Jaguars CB Shaquill Griffin among NFL’s top 32 ahead of 2021 season

Shaquem Griffin #49 and Shaquill Griffin #26 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Shaquem Griffin #49 and Shaquill Griffin #26 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars led the NFL in cap space this offseason. Although they mainly focused on adding depth to the roster, they made a few splash signings, including that of former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin. Looking back, it was a nice investment as the UCF product recently landed on a very unique list.

Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus recently ranked the top 32 cornerbacks in the NFL ahead of the 2021 regular season and Griffin popped up at 25, one spot behind fellow AFC South corner Bradley Roby. He says that the cornerback brings plenty of experience to the Jaguars secondary. He notes that Griffin’s 3,546 regular-season defensive snaps over the last four years rank among the top 10 at the position.

On the other hand, Linsey points out that the 2017 third-round pick has been inconsistent throughout his NFL career, posting PFF overall grades of 50-7, 78.0, and 64.6 in the last three seasons. Linsey also notes that Griffin plays better in zone coverage than man and wonders how he will fit Jaguars’ defensive coordinator Joe Cullen’s scheme.

Former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey ranked near the top at number two. Linsey notes that the Florida State product has never posted a PFF grade lower than 70.0 and is coming off his second-best grade since 2017. Linsey also highlights the fact that the 2016 first-round pick only allowed 24 catches from Week 2 to Week 17 last season. Looking at Ramsey’s performance, it’s clear why the Los Angeles Rams didn’t mind sending two first-round picks and a fourth-rounder in exchange for the cornerback.

Shaquill Griffin will be a staple of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ secondary.

You could argue that giving Griffin a three-year deal worth $44.5 million with $29 million guaranteed was too much but the truth is that the Jaguars needed stability in the secondary and he was the best corner available this offseason. Griffin could certainly be more consistent but he’s shown he can play at a high level. Back in 2017, he earned a Pro Bowl designation after allowing a 57.1 percent completion rate and just four touchdowns.

Griffin should start opposite sophomore C.J. Henderson in 2021. Last season, the Florida product showed flashes before a hamstring injury ended his rookie campaign. Moreover, the team brought back Sidney Jones and Tre Herndon earlier this year. Heading into the regular season, it looks like cornerback is going to be a position of strength for this Jacksonville team.

Even though there’s a chance Griffin struggles, the Jaguars’ brass believes he can play at a high level. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have given him such a big contract, right?

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