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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars 2018 Position Group Breakdown: Secondary

Zach Goodall

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Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks (14) drops a pass behind Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) and cornerback A.J. Bouye (21) during the third quarter in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As we wrap up the defensive side of the Locked On Jaguars position group breakdown series, it’s time to take a look at the team’s secondary, which is headlined by star power at the cornerback position in the Jalen Ramsey – A.J. Bouye tandem.

The two were both named to the NFL All-Pro teams last year, with Ramsey making the first team and Bouye making the second. Ramsey finished his second career season with a basic stat-line of 52 tackles, four interceptions, and 17 defended passes. Taking a deeper look at his productivity, via PlayerProfiler.com, it’s clear that Ramsey plays at an elite level. Ramsey’s average target separation at the pass was .84 yards per coverage snap, ranking 3rd among NFL cornerbacks, and he allowed the 5th best passer rating among CBs at 55.5. He ranked 7th in yards per reception allowed at 10.9 YPC, and 3rd in yards per target allowed at 5.6 YPT.

Much like Ramsey, Bouye boasted elite-level statistics as well, both basic and in-depth. After four years with the Houston Texans, where he broke out on the scene in 2016, Bouye signed a five year, $67.5 million deal with the Jaguars and had himself a career year in his first season in black and teal. Bouye recorded 53 tackles, six interceptions, and 18 defended passes. While he fared a little worse than Ramsey in target separation (1 yard/41st among CBs) and yards per reception allowed (14/53rd), he only gave up 6.2 yards per target allowed (11th), had a catch rate of 44.1% (3rd), and a passer rating allowed of 37.5 (1st).

It’s hard to argue with the opinion that Ramsey and Bouye are the best cornerback tandem in the NFL, and they look to build upon their last season’s success in 2018. However, how does the rest of the Jaguars’ secondary look going into this year?

Projected defensive end depth chart

*Note: Italics = starter, Underline = Acquired in 2018 FA/Draft

Outside CB: Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Quenton Meeks

Nickel CB: D.J. Hayden, Tyler Patmon

Free safety: Tashaun Gipson, Cody Davis

Strong safety: Barry Church, Ronnie HarrisonDon Carey

As far as the safety positions, Tashaun Gipson and Barry Church will start the season as incumbent starters. Gipson, who is coming off of a four interception-season, is likely to hold onto his starting gig for the entire season and into the future, but the 30 year old Church could receive some pressure as the season goes on from 3rd round draft pick Ronnie Harrison, who has been turning heads during OTAs.

Back to cornerback, 2018 free agent signing D.J. Hayden will be manning the nickel corner position in place of Aaron Colvin, who the Houston Texans signed in free agency on a four year deal. On the first day of Jagurs mini-camp, Hayden had an interception and a pass breakup, per Mike Kaye of FirstCoastNews.com.

As for depth at CB, I expect Tyler Patmon to be the full-time backup at nickel and beat out Jalen Myrick. Patmon had eight interceptions in training camp last year, and has been taking advantage of the reps he’s been given so far in this offseason’s training sessions. Quenton Meeks signed with the Jaguars as a UDFA immediately after this year’s draft, after widely being expected to go in the middle rounds of the draft. Why he fell? I’m not sure, but he possesses a technical skillset that could progress very well behind the master technician of a cornerback that is A.J. Bouye.

Check out the rest of the Locked on Jaguars position group breakdowns below:

Zach Goodall covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for the Locked On Jaguars podcast and website. Follow him on Twitter @zach_goodall.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars sign WR Rashad Greene, place LT Cam Robinson on IR

Zach Goodall

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Aug 9, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Rashad Greene (13) runs during the second half against the New Orleans Saints at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

That didn’t last long: The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed wide receiver Rashad Greene to their 53 man roster after releasing him last week, per the team. In order to create a roster spot for Greene, the team officially placed left tackle Cam Robinson on injured reserve, which comes as no surprise.

Robinson tore his ACL yesterday against the New England Patriots in the first quarter. Josh Wells will start in his place for the foreseeable future.

Greene was drafted by the Jaguars in the 5th round of the 2015 Draft. His rookie season was his only fully healthy year, as he was placed on IR late in 2016 and early in 2017. He has recorded 24 catches for 125 yards and 2 TDs as a Jaguar.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Lose LT Cam Robinson for the Season

Christopher Thornton

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Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Jaguars LT Cam Robinson has suffered a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the 2018 NFL Season.

Robinson left early during the Jaguars 31-20 win over the New England Patriots. The Jaguars will now look to backup LT Josh Wells, who surprisingly played well in place of Robinson against the Patriots. However, the team will also likely look for outside options, given the struggles Wells has had in the past. Still a big blow to a Jaguars offensive line that was poised for another big year.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Bortles, Jaguars get their revenge over the Patriots, 31-20

Demetrius Harvey

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Sep 16, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) attempts a pass against the New England Patriots during the first half at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots took off quickly for their rematch of the AFC title game just last season. The Jaguars were without star running back Leonard Fournette as he nurses a hamstring injury.

After the Patriots missed on their opening drive field goal, the Jaguars would drive 56 yards on the heels of Corey Grant, TJ Yeldon, and Blake Bortles to score a go-ahead 4-yard touchdown pass from Bortles to Donte Moncrief, who made a beautiful grab over Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

The Jaguars defense came in to force a 3-and-out only for the Jaguars and Blake Bortles to drive down the field again and score a beautiful 20-yard touchdown to Keelan Cole.

After the Jaguars’ second punt of the game to the Patriots 6-yard line, the Patriots would take eight minutes and 16 seconds off the clock only to come up for a field goal. The Jaguars defense played a little bend-but-don’t-break, which allowed Brady and company to drive down the field.

With around a two minutes and 45 seconds to go until halftime, the Jaguars and quarterback Blake Bortles would take the ball 75-yards for a beautiful 4-yard touchdown pass to end the half. Perfectly executed.

Blake Bortles would end the first half with a great stat line. Going 17 for 25 with 200 yards and three touchdowns. Nearly a perfect game for the Jaguars and their star quarterback. The Jaguars would go into halftime with a 21-3 lead over the New England Patriots.

After the second half kickoff to the Jaguars offense, they would drive down the field to the Patriots seven-yard line, however, they were unable to come up with a touchdown this time, settling for an easy field goal for Josh Lambo.

What was looking to be another scoring drive by the Jaguars turned into a fumble by rookie wide receiver DJ Chark. The Patriots and Tom Brady would, of course, turn that short field into a touchdown. 24-10 Jaguars.

After a Blake Bortles interception the Patriots looked poised to score again, however, this time the Jaguars defense came to play. Dante Fowler Jr. had a great burst on the edge beating his man for a strip-sack. Jaguars recover.

After the Patriots were forced to punt, Blake Bortles did what he has done all game. Find the open receiver and let them make a play. Dede Westbrook took a short slant route pass from Bortles 61-yards for a touchdown. 31-13 Jaguars. The Patriots would go on to score a garbage time touchdown at the end of the game. 31-20 final score.

THREE BIG PLAYS:

Keelan Cole makes the catch of the year.

No additional comment needed. See for yourself.

Move over OBJ.

Dante Fowler Jr. comes up big with a strip-sack on Tom Brady

Following a Blake Bortles ill-advised interception late in the 4th quarter, the Jaguars defense needed a stop, and they came up huge with Dante Fowler Jr. beating his man around the edge for a strip-sack/recover on quarterback Tom Brady. This was Fowler’s first game of the year after being suspended week one.

Dede Westbrook takes a Blake Bortles pass 61-yards for a touchdown

All the receivers came to play today but this Westbrook touchdown was a thing of beauty. Westbrook took a simple slant route from Blake Bortles 61-yards for a touchdown. Great blocking and an amazing way to seal the victory for the Jaguars.

PLAYER OF THE GAME:

Never a doubt. Blake Bortles is absolutely your player of the game today. Blake’s stat line for today: 29/45 for 377 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. The Boat (Blake Bortles) was on fire today. The Patriots defense had no answers for him and the Jaguars passing offense. This was easily the best game of his career.

FINAL WHISTLE:

The Jaguars did it. They got their revenge in the best possible way as they took on the Patriots and laid one on ‘em to earn a victory. There were very few times throughout the game where the Jaguars did not seem to have complete control of this game, and they played aggressively. No longer were the Jaguars simply three yards and a cloud of dust. Blake Bortles, Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook, TJ Yeldon, Corey Grant, the list goes on. Nearly everyone on offense had themselves a day. The Jaguars beat the Patriots through the air effortlessly.

The Jaguars will take on the Tennessee Titans (1-1) at home next week.

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