JagNation Training Camp Preview: CB

The Jaguars have invested nearly $60 million in their starting cornerbacks, and up to this point it has been money well spent. Pro Bowl starter, and first team all-pro Rashean Mathis and hard-hitter Brian Williams are among the NFL's best cornerback tandems. Learn more about the Jaguars corners HERE:

After Mathis and Williams is where the cornerback position gets a little shaky for the Jaguars. The Jaguars have some great athletes with tons of potential in Scott Starks and Dee Webb, as well as the experienced veteran nickel back, Terry Cousin. Behind them are project guys in Chris Roberson, Jamar Landrom, Bruce Thornton, and Rashad Moulton.


Rashean Mathis
Rashean Mathis was a second round draft pick by the Jaguars back in '03, and he is the best best draft pick by the current Jaguars front office. Mathis is probably the best athlete on the team, and has turned himself into the best cornerback in the NFL not named Champ Bailey.

Strengths:
Mathis is very close to a complete lock-down corner. He has great closing speed and fantastic hands. Mathis can also return punts in emergency situations, and has played special teams regularly in his Jaguars career.

Weaknesses:
Sometimes Mathis gives receivers too much room and although he has great closing speed, he tends to get beat from time to time by smaller, speedier receivers like Marvin Harrison.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Mathis will likely make his second consecutive Pro Bowl if he plays near the level he did in '06. Worst case scenario is that the defensive line doesn't get consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and both Mathis and Williams get hung out to dry too often.


b>Brian Williams
Brian Williams was signed by the Jaguars as a free agent before the '06 season after spending the first four seasons of his career in Minnesota. Williams is a very physical corner which is indicative of him being a former safety. Williams value on the football field can't be fully expressed by statistics.

Strengths:
Physical corner, good at the jam, hard-hitter, good in run support.

Weaknesses:
Can get beat deep, he's the guy opposing teams will go after, not great speed.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Williams should have more opportunities for interceptions in '07 due to what should be an improved Jaguars pass rush, and more athletic safeties behind him. Worst case scenario is that Williams is a better safety than corner, and teams recognize this and challenge him regularly.


Terry Cousin
Terry Cousin was signed by the Jaguars before the '05 season, and has been the starting nickel back ever since coming to Jacksonville. Cousin is entering his 10th NFL season, and has played with the Bears, Falcons, Dolphins, Panthers, and Giants. His career accomplishments include 140 games played, 45 passes defensed, 11 interceptions, and one Super Bowl appearance (2003-Carolina).

Strengths:
Experienced, good instincts, good strength and hands.

Weaknesses:
Cousin can get outran by many slot-receivers on deep routes

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Best case scenario for Cousin would be to hold on to his spot at nickel, and have another solid year for the Jaguars. Worst case scenario is that Cousin gets beat out by the younger, cheaper, more athletic Starks or Webb.


Scott Starks
Scott Starks is a former third round draft pick of the Jaguars in 2005. He has been a backup nickel back, and special teams ace. Starks is probably the fastest member of the Jaguars, and his coverage skills were considerably better in '06 (from his rookie season).

Strengths:
Speed, jumping ability, special teams contributor, overall athleticism.

Weaknesses:
Inexperienced, maybe not ready to play against the better receivers in the league.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Starks will compete for the starting nickel back job, and the team would like him to win it. Worst case scenario is that Starks continues his role of backing up Cousin, and playing good special teams.


Dee Webb
Dee Webb is a former seventh round pick of the Jaguars in '06, and saw some action in 11 games in '06, mostly as a nickel corner and at special teams. Webb picked up an interception, had one pass defensed, and recorded 17 tackles.

Strengths:
Webb has good speed and athleticism, and is a special teams contributor.

Weaknesses:
Webb is inexperienced, and not yet disciplined enough at corner.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Webb will make the roster and can compete for and win the starting nickel back job if he beats out Starks and Cousin. Webb could fail to make the roster all together if he doesn't beat out some younger, potentially hungrier guys.


Chris Roberson
Chris Roberson was drafted in the seventh round by the Jaguars in 2005, and saw action in six games in his rookie season. Roberson spent most of '06 on the practice squad.

Strengths:
Average speed, special teams contributor

Weaknesses:
Roberson doesn't have any outstanding skills.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Roberson can make the team with a great special teams contribution. If Roberson doesn't come up big in special teams, it will be very difficult for him to find a roster spot.


Bruce Thornton
Bruce Thornton was signed by the Jaguars as a free agent prior to this season, and he's played for both the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers in his two years in the league. Thornton has appeared in 13 career NFL games.

Strengths:
Good upper body strength, plays well in the zone, quick feet

Weaknesses:
Avoids contact, soft against blocks

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Thornton has made two rosters before, so although he seems like a pretty big long-shot, you never know. Thornton will likely be outplayed and released.


Jamar Landrom
Jamar Landrom was signed by the Jaguars to the practice squad in '06. The 6-3, 215-pounder originally signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted rookie out of Tennessee State, but was waived. Landrom was optioned by the Jaguars to NFL Europa this summer.

Strengths:
Good size for a corner at 6'2", 200, hard-worker, can play special teams.

Weaknesses:
No outstanding skills, just a guy.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
With a solid camp, Landrom may be able to make the roster on special teams or possibly the practice squad. Worst case scenario is that Landrom gets lost in the shuffle.


Rashad Moulton
Rashad Moulton was signed by the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent rookie this spring. Moulton is the second Jaguar to make the team from Fort Valley State (Derrick Wimbush), and will have to be a special teams contributor to make the roster.

Strengths:
Moulton has good speed, and was productive in college.

Weaknesses:
Not a fantastic athlete, there are some issues regarding the level of competition he faced.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Anything is possible, the Jaguars have undrafted rookies that make the roster every year. Worst case scenario is that he doesn't stand out in the crowd of would-be cornerbacks.


The Jaguars should have some good competition at the cornerback position, and there will likely be a talented guy that doesn't make the roster. The starters are as good as any, but there are some question marks after Mathis and Williams.



Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Jagnation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to various national news outlets. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association.

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