The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted a cornerback from Connecticut in the 2013 NFL Draft, as many people thought they would. The problem was however, that it wasn't the cornerback most thought the team would pick. The Jaguars drafted Dwayne Gratz, over his teammate Bledi Wreh-Wilson, who was rated higher than Gratz by most draft analysts.
The Jaguars saw something in Gratz they liked however and pulled the trigger.
"He plays different coverages. He’s not just a press corner," Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley told the media following the pick. "You see a lot of snaps with him playing press but you saw him also playing off, some cover two snaps where he just understood the game pretty well."
Bradley clearly looks for specific things in his defensive backs and Gratz would seem to fit that mold. We tried to focus pre-draft on the bigger corners, but wanted to note that it's not just their overall height that the team would look for. Gratz measured in at under 6' at the NFL Combine, but he has long arms and he's strong.
"That’s another asset for us. The ability to press. He’s strong at the line of scrimmage," Bradley continued. "What is he five-eleven? Five-eleven or something? You’d say that’s not the traditional six-two guy that you’re accustomed to or the six-three guy. It’s not always the height. I mean that’s great to have but it’s also the arm length and the strength at the line of scrimmage."
Gratz will come to camp and compete for one of the vacant cornerback positions on the defense, which he should win. The Jaguars added a ton of bodies to the position, including Gratz, so he's going to be one of the many new faces on the new-look defense.
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