Jaguars looking to bolster cornerback room in the 2024 NFL Draft

• Jaguars GM Trent Baalke likes this year's CB class and looks to add talent at the position.

Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean (3) catches a punt at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, October 21,
Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean (3) catches a punt at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, October 21, / Lily Smith/The Register / USA TODAY

The Jacksonville Jaguars must bolster the center spot this offseason but that's not the only position they need to address. While they have a pair of quality cornerbacks in Darious Williams and Tyson Campbell, they could add to the group. General manager Trent Baalke says that's what the team plans to do in the draft.

Baalke with with the reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine and said the Jags are looking to make additions to their cornerback room.

"That's a good question, who's going to be the third? We got to add to that group," Baalke told reporters. "I think Coach Nielsen spoke on it and coach [Doug] Peterson probably spoke on it. Now I'm speaking out it's a group that we need to address. We feel good about the group we have we feel like we got some good young guys to work with. We got some guys some veterans in there. But we're definitely going to look into that group."

Later in the exchange, Baalke said he thinks this is a strong cornerback class, "The corner position, I think is going to be strong. I think it's a good group. I think there's going to be good players at the top end of the market and good players all the way through or in the developmental range."

Tre Herndon began the 2023 season as the Jaguars' No. 3 cornerback last year. While he mostly lined up at nickel, he's shown the flexibility to play inside and outside. However, he was eventually phased out in favor of then-rookie Antonio Johnson and is now set to become a free agent, and it's uncertain, at least from an outside perspective, if he'll be back with the team.

When Campbell missed time last year, Montaric Brown frequently filled in for him. Also on the roster is third-year cornerback Gregory Junior, who seems like a better fit for the slot.

The draft will offer plenty of options at CB for the Jaguars, including Cooper DeJean

It makes sense for the Jaguars to address the cornerback position despite the fact that they have Darious Williams and Tyson Campbell in the fold. After all, they're both set to become free agents next year and it would make sense to start looking for potential replacements in case either one walks.

Moreover, defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen may want corners that can play man coverage and there's a chance neither Williams nor Campbell is a fit for his scheme. In the draft, the Jaguars could get one that is suited to play in Nielsen's system, and as Trent Baalke noted, this is going to be a good year to get one, maybe even a couple.

The Jags have been frequently linked to Cooper DeJean at No. 17 this offseason but the former Iowa Hawkeye won't be the only top cornerback available when they're on the clock. Depending on how the first round unfolds, Terry Arnold, Kool-Aid McKinstry, or even Nate Wiggins could still be on the board.

But even outside the first round, there will be several appealing options in later rounds, including Kamari Lassiter, Kalen King, and the ascending Elijah Jones.

The bottom line is that the Jacksonville Jaguars cannot pass up the chance to bolster their cornerback room based on the amount of talent available in this year's draft.

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