Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

On to 2024: Assessment of Cornerbacks

040524 on to 24 Cornerbacks

JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser and Jaguars/NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks examine the Jaguars' cornerbacks in this position-by-position look at the '24 offseason

Position: Cornerbacks.

  • Position coach: Cory Robinson.
  • 2023 starters: Tyson Campbell (10), Darious Williams (17), Tre Herndon (4), Montaric Brown (6).
  • Others: Ronald Darby, Christian Braswell, Tevaughn Campbell, Erick Hallett II, Gregory Junior, Amani Oruwariye.

Jaguars 2023 Cornerbacks Position Group At A Glance:

This was a difficult season for this position at times, primarily because Tyson Campbell– one of the defense's top players in 2022 – sustained an early-season hamstring injury that forced him to miss six of the final 11 games of the season. He registered 61 tackles – 42 solo – for the season with two tackles for loss; he had a forced fumble with an interception and five passes defensed. Williams, in his second season after signing as an unrestricted free agent with the Jaguars in the 2022 offseason, improved on his '22 season and started all 17 games. He had 53 tackles – 44 solo – with three tackles for loss and also tied for the team lead with four interceptions with a team-high 19 passes defensed. Herndon played extensively as the third corner, starting four games and playing 16; he had 45 tackles – 30 solo – and three quarterback hits with nine passes defensed. Brown, a second-year veteran, played in 12 games and started six with four passes defensed and 34 tackles.

Offseason Storyline: In an offseason of transition for the Jaguars' defense, no defensive position seems to be undergoing as much change as corner. With the Jaguars expected to play more man-to-man press coverage to take away easy completions under new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen, the Jaguars released Williams just before the March 13 start of the 2024 NFL League Year and have opted to not re-sign Herndon. The team signed Ronald Darby as an unrestricted free agent from the Baltimore Ravens, with the 10-year veteran having a reputation as a front-line and aggressive corner when healthy. This could remain a priority position entering the draft, with many projecting the team could take the position in the first round.

Free agents as of March 13: Herndon.

Bucky Brooks' Top Three Free-Agent Cornerbacks:

  1. Jaylon Johnson, Chicago Bears (re-signed with Bears)
  2. L'Jarius Sneed, Kansas City Chiefs (traded to Tennessee)
  3. Kendall Fuller, Washington Commanders (signed with Miami)

Bucky Brooks' Top Three Collegiate Cornerbacks:

  1. Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo
  2. Terrion Arnold, Alabama
  3. Nate Wiggins, Clemson

Oehser Analysis: There perhaps has been no greater area of need this offseason for the Jaguars – not necessarily because of its inconsistency in 2023, but because the secondary's style is expected to change so much moving forward under Nielsen. The decision to release Williams and sign Darby was significant, with Williams perhaps playing as well as any Jaguars secondary player in 2023 but not a great fit for the Jaguars' new defensive scheme. Another key storyline in 2023: Tyson Campbell, who played at a high level in the team's 2022 AFC South title season but whose hamstring injury hampered him much of 2023. The thought here is the Jaguars may not be close to do done addressing corner this offseason. The position seems a real possibility at No. 17 overall in Round 1, and it wouldn't be surprising to see them address it again before the late rounds. A storyline to watch: The development of Montaric Brown (a third-year veteran) and Christian Braswell (a second-year veteran). The team likes both players, and one – or both – could develop into key contributors as the new defensive coaches seek the right secondary combination.

Brooks' Analysis: The Jaguars' disappointing season put the inconsistent play of the cornerbacks under the microscope. Campbell and Williams made a handful of plays but also gave up a ton of big plays due to shoddy technique and inconsistent concentration. With the Jaguars' aggressive approach repeatedly putting Campbell and Williams on an island, the duo's flaws contributed to the defense's demise down the stretch. Though the defense received a spark from the intriguing flashes of Brown and safety/nickel Antonio Johnson, the overall performance of the secondary did not meet the standard.

Related Content