Jaguars CB group may not be a need but it's definitely a question mark

• The Jaguars aren't overly concerned with their cornerback group but CBS Sports believe it's a need.
Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jarrian Jones (22) runs a drill around defensive assistant/cornerbacks coach Corey Robinson during Friday's rookie minicamp session.
Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jarrian Jones (22) runs a drill around defensive assistant/cornerbacks coach Corey Robinson during Friday's rookie minicamp session. / Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY

Cornerback was seemingly a need for the Jaguars in the offseason. They sort of addressed it but they never made it a priority. Instead of making a splash signing in free agency or spending a premium pick in the draft, the team's brass made a couple of moves in the hopes of bolstering the position. All things considered, it looks like the Jags are pleased with their current group. However, Josh Edwards of CBS Sports believes there could be a cause for concern.

Edwards took a look at every biggest need remaining for each NFL team ahead of training camp. He points out that the Jags' offensive line could use some work but believes cornerback is a bigger weakness.

"Jacksonville's offensive line needs to be more consistent but the Jaguars made some tweaks to the unit this offseason. Full season availability of Cam Robinson and another year under the belts of Anton Harrison, Walker Little, as well as the veteran leadership of center Mitch Morse should provide some stability.

Darious Williams was a casualty of the franchise's search for salary cap health. He was replaced by 30-year-old Ronald Darby. "

Like cornerback, the interior offensive line was seen as one of the team's biggest weaknesses at the end of 2023. However, they believe that injuries played a role in the unit's underwhelming play last year. For that reason, they brought back four of their starters and the only meaningful addition they made was veteran Mitch Morse, who'll tentatively supplant Luke Fortner at center.

On the other hand, the Jaguars made a handful of changes at cornerback. They moved on from Darious William in a cap-saving move. They also let Chris Claybrooks and Tre Herndon walk in free agency.

To replace Williams, the front office signed Ronald Darby in free agency. While he's given up just one touchdown the past two years, he's also sat out 13 games in that span. Furthermore, he's never played a full season in his career.

Later in the draft, the Jaguars opted to take care of other positions in the first two rounds and waited until near the end of the third to select Jarrian Jones. Two rounds later, they also chose Deantre Prince.

Also, Tyson Campell is coming off an injury-plagued campaign. Just one year after being dubbed a top-10 cornerback, the 2021 second-round pick experienced a regression.

When you put all this together, it's understandable why some analysts believe cornerback is a need for the Jaguars, but maybe they're in better shape at the position than they appear to be.

Why is the Jaguars' CB group a question mark rather than a need?

You could make the case that there's no much difference between a question a mark or a need when it comes to football. However, the former is an unknown commodity while the latter is probably an area in need of upgrades.

It's true that a question mark could turn out to be a weakness. But it could also become a strength or somewhere in between. In the case of the Jaguars, they expect rookie Jarrian Jones to have a big impact right out of the gate. The former Florida State Seminole made a strong impression in offseason activities and could earn significant playing time if he shows out in training camp and the preseason.

On the other hand, Tyson Campbell is back at full strength and the coaching staff has raved about his skill set. The former Georgia Bulldog has thrived in zone coverage but will need to get acclimated to defensive coordinator Ryan NIelsen's press-heavy scheme. Then again, Neilsen will look for ways to utilize and enhance his strenghts.

On top of that, the Jaguars have enough depth to withstand a couple injuries in 2024. Montaric Brown was one of their primary backups last year. He was inconsistent at times but playing should be better in Year 3. The same is true for Gregory Junior, who missed time with injuries. Rookie Deantre Prience and Tre Flowers will also be vying for a roster spot.

If any of the young corners fail to impress in training camp, they bring in help. There are a handful of free agents still looking for a team worth a shot. Adoree' Jackson, Xavien Howard, and Stephon Gilmore are all proven veterans and are available as of this writing.

If Jacksonville isn't thrilled with any of them, they could give the New Orleans Saints a call and inquire about Marshon Lattimore. Granted, the Saints aren't currently planning to move Lattimore but maybe general manager Trent Baalke could get them to change their mind.

Either way, the Jaguars are seemingly comfortable with their cornerback group ahead of training camp, but if they ultimately think they need help, they have their share of options to give the position a boost.

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