In his reduced rookie season, Aaron Colvin knocked down two passes and accumulated 27 tackles. More impressively, he made an immediate contribution to the Jacksonville Jaguars defense after being medically cleared 11 games into the season.
Colvin wasted absolutely no time establishing his presence within the secondary, bouncing back from his ACL tear with determination and unmatched aggressiveness. Colvin's flashes at his nickel position last season led may to believe he'd be moved to an outside starting cornerback role sooner rather than later.
This year, as training camp continues to unravel, soon is becoming sooner than many expected.
It's no surprise that Colvin is receiving reps outside during training camp. The Jaguars carry a stout group at corner and will shift through several different combinations before they uncover their solidified starting group. The emergence of third-year cornerback Demetrius McCray and the offseason signing of former Packers cornerback Davon House have the secondary's stock rising, and Colvin has vastly exceeded expectations in his first healthy NFL training camp.
The Jaguars have gone as far as testing Colvin out in a role where not many NFL corners find success - playing outside and inside.
Colvin lining up outside and being brought inside within nickel packages is a testament to the team's faith in the second-year corner. Colvin finding a way to remain consistently successful while shifting between positions is a testament to his unmatched versatility.
"There's not a lot of guys that do it, so that tells you how talented he is," defensive coordinator Bob Babich has stated.
On Monday, head coach Gus Bradley spoke on Colvin's role and development as well, saying, "He's competing. I told you how much of a challenge it is now playing inside and outside and he's accepting those challenges and he's making plays out here, so he's been very impressive."
Snatching the praise of coaches is a great sign for a player who hasn't had very much NFL experience. Gaining coaches trust, however, is a very different tier of competence that points to a very bright future for Colvin and the Jaguars' secondary.
Working outside in man-to-man situations during training camp practices has allowed Colvin to showcase his fiery lockdown mentality. Moving inside, Colvin has displayed his ability to play zone and adapt to run fits. In his first healthy training camp, Colvin has progressed faster than anyone could have hoped for.
The climb isn't over yet. But whether Colvin starts outside, moves inside, or does both, he's looking at a long, productive future as a center piece of the Jaguars' defense.