D.J. Hayden: Jags will be ‘best defense in the league’

D.J. Hayden joined the Jacksonville Jaguars during their down season in 2018.

The slot corner expectations, however, don’t diminish for 2019. “I feel as if we are going to be the best defense in the league, ” I can’t wait,” Hayden told Gene Frenette of The Florida Times-Union. “I know we will have some new facesbut I feel like this is going to be a terrific defense no matter who is out there.”
Hayden isn’t the only person that endeavors big things for the Jags’ D.Despite linebacker Telvin Smith stepping away for the summer season, the Jags still boast playmakers on all three degrees. The accession of first-round pick Josh Allen into a front that owns Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue should make the Jags’ pass rush threatening on QBs.
Injuries to Hayden were a part of the reason the Jags’ secondary struggled last season. The slot corner, signed to help replace Aaron Colvin, played with just 10 games, and the Jags particularly struggled without him around the area. Hayden, who has struggled during his career with health and production, played with the best football of his career down the stretch last season — for context, Professional Football Emphasis gave Hayden a 74.8 grade last year, undoubtedly the best he’s generated from PFF and 25th overall among CBs.
In Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye and Hayden, the Jags boast a good trio, together with the two outside corners possessing the upside to be the very best tandem in the NFL when they stay healthy and return to shape. The safety spot sits as a question mark. Youngsters Ronnie Harrison and Jarrod Wilson (combined 10 NFL starts) are supposed to begin in the two safety spots.
Hayden believes the Jags secondary will get back this year.
“All that fantastic things — getting turnovers, sacks and making 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 believe we will be the best secondary in the league.”
Claiming to be the very best in the summer is easy. Proving it in the autumn is the part that is difficult.

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