With training camp only a few weeks away, the News4Jax sports team is breaking down the Jaguars roster, position by position.
So far this week we have looked at the Jaguars revamped Front 7. Now it is time to start looking at the back half of the defense starting with the cornerbacks.
Over the past 2 seasons, the Jaguars have invested considerable resources into improving the cornerback potion. A first-round pick in 2020, A 2nd round pick in 2021, and a 2021 big free-agent signing. Even with the changes in the front office with that sort of investment into a position, there will be an expectation of immediate results.
Cornerbacks on the roster
Luq Barcoo, Tyson Campbell, DJ Daniel, Shaquill Griffin, CJ Henderson, Tre Herndon, Jameson Houston, Sidney Jones IV, Brandon Rusnak, Corey Straughter, Chris Claybrooks
Expected number on final roster: 5
I’d like to find a way to slot 6 corners on the roster but with the competition at safety, it will be tough. The final defensive back spots will come down to special teams and I’m giving the advantage to the safeties right now. So with only 5 slots to work with, I’d argue that 4 of them are basically locked up… Maybe even all 5. The Jaguars just acquired Jameson Houston in a trade with the eagles that sent Josiah Scott to Philly. But Houston may not be in Jax for very long unless he can earn some series reps on special teams.
Expected depth chart
Outside CB- Shaquille Griffin and Sidney Jones
Nickle CB- Tyson Campbell and Tre Herndon
Outside CB- CJ Henderson
Baring a huge upset all 5 of these guys will on the final roster. Herndon is such a versatile player and a big contributor on special teams he is safe. That makes this one of the easiest positions to forecast. Griffin received a 3 year 40 million dollar contract this offseason he is locked into a starting role. Griffin is a guy that regardless of how he plays on the field will be a huge asset to the locker room as the coaching staff works to reshape the culture around the team. CJ Henderson is a bit of a question mark just because of the injuries he had last season. When he was healthy in 2020 he played well. I ultimately think he may be the player taking reps in the slot for the Jaguars because his skill sets just fits. Right now I have Campbell penciled in because after drafting him Meyer said despite not playing slot in college he believes Tyson can play the nickel role at a high level “Oh yeah, that’s one of the reasons that we took him, his flexibility — because you’re going to get your best players on the field and we’re going to be if we can hold up, we’re going to play much more man coverage that hurt the Jaguars last year.”
Possible camp surprise
Claybrooks has a tough road to the roster but Urban Meyer loves one thing that Claybrooks has a lot of SPEED. Last year as a rookie he had an up and down year. Claybrooks revealed during the offseason that he was playing through some serious injuries. According to a post on social media, he had a sports hernia, torn labrum, and a torn rotator cuff. He didn’t specify when the injuries occurred because he did ultimately land on IR in November. Whether the injuries affected his play or not he is a guy I believe has a ton of upside. Many of his mistakes last season were mental and things that the new coaching staff should be able to help him fix.