Jacksonville Jaguars: 5 players that must step up in 2021

Fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars at Nissan Stadium (Imagn Images photo pool)
Fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars at Nissan Stadium (Imagn Images photo pool) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Tre Herndon #37 (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports) /

. . Tre Herndon, cornerback. 4. player. 52.

Will Tre Herndon stay with the Jacksonville Jaguars beyond 2021?

Last year, injuries hit the Jaguars’ cornerback room hard. C.J. Henderson missed half of the season with a groin injury, slot D.J. Hayden appeared in just five games due to a hamstring injury, and Sidney Jones dealt with an Achilles injury in the second half of the season. One of the few corners that played all 16 games for the Jags was Tre Herndon, who appeared in 91 percent of the team’s total snaps on defense.

The fact Herndon was one of the few Jacksonville players that didn’t miss time with injuries last season is commendable. However, his performance needs to improve. In 2020, he gave up a 68.8 completion rate and four touchdowns. Also, he posted a mediocre Pro Football Focus overall grade of 52.6 It’s true that the Jaguars’ defense failed to generate pressure up front, which in turn made it difficult to cover opposing wide receivers for an extended period of time.

Nevertheless, Herndon needs to play better if he wants to see significant playing time in 2021. The team’s brass signed former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin and brought back Jones. Henderson should also claim his starting job back, which leaves the Vanderbilt product as the number-four cornerback on the depth chart.

Herndon needs to be ready in case other corners miss time with injuries, he could then move up on the depth chart. Also, he is set to become a free agent next year. If he performs well, he will be able to cash in, so he has the incentive to perform at a high level.