No. 1 Jaguars offensive group entering Week 1: Cornerback
The term shutdown corner has become somewhat diluted over the last decade or so. The truth is that they’re rare and hard to come by. Sure, there are many talented cornerbacks out there but hardly any of them fall into the shutdown category. The Jaguars don’t have one that comes remotely close to being one but they make up for it with a well-rounded group.
One of the few things the previous regime did right was revamping their cornerback unit. Besides bringing back Sidney Jones and Tre Herndon last offseason, they signed Shaquill Griffin in free agency and later took Tyson Campbell in the second round of last year’s draft.
The Jags eventually traded Jones and C.J. Henderson but both Griffin and Campbell became mainstays of their secondary last year. Nevertheless, general manager Trent Baalke believed there was still room for improvement and signed Darious Williams in free agency, giving Jacksonville a solid starting trio.
Furthermore, Baalke recognized Herndon’s value and once again re-signed him in the offseason. The Vanderbilt product can man the slot but also play outside. Williams also offers flexibility. He’s set to start at nickel but he can also line up in the boundaries, so the Jags might not see a significant dropoff in production if either Griffin or Campbell has to miss time.
There’s also Chris Claybrooks and Montaric Brown. Both of them will take on reserve roles and won’t likely get many defensive snaps unless injuries strike the Jags in 2022.