The Jacksonville Jaguars have made a lot of roster moves this season, and the latest surprise comes today with the team trading safety Ronnie Harrison to the Cleveland Browns, the team announced today. The Jaguars will receive a fifth-round pick as compensation. The trade was initially reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Official: #Jaguars have traded third-year S Ronnie Harrison to the Cleveland Browns for a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, per team.— Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) September 3, 2020
Harrison, 23, was selected by the team in the third round of the 2018 draft and has started ever since. Over 28 games played (22 starts) the past two years, Harrison has accounted for 103 tackles (68 solos), 12 pass breakups and three interceptions.
The move comes shortly after the Jaguars surprisingly released running back Leonard Fournette, an move that sent shock waves through the NFL community, and with at least some within the team’s locker room itself. During training camp, the Jaguars have seen several safeties step up to the plate.
“I think we’re about four or five deep there, to be honest with you,” Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash said on Wednesday.
“B-Wat [Brandon Watson], this is really the first time that he’s played Safety coming in. At Michigan, he played corner, he’s playing free safety for us. So, early on, there’s a lot of stuff new to him, but you really see him execute now. I think I call him Kid Rock [Andrew Wingard], our young man out of Wyoming, he’s had a good camp along with Josh [Jones].”
The Jaguars acquired Watson and Wingard via undrafted free agency in 2019, while acquitting Josh Jones as an free agent early on in Jan. Jones was originally selected in the second round by the Green Bay Packers in 2017, and has had a stellar camp thus far without much hitting involved.
The Jaguars will likely view Jones as the starting safety as he replaced Harrison during training camp when the third-year safety was out with a concussion. Jones also made several plays during camp, showing off his instincts and run-fit ability.
Last season, the team’s two starting safeties were Harrison and Jarrod Wilson, the two combined for 150 tackles.
“J-Dubb [Jarrod Wilson] is solid always, knows exactly what you’re doing, he’s kind of the general back there. And Ronnie [Harrison] has really shown up the days that we have pads and being physical. I think him and Josh are both physical. So, I think we’ve got a really, really solid group. I think we’ve increased our depth back there, compared to where we were at a year ago.”
The increased depth appears to have been enough for the team to part ways with one of their young up-and-coming players, and in the locker room dynamics appears to be another factor in the mass exodus of players from Jacksonville this season.
Entering the 2021 NFL Draft, the Jaguars currently have 11 total picks, including 5 in the first nine rounds, including two first-round picks, two second-round picks, one third round pick, two fourth-round picks, two fifth-round picks, one sixth round pick and one seventh-round pick.