Jaguars depth chart: CJ Henderson the clear CB1 for Jacksonville

Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images /

Jaguars depth chart: CJ Henderson the unquestioned CB1 in 2020?

The Jacksonville Jaguars depth chart at the cornerback position is going to look vastly different to open the 2020 NFL season than it did at this time a year ago.

Just 12 months ago, the Jaguars’ cornerback position included Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye, two of the best players in the league at their position over the last five years.

Ramsey was traded during the 2019 season to the Los Angeles Rams for a bounty of draft picks, while Bouye was shipped out after the 2019 season to the Denver Broncos for a fourth-rounder in the 2020 NFL Draft.

After trading Bouye, the Jaguars attempted to bolster their cornerback group in free agency by striking a deal with 2014 first-round pick Darqueze Dennard, but Dennard opted against his deal before actually signing it.

That decision left the Jaguars’ cornerback position in a pure state of transition before the 2020 NFL Draft where they used their top selection on Florida’s CJ Henderson.

Henderson: Jacksonville’s unquestioned CB1 in 2020?

Returning snap leaders

  • Tre Herndon (901 snaps)
  • DJ Hayden (647 snaps)

That’s it.

Herndon, a second-year player who is just 24 years old, allowed under 47 percent of passes thrown his way to be caught last season, an impressive figure from a relatively unknown player going into last season who was playing behind Ramsey and Bouye.

He ended up starting 14 games for the Jaguars last year, picking off three passes with 55 total tackles and a QB rating into his coverage of 69.4.

By many statistical accounts, Herndon is a very underrated player and by seniority, he’s the CB1 on Jacksonville’s roster, but that distinction will soon belong to Henderson.

Veteran Rashaan Melvin, who played in a career-high 870 snaps last season with the Detroit Lions, comes over in free agency to bolster the Jaguars’ depth at corner, and DJ Hayden will return as the Jaguars’ top slot corner with only one touchdown allowed in 98 coverage targets over the last two seasons.

If Henderson can return to full health in 2020, the Jaguars might find they have quite the steal on their hands. Henderson was dominant at times in both 2018 and 2019, though most analysts feel as though his 2018 tape is more impressive.

I still hold firm that his 2019 tape against LSU and Ja’Marr Chase is a tape he can look back on with the greatest pride.

Next. 2021 NFL Draft prospects who could opt-out if season is delayed. dark

Henderson’s athleticism, size, and big-play ability certainly make him look the part of the CB1 in Jacksonville. For a team with some question marks and youth in the secondary, he has a chance to emerge early on as a top-flight player at his position.