Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp Profile: Dwayne Gratz
None of the players who saw significant playing time at cornerback for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012 are still on the roster heading into the 2013 season.
New Jaguars general manager David Caldwell spent a lot of draft picks on rebuilding the secondary from the ground, but the most pressure of any of the Jaguars young secondary players is going to fall on third-round draft pick Dwayne Gratz.
Gratz is immediately being counted on to be a starter at cornerback from day one, but the Jaguars front office and coaching staff are confident that he is up to the task. He certainly fits the mold of the type of cornerback that has excelled in Gus Bradley’s press coverage defense with the Seattle Seahawks.
At 5’11”, Gratz is a bit undersized from what Bradley typically employs at the cornerback position, but for what he lacks in size he certainly makes up for in his aggressive, physical style of play. Gratz is at his best close to the line of scrimmage and is not afraid to throw his weight around to help against the run.
The Jaguars will likely utilize Gratz’s physical nature in press coverage to jam receivers at the line of scrimmage and disrupt the timing of the opposing quarterbacks. Some NFL scouts believed that Gratz was destined to a conversion to safety, but the Jaguars have no doubt that he is going to play cornerback.
Without Derek Cox, Rashean Mathis and Aaron Ross around, Gratz will get a trial by fire in his rookie season, the Jaguars hope he can rise to the challenge.
You can follow Joey on twitter @joeyfarbo.