The expectation for the 2017 NFL season with the Jacksonville Jaguars is that the defense is going to carry the team. That should be true, as on paper the defense looks stout in all three levels, but we all know how on paper can work out. We took a look at the defensive line and the linebacker group, so now we will move on to what I think will be the most reliable group, barring injury, in the secondary.
I think many would reflexively blurt out Jalen Ramsey when asked who the playmaker will be in the Jaguars 2017 defense, but thinking a little bit outside the box I’m going to say it will be veteran safety Barry Church. This isn’t to say Church is going to lead the team in interceptions or forced fumbles, but if you watched Church for the Dallas Cowboys he was always around big plays being made.
If there’s a fumble, Church is there. If there is an interception, Church is there tipping or clearing out the way for a return. He’s simply one of those guys that is just always there when a big play or turnover on defense happens. He’s a big play catalyst, which is something the Jaguars defense desperately needs.
There really isn’t an actual player in the secondary’s starting group that concerns me. I guess you could be worried that A.J. Bouye is a one-year wonder, but I’m not one of those people. I’ve seen him steadily rise from part-time role player to starter to sought after free agent. The real concern to me still for the secondary is just the overall depth at the cornerback position. If one of the starting outside corners goes down for any length of time, it has a domino effect on the rest of the defense.
You have to shift Aaron Colvin outside, where he’s not nearly as good as he is inside. Then you have a back up nickelback in, who did show some promise in 2016, but still has very little overall playing time at the NFL level.