The Jacksonville Jaguars own arguably the best cornerback tandem in the entire NFL with Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. However, the depth is lacking at the position after the starters. The Jaguars lost Aaron Colvin in free agency, and signed D.J. Hayden to fill his role, but will likely look to the draft to add another cornerback.
One potential player could be in-state product, Duke Dawson, who played collegiately at the University of Florida. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks recently named Dawson as a “franchise fit” for the Jags (skip to the 1:15 mark of the video for Dawson).
“When you watch him, he plays in the nickel, he’s ready-made, Jeremiah said. “You can plug him in and get him on the field right away. He’s got a bulldog in him. You watch him attack and press with two-hand jam, Buck, I love how physical he is. He can also be a force player as well. He fits the mentality of this Jags team, and the edge they played with, he’ll fit right in.”
As Jeremiah pointed out, Dawson played in the slot for the Gators as a nickelback, which just so happens to be the spot that Colvin played. Dawson has good footwork and, as mentioned, can jam you at the line. He also has 4.46 40 speed and has good football IQ.
Dawson is currently projected to go between the third and fourth rounds, and would make plenty of sense for the Jaguars to target late on Day 2 or early on Day 3.
Todd McShay also recently projected Dawson making the roughly 75 mile-trek from Gainesville to Jacksonville in his latest three-round mock draft.
McShay slots Dawson in the third round, at No. 93 overall, after selecting Lamar Jackson (QB) in the first round and and B.J. Hill (DT) in the second round.
“Dawson could help in the slot to replace Aaron Colvin,” McShay simply writes.
As a non-Florida resident, I didn’t get to see a whole lot of Dawson’s live game action. But as a Michigan resident I will never forget watching Dawson pick off Wilton Speight for a 48-yard touchdown return in Week 1 against the Wolverines, which brought a smile to my face (the back-to-back pick sixes by the Gators made it even better).
I’ve been an advocate of drafting a cornerback all offseason long, so I would be completely on board with Dawson wearing black and teal for the 2018 season.
What do you guys think? Is Dawson a good fit? Let me know in the comments section.