4 Jacksonville Jaguars with the most at stake in 2021

Fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars at Nissan Stadium (Imagn Images photo pool)
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback CJ Henderson “#21 (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars have high expectations for CJ Henderson in 2021.

The Jaguars traded All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey in the middle of the 2019 season. That left a void, which the team filled by taking C.J. Henderson ninth overall in last year’s draft. You shouldn’t compare the Florida product to Ramsey, but Jacksonville must definitely expect great things from him in Year 2. After all, he was a highly-touted prospect, not one from an obscure Division III program.

Henderson was off to a good start in 2020, allowing 18 completions on 28 targets for 171 yards and two touchdowns in the first five games of the season. Nevertheless, he went through a rough stretch the following two weeks and gave up a combined 11 completions on 17 targets for 202 yards and one touchdown. The former Gator didn’t let his struggles go to his head and had a solid performance against the Green Bay Packers in Week 10, logging three total tackles, one pass defensed, and a forced fumble.

Alas, Henderson was placed on the Injury Reserve list with a hamstring injury and missed the following seven games of the season. All in all, the cornerback started eight games for the Jaguars and posted 36 total tackles, six passes defensed, one interception, and one forced fumble in 2020. Head coach Urban Meyer has spoken glowingly of Henderson. He also mentioned that the sophomore had labrum surgery earlier this year and everything came out fine.

Entering his second year in the NFL, Henderson needs to play like the top 10 pick he is. If he takes a step back, the Jaguars’ brass could start double-guessing his selection in last year’s draft.