PFF ranks Jags’ secondary 19th heading into 2022 season

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have put a lot of resources into their secondary in the past two seasons, and 2022 could be the year that they take off. However, Pro Football Focus is in wait-and-see mode when it comes to the unit, which is a young group.

In PFF’s recent secondary rankings, the Jags came in at the No. 19 spot. Additionally, analyst Michael Renner mentioned them as a potential breakout unit due to the two additions they made in last year’s draft.

19. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

CB: Tyson Campbell
CB: Shaquill Griffin
NCB: Darious Williams
S: Rayshawn Jenkins
S: Andre Cisco

The Jaguars have earned bottom-six coverage grades in each of the past three seasons, but that should change in 2022. The biggest reasons are second-year breakout candidates Tyson Campbell and Andre Cisco. From Week 9 on last year, Campbell tallied two picks and six forced incompletions, while Cisco allowed only 41 yards on 114 coverage snaps.

It’s fair to be optimistic about the future of the Jags’ secondary after seeing what Campbell and Cisco looked like at the end of the season. Campbell was inserted into the lineup as a perimeter cornerback when the Jags traded C.J. Henderson to the Carolina Panthers, and though he struggled some initially, he figured things out by the end of the season.

Dating back to Week 9’s game against the Buffalo Bills, Campbell was able to register a 70.9 PFF grade or higher five times. A big reason for that may have been because he was tied for second among rookie cornerbacks in forced incompletions and picks, registering 13 during the 2021 season.

As for Cisco, he was inserted into the starting lineup three weeks before the season ended and made the most of his opportunity. In two of the three games, he registered a grade of 82.7 and 79.5 in Weeks 16 and 18, respectively. He probably could’ve made a bigger impact if the Jags weren’t hesitant to start him earlier, but once veteran safety Rayshawn Jenkins broke his ankle, the rookie had to hop into action.

As for the two veteran members of the group in Jenkins and Shaquill Griffin, most would agree that both need to improve this season. Griffin left too many picks on the field, and Jenkins had some unwanted penalties that the team undoubtedly wanted back. However, both players are two of the locker room’s top leaders who will undoubtedly work hard to take a step forward in 2022.

Lastly, one of the newest starters on the unit, Darious Williams, should be an upgrade at nickelback. He will be joining the Jags after time with the Los Angeles Rams, who arguably play in the toughest division for secondaries.

Williams accumulated a grade of 65.3 last season, according to the database, but was solid against the run and as a tackler, earning grades of 71.3 and 72.2 in those categories, respectively. That’s a huge deal for the Jags as they are in a division where their opponents have elite rushing attacks.

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