The final stages of the Jalen Ramsey era in Jacksonville flat-out SUCKED.
The best defensive player in franchise history was shipped to L.A. halfway through the 2019 season. And as brutal as that day felt, it hurt even worse two and a half years later.
Ramsey went on to win a ring (and earn two First-Team All-Pro selections) as a Ram -- after promising Jaguars fans not just a Super Bowl appearance, but victory as well. Los Angeles got the best cornerback of his generation and a championship parade; Jacksonville got three draft picks.
Those picks turned into edge rushers K’Lavon Chaisson (two career sacks) and Jordan Smith (two career games played) plus running back Travis Etienne (who missed his entire rookie season due to injury).
To make matters worse, Jacksonville couldn’t come close to replacing CB1, and not for lack of trying. The Jaguars drafted C.J. Henderson ninth overall in 2020, then paid Shaquill Griffin $29 million guaranteed in 2021. The former played 10 total games in teal before being traded to Carolina; the latter reached 19 before
being benched landing on injured reserve earlier this season.
But you know what they say, right? It’s always darkest before dawn.
Etienne is now fully healthy and playing like a top-10 NFL back; Trevor Lawrence is confidently a long-term solution at quarterback; and the third member of that 2021 draft class is just as impressive.
Jacksonville’s latest swing at cornerback went yard. Tyson Campbell is playing like a Pro-Bowler.
Campbell put on a clinic in the first shadow assignment of his young career against Mike Williams in Week 3.
Tyson Campbell vs Mike Williams— Gus Logue (@gus_logue) October 1, 2022
Reps in man coverage: 11
Targets allowed: 4
Catches allowed: 1 pic.twitter.com/XnEQelFEU5
Campbell held Courtland Sutton to one catch for 13 yards in his second shadow matchup in Week 8.
Tyson Campbell will get Davante Adams this week so I watched all of his coverage snaps vs. Courtland Sutton last week, the first week the Jaguars began to shadow him.— John Shipley (@_John_Shipley) November 3, 2022
One catch allowed for 13 yards pic.twitter.com/E9N1LF0f6Q
The following week, he allowed three catches for 45 yards and one score against Davante Adams.
Tyson Campbell vs. Davante Adams in Week 9 (perimeter shadow)— Gus Logue (@gus_logue) November 24, 2022
Allowed 3 catches -- 4th & 4 slant, sideline score, RPO slant, all in the first half -- on 6 targets for 45 yards
Overall good performance vs arguably the best receiver of his era. The play at 1:53 is pic.twitter.com/rIJJXr8gLb
In his latest performance, Campbell allowed one total catch for six yards against the best player in the league. Jacksonville played a zone-heavy game against Patrick Mahomes in Week 10, and Campbell showed up with several uncredited forced incompletions.
Tyson Campbell forces incompletions to players he isn’t even covering! pic.twitter.com/9Kw9sYXsJ0— Gus Logue (@gus_logue) November 19, 2022
Campbell showed plenty of rookie flashes and reportedly had a great training camp, but nevertheless, his jump in consistency on tape is very impressive.
Last month, Next Gen Stats ranked Campbell as the league’s fourth-best corner in pass defense.
Opponents targeting Campbell in coverage have lost -15.5 expected points this season, sixth-best among all defenders. A big key to Campbell’s success: His ability to play tight coverage, allowing the second-lowest average target separation (1.8 yards) in the NFL this season (min. 20 targets).
Heading into last week, Pro Football Focus ranked him 10th in their cornerback rankings.
One of the emerging stars of the 2022 season, Tyson Campbell has developed into one of the best overall cornerbacks in the league after a rough rookie campaign. He’s allowed more than 45 receiving yards in a single game just once, and opposing quarterbacks have a 58.8 passer rating when targeting Campbell. He has also really improved as a run defender, making him one of the more well-rounded cornerbacks in the league.
Campbell also received an honorable mention in a Football Outsiders piece last week, which recognized the NFL’s best second-year players at each position. (That’s significant, considering his fellow high school and NFL Draft class mate Patrick Surtain II already holds league-wide recognition as an elite corner.)
Here’s a look at where he ranks in advanced statistics from SIS.
Tyson Campbell, analytics darling— Gus Logue (@gus_logue) November 24, 2022
(Among 84 cornerbacks with 20+ targets this season, per @football_sis) pic.twitter.com/c0ow3lDNch
Based on the chart below (as well as the eye test), opposing offenses shy away from #32.
s'more pro-Tyson stats, via @fboutsiders— Gus Logue (@gus_logue) November 24, 2022
Jags defense vs opposing receivers: pic.twitter.com/8vn0WIklst
Here’s his numbers against all top receivers he’s faced this season.
Tyson Campbell's stats allowed in each of his premier matchups this season (shadowed Weeks 3, 8, 9) via @PFF— Gus Logue (@gus_logue) November 24, 2022
Halfway thru 2022, Davante Adams is the only receiver to catch more than two balls against Campbell in a game pic.twitter.com/gsIXzoLkCs
The film and the numbers make a clear argument that the second-year pro is already playing like a top NFL cornerback. Let’s do our part in getting him to his first Pro Bowl, shall we?
Y'all know the drill!— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) November 15, 2022
Vote now and keep using #ProBowlVote + player names to send your favorite Jaguars to the #ProBowlGames.