Jaguars CB Shaquill Griffin named player to watch in OTAs

Former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin #26 [ALLEN EYESTONE/The Palm Beach Post]
Former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin #26 [ALLEN EYESTONE/The Palm Beach Post] /

The Jacksonville Jaguars had one of the worst defenses last season. For that reason, it wasn’t surprising to see them use the vast amount of cap space they had this offseason to reinforce the unit in free agency. Among all the players they signed, former cornerback Shaquill Griffin may have the biggest impact in 2021.

Griffin is the prize of the Jags’ free-agent class, and Chris Roling of Bleacher Report believes the corner is one of six players to watch in 2021’s offseason workouts. Roling starts by mentioning that Jacksonville made the cornerback one of the highest-paid players this season. However, he thinks that his performance might not be proportional to the hype. He then points out that Griffin snagged three interceptions but gave up 54 receptions on 87 targets last year.

On the other hand, Roling thinks that if Griffin can play at a high level, he will provide a meaningful upgrade to the Jaguars’ defense. He goes on to say it will be worth watching his “adjustment to a new team for the first time in his career”.

Shaquill Griffin will be a key cog in the Jacksonville Jaguars secondary.

Roling has previously questioned the Jags’ decision to acquire Griffin this offseason and has even wondered if he could be a free-agent dud. When you sign a player there’s always a chance he will underperform or suffer an injury. Nevertheless, that is an inherent part of doing business. Otherwise, teams would never sign free agents, and when it comes to Griffin, the Jags made the right move.

So far, Griffin has been a good-not-great player over his four-year career. You could even argue the Jaguars overpaid for him, but they knew what they were getting when they signed the 2017 third-round selection. Jacksonville is going through a rebuild and so it made more sense to bring a young corner like Griffin instead of a veteran like Richard Sherman or Patrick Peterson.

Griffin will start opposite sophomore C.J. Henderson in Week 1 based on his salary. On the other hand, the Jags aren’t thrusting an unproven player into the starting lineup. The former Seattle Seahawks cornerback already made the Pro Bowl in 2019. That year, he allowed 57.1 percent of the passes thrown his way. Although he didn’t record an interception, he logged 12 passes defensed. If Griffin gives up a 57 percent completion rate once again and comes up with two or three interceptions, he will have earned his paycheck.

The Jaguars spent the offseason bolstering their cornerback room. They believe Griffin will give their pass defense a boost and there’s no reason to believe that won’t be the case.

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