Jaguars need more help at cornerback

PFW staff
March 10, 2012
Jaguars need more help at cornerback

Following are a number of whispers we've been hearing from around the AFC:

• The Jaguars' re-signing of veteran CB Rashean Mathis hardly means they are set at the position. Jacksonville sorely lacks depth at corner, and considering the durability concerns that come with Mathis and fellow starter Derek Cox, the Jaguars are still likely to bring in more help, both through free agency and the draft. Signing Mathis to a one-year deal made sense for both sides. It gives Mathis a chance to come back strong from a season-ending knee injury, play well and possibly earn one more lucrative multiyear deal. For the Jaguars, they get a solid player, when he is healthy, and a strong presence in the locker room for another season without breaking the bank.

• Re-signing C Jeff Saturday, who we hear is leaning toward playing another year instead of retiring, would be a very smart move by the Colts. With the interior of the O-line in flux, having a steadying influence like Saturday would greatly benefit the unit. What's more, Saturday would be a great influence on QB Andrew Luck, whom the Colts figure to select with the No. 1 overall draft choice. Saturday's strong play a year ago was lost in the shuffle of a disastrous season.

• The Bills continued locking up players this past week, including the re-signing of LB Kirk Morrison, who was mostly a nonfactor in his first year in Buffalo. Morrison had played in every game in his first six seasons in the league, with at least 116 tackles in each of his first five campaigns. But he had only seven tackles last seasons and zero starts in 14 games. "I didn't get a chance to fully show what I can do last year," Morrison said on a conference call Friday. "The times I did, I tried to show flashes of what is yet to come. I think that the coaching staff saw not only what I bring to the locker room but on the field, my work ethic and my studies." Morrison's position coach last year, Dave Wannstedt, is now the team's defensive coordinator, and Morrison said Wannstedt "knows my work ethic and he knows what I can bring to the defense." Morrison also mentioned his versatility at linebacker. As of now, he is likely slotted at the strong side and is expected to be part of the team's LB rotation.

• A potential fit for ex-Colts RB Joseph Addai, one NFL evaluator suggested to PFW Friday, is wherever former teammate Peyton Manning signs. Addai is smart and pass-protects very well, noted the evaluator, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

• Among the attendees at Georgia's pro day on March 5 was Bengals OL coach Paul Alexander, who gave pointers to Bulldog linemen as they began drills for scouts and coaches in attendance. Three Bengals guards, including 2011 starters Bobbie Williams and Nate Livings, are slated to be free agents, and Georgia OG Cordy Glenn is regarded as one of the best players at his position. The Bengals, it must be noted, have their coaches actively involved in the pre-draft scouting process, and it is not uncommon for their position coaches to work out prospects leading up to the draft. The Bengals drafted two Georgia players — WR A.J. Green and OG Clint Boling — in 2011.

• The Raiders are really going to need young CBs DeMarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa to step up big-time next season. With both Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson proving to be salary-cap casualties, the team is quite thin at that position. We hear that the pair of 2011 draft choices will be expected to take on big roles, perhaps even as starters if no other cornerbacks are added to the roster in free agency. Neither player was particularly effective during limited time on the field as a rookie.

• We hear it is all but certain the Broncos will add a safety to their roster at some point this offseason. At age 38 and with serious health concerns, Brian Dawkins is unlikely to be counted on to be a major contributor. Though the team drafted two safeties in the first four rounds last season, there is still a need for a playmaker in the secondary, especially in pass coverage.

• Expect the Chargers to attempt to re-sign FB Jacob Hester. As San Diego's special-teams captain, Hester has been a valuable player on coverage teams and on offense, and he is well-liked in the locker room.