.
Would Derion Kendrick be a fit with the Jacksonville Jaguars?
The ‘Jags’ selected cornerback C.J. Henderson with the ninth overall pick in 2020. The Florida standout displayed flashes of talent before a groin injury ended his season. He will hold one starting job in 2021, but it’s uncertain who will play opposite of him. Both Sidney Jones and D.J. Hayden are set to become free agents and there are no indications the team will bring them back.
Kendrick would give the Jaguars’ defense a potential starter. Although he hasn’t entered the draft yet and has announced he will stay in Clemson, the team needs to keep an eye on him on the slight off chance he changes his mind and declares. Jacksonville needs to revamp their back seven and the junior would help them do so. Last season, they allowed 34 passing touchdowns and the lack of talent in their secondary played a big role in it.
There are many paths the Jaguars can take to rebuild their roster this offseason. Their surplus of draft picks and cap space will give them the flexibility to be creative and have an open-minded approach.