D.J. Hayden joined the Jacksonville Jaguars during their down Year in 2018.
The expectations of the slot corner, but don’t diminish for 2019. “I feel like we’re likely to be the best defense in the league, ” I can not wait,” Hayden told Gene Frenette of The Florida Times-Union. “I understand we will have some new faces, but I feel like this will be a great defense no matter who is out there.”
Hayden is not the only person who projects big things for the Jags’ D.Despite linebacker Telvin Smith stepping out for the summer season, the Jags still boast playmakers on all 3 levels. The accession of first-round pick Josh Allen to a front that possesses Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue should make the Jags’ pass rush menacing on QBs.
Injuries to Hayden were a part of the rationale the Jags’ secondary struggled last season. The slot corner, signed to assist replace Aaron Colvin, played just 10 games, and the Jags struggled without him. Hayden, who has struggled throughout his career with both health and production, played the best football of his career down the stretch last year — for context, Professional Football Focus gave Hayden a 74.8 grade last season, by far the best he’s generated from PFF and 25th general among CBs.
In Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye and Hayden, the Jags boast a good trio, together with the two outside corners owning the upside to be the very best tandem in the NFL when they stay healthy and return to form. The safety place sits as a question mark heading into 2019. Youngsters Ronnie Harrison and Jarrod Wilson (combined 10 NFL starts) are supposed to start from both safety spots.
Hayden considers the Jags secondary will get back to their ball-hawking ways this season.
“All that good things — getting turnovers, sacks and producing big plays — I feel as if we will do this,” Hayden said. “I feel totally 100 percent comfortable with what we are doing and our safeties. I feel we will be the best secondary in the league.”
Claiming to be the best in the summer is easy. Proving it in the fall is the difficult part.
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