What Kind of Physical Traits Have the Jaguars Looked for in Cornerbacks in the Past?

John Shipley

Even before a reported deal with Darqueze Dennard fell apart, the Jacksonville Jaguars had a huge need at cornerback. And now that the seventh-year veteran will officially not play in Jacksonville in 2020, the need has become even more pressing. 

With most of the starting-caliber cornerbacks already off the free agent market and the 2020 NFL Draft in fewer than 30 days, the Jaguars will likely have to turn to the draft and use some of their 12 draft picks to address the lack of cornerback depth. 

With this in mind, we have gone back and taken a look at most of the Jaguars' top additions at the position since general manager Dave Caldwell began his tenure as general manager in 2013. Since then, Caldwell has molded his investments at the position around the skill sets required for Gus Bradley and Todd Wash's defensive schemes, which typically place a priority on arm length and speed.

Not every Jaguars addition at cornerback is noted here, but most of the major free agency signings and every one of the team's draft picks at the position have been researched. In total, we tried to make a note of every cornerback who has either been drafted by Caldwell or has started in a Bradley or Wash defense.

For clarity, some players were not invited to the NFL Combine or did not perform a specific drill at their pro days, so a few measurements will be listed as 'N/A' instead.

With that said, here are most of the Jaguars' additions at cornerback since 2013 and their physical attributes, along with any trends or patterns.

Free agent signings. 

  • Alan Ball
    • How he was acquired: Free agency (2013).
    • Height: 6-foot-2.
    • Weight: 195-pounds.
    • Arm Length: 30-inches.
    • 40-yard dash: 4.52
    • Vertical jump: 36-inches.
  • Will Blackmon
    • How he was acquired: Signed as a free agent in August (2013)
    • Height: 6-foot-0.
    • Weight: 212-pounds.
    • Arm Length: 31-inches.
    • 40-yard dash: 4.46.
    • Vertical jump: 41-inches.
  • Davon House
    • How he was acquired: Free agency (2015)
    • Height: 6-foot-1.
    • Weight: 200-pounds.
    • Arm Length: 31 ⅞-inches.
    • 40-yard dash: 4.49.
    • Vertical jump: 33 ½-inches.
  • Prince Amukamara
    • How he was acquired: Free agency (2016).
    • Height: 6-foot-0.
    • Weight: 206-pounds.
    • Arm Length: 30 ½-inches.
    • 40-yard dash: 4.43.
    • Vertical jump: 38-inches.
  • A.J. Bouye
    • How he was acquired: Free agency (2017).
    • Height: 6-foot-0.
    • Weight: 188-pounds.
    • Arm Length: 31 ¾-inches.
    • 40-yard dash: 4.55.
    • Vertical jump: 36 ½-inches.
  • D.J. Hayden
    • How he was acquired: Free agency (2018).
    • Height: 5-foot-11.
    • Weight: 191-pounds.
    • Arm Length: 31 ⅛-inches.
    • 40-yard dash: 4.40.
    • Vertical jump: 33 ½-inches.

The only free agent cornerback the Jaguars have officially signed that was under 6-foot-0 was D.J. Hayden, who measured at 5-foot-11. In terms of arm length, the only cornerbacks who have arms shorted than 31-inches that have been signed and played major roles for the Jaguars are Alan Ball, a stop-gap veteran in 2013, and Prince Amukamara, who spent one year with the team. 

In terms of speed, most of the cornerbacks ran the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds or faster, though two corners (Ball and A.J. Bouye) ran the 40s in the 4.5 ranges.

None of the free agent cornerbacks had a vertical jump below 33-inches, and everyone but Hayden and House had vertical jumps of at least 36-inches.

Draft picks.

  • Dwayne Gratz
    • How he was acquired: Third-round draft pick in 2013 NFL Draft.
    • Height: 5-foot-11.
    • Weight: 201-pounds.
    • Arm Length: 32 ⅛-inches.
    • 40-yard dash: 4.47.
    • Vertical jump: 38-inches.
  • Jeremy Harris
    • How he was acquired: Seventh-round draft pick in 2013.
    • Height: 6-foot-3.
    • Weight: 181-pounds.
    • Arm Length: N/A.
    • 40-yard dash: 4.48.
    • Vertical jump: N/A.
  • Demetrius McCray
    • How he was acquired: Seventh-round draft pick in 2013 NFL Draft.
    • Height: 6-foot-2.
    • Weight: 194-pounds.
    • Arm Length: 33 ⅞-inches.
    • 40-yard dash: 4.54.
    • Vertical jump: 36-inches.
  • Aaron Colvin
    • How he was acquired: Fourth-round draft pick in 2014 NFL Draft.
    • Height: 5-foot-11.
    • Weight: 177-pounds.
    • Arm Length: 31-inches.
    • 40-yard dash: N/A.
    • Vertical jump: N/A.
  • Jalen Ramsey
    • How he was acquired: First-round draft pick in 2016 NFL Draft.
    • Height: 6-foot-1.
    • Weight: 209-pounds.
    • Arm Length: 33 ⅜-inches.
    • 40-yard dash: 4.41.
    • Vertical jump: 41 ½-inches.
  • Jalen Myrick
    • How he was acquired: Seventh-round pick in 2017 NFL Draft.
    • Height: 5-foot-10.
    • Weight: 200-pounds.
    • Arm Length: 31 ⅝-inches.
    • 40-yard dash: 4.28.
    • Vertical jump: 37 ½-inches.

While we don't have the arm length of every player, one trend has become obvious when looking at the Jaguars' draft picks at cornerback: arm length. 

With six cornerbacks drafted since 2013, the Jaguars have never drafted a cornerback with arms shorter than 31-inches, suggesting this may be a cutoff figure for them when it comes to draft picks. 

Every cornerback but Demetrius McCray ran a 40-yard dash faster than 4.5 seconds, and it makes sense for them to not value McCray's 40 time as much since he was a seventh-round pick and not a premium selection. The height of the cornerbacks drafted has ranged from 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-3, with Caldwell never drafting a cornerback shorter than 5-foot-10.

The Jaguars have also not drafted a cornerback who has an official vertical jump measurement of less than 36-inches.

Aaron Colvin tore his ACL at the Reese's Senior Bowl, so the majority of his measurements are unavailable aside from his height, weight, and arm length.

Undrafted free agents who have become starters.

  • Tre Herndon
    • How he was acquired: Undrafted free agent (2018).
    • Height: 5-foot-11.
    • Weight: 186-pounds.
    • Arm Length: 30 ⅞-inches.
    • 40-yard dash: 4.52.
    • Vertical jump: 34 ½-inches.

Herndon is the lone undrafted free agent signed by the Jaguars out of college that has developed into a starter. His arm length actually falls below the 31-inch threshold, but just barely. Otherwise, he meets the Jaguars' height range and his 40-yard dash isn't far off from other players the Jaguars have added at the position. 

Herndon's vertical jump is below 36-inches, but since he was an undrafted free agent it is likely that the Jaguars placed less of an emphasis on his physical traits and instead were looking for special teams ability and scheme fit.

With all of this in mind, we can see some trends with how the Jaguars add cornerbacks, specifically through the draft. The team targets corners with arms 31-inches or longer, a vertical jump of 36-inches or higher, height 5-foot-10 or above, and 40-yard dash times under 4.52. 

How can these trends help us identify players in this year's class the Jaguars may have interest in? By taking a look at which players fit, or don't fit, these parameters, we could potentially predict which cornerbacks are more likely to be drafted by the Jaguars.

Which prospects fit?

  • Georgia Southern CB Kindle Vindlor
  • Virginia CB Bryce Hall
  • Florida CB C.J. Henderson
  • Auburn CB Noah Igbinoghene 
  • Utah CB Jaylon Johnson
  • Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
  • Tulsa CB Reggie Robinson III
  • Alabama CB Trevon Diggs
  • TCU CB Jeff Gladney

Which prospects don't fit?

  • UCLA CB Darnay Holmes (arms below 31-inches)
  • Pitt CB Dane Jackson (arms below 31-inches)
  • Nebraska CB Lamar Jackson (40-yard dash slower than 4.52)
  • Notre Dame CB Troy Pride Jr. (arms below 31-inches)
  • Clemson CB A.J. Terrell (vertical jump below 36-inches)
  • Ohio State CB Damon Arnette (arms below 31-inches)
  • Baylor CB Grayland Arnold (arms below 31-inches)
  • Miami CB Trajan Bandy (arms below 31-inches)
  • Washington CB Myles Bryant (arms below 31-inches, height under 5-foot-10)
  • Mississippi State CB Cam Dantzler (arms below 31-inches, vertical jump below 36-inches, 40-yard dash slower than 4.52)
  • LSU CB Kristian Fulton (arms below 31-inches, vertical jump below 36-inches)
  • Oklahoma State CB A.J. Green (arms below 31-inches)
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