This is the third in a series of articles breaking down the Jacksonville Jaguars top needs entering the 2013 offseason.
The Jaguars have needs all over their roster, but they have a lot of work to do this offseason to field decent cornerbacks in 2013.
All of the guys who saw significant playing time at the cornerback position this season outside of Mike Harris and Aaron Ross are free agents this offseason, but neither one of those guys figure to inspire any confidence as a starter on the outside. Harris figures to continue to fit in as the Jaguars primary nickel corner in 2013, but Ross played nowhere near the level of the free agent contract he signed with the Jags last offseason and figures to be released before the season.
Looking at the defense that new Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley ran with the Seattle Seahawks, he tends to favor big, physical corners who are able to play press man coverage. With that being said, the Jaguars might try to re-sign Derek Cox this offseason because he fits with what Bradley wants in a cornerback. New Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell should only pursue Cox if the price is right, however. While Cox has been great when he is on the field, he has yet to show the ability to play a full 16 game season which should drive down his asking price in free agency.
Other corners that the Jaguars could look at in free agency are Keenan Lewis of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Sean Smith of the Miami Dolphins. Smith, who is 6’3”, would be an excellent fit in Bradley’s defense.
The Jaguars may also use a mid-round draft pick on another corner that fits the Bradley mold. Leon McFadden of San Diego State, Tharold Simon of LSU, Will Davis of Utah State and Blidi Wreh-Wilson of Connecticut all figure to go off the board in the mid-rounds and could fit in with the Jaguars new defense.
I think the Jaguars need at the cornerback position is so great that they are going to have to address it in both free agency and the draft.
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