Jacksonville Jaguars Now Boast Intriguing Secondary Thanks to 2013 NFL Draft

By Thomas Emerick
Florida International Jonathan Cyprien
Eric P. Mull-USA TODAY Sports

After watching left tackle Luke Joeckel fall to them with the second overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars went heavy on their team’s most gaping void immediately thereafter.

The Jags secondary has been atrocious in recent years and has seen them let the only good young players they draft — like cornerback Derek Cox and safety Reggie Nelson — walk away before hitting their prime. Whiff after whiff ensued in the free agency period, and suddenly it seemed Jax would be destined for “Invincible” style auditions to fill several cornerback and safety roles.

However, it seems the Jaguars realized Mark Wahlberg wasn’t walking through that door, as they took safety Jonathan Cyprien in Round 1, cornerback Dwayne Gratz in Round 3, safety Josh Evans in Round 6, and Jeremy Harris and Demetrius McCray in Round 7. While the last three are later round picks that  may just serve at depth for most this year, Cyprien and Gratz could certainly see significant playing time right off the bat in 2013.

The path to the top of the depth chart is especially clear for Cyprien, as new Jaguars Coach Gus Bradley has admitted that the starting strong safety spot is empty. “He really fits the style of defense we want to play here,” Bradley told The Florida Times-Union. “I really, really liked the kid when he came here and I really liked his tape.”

With a quarterback class that’s perceived to be weak, it could very well work out for Jacksonville in the long-term that they placed an emphasis on defensive backs in 2013.

Thomas Emerick is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEmerick, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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