5 Intriguing positional battles for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2023

Wide receiver coach Chad Parker talks to players as Parker Washington.
Wide receiver coach Chad Parker talks to players as Parker Washington. / Juston Lewis/Florida Times-Union / USA
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No. 3 Jaguars intriguing position battle: Tre Herndon vs. young CBs

This might feel like a headline out of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World but instead of investing an early-round pick to round out their starting cornerback group, the Jags are counting on veteran Tre Herndon to line up in the slot come Week 1.

An undrafted free agent in 2019, Herndon worked his way up the depth chart and went on to start several games in Jacksonville. The Vanderbilt product dealt with injuries in 2021 and didn't get nearly as much playing time as in previous seasons but the top brass liked him enough to bring him back on a one-year deal.

Herndon struggled at times in 2022 but he's got the flexibility to play inside or in the boundaries, so it's easy to see why Jacksonville again brought him back. Having said that, the Jaguars could use an upgrade at nickel, and they'll let their young group of cornerbacks compete for playing time in the upcoming months.

2023 sixth-round pick Christian Braswell is already lining up in the slot in Jaguars rookie minicamp but undrafted free agent Kabel Hayes could also be in the mix. Sophomores Gregory Junior and Montaric Brown will also need to show they've made strides or else run the risk of being left behind.

Doug Pederson told the media ahead of minicamp that he likes competition and while there's plenty of time left before the regular season commences, the team needs one of their young corners to step up.