Jags Eye Corners
Photo: Mark Sutton
Photo: Mark Sutton
Posted Apr 4, 2009
Charlie Bernstein

The Jaguars have never been a team to shy away from talented football players coming from less than traditional football powers. The second-round selections of both Rashean Mathis and Justin Durant certainly prove this fact, as the Jaguars have many players on the roster from non-BCS conferences. Find out which small school corners the Jaguars have shown interest in.

According to Scout.com’s Ed Thompson, the Jaguars have shown interest in Norfolk State cornerback Don Carey, as well as Troy cornerback Sherrod Martin. Jacksonville has had some positive history drafting from the historical black colleges as cornerback Rashean Mathis (Bethune Cookman College) is a former Pro Bowler, and Justin Durant (Hampton) appears to be a player on the rise.

Don Carey may not be the top rated corner in this draft, but he could be the most intelligent. Carey had the grades to get accepted at Yale, but they didn’t offer him a football scholarship, so money kept him away from the Connecticut institution. Carey decided to pursue his college education and football career at Norfolk State, where he's currently the head tutor in his department when he's not playing football. Carey’s supreme intelligence has helped him on the football field.

"It's one thing to watch film on a guy and see how he plays on the field. But when you're able to sit down and get into face-to-face conversations, get inside his head, learn how well he knows the game and what direction he's going with his life, you get a more complete impression of him," Carey said. "I think I've impressed a lot of people with my knowledge of the game, how well I was able to comprehend their playbook and explain my own."

As a senior, Carey intercepted five passes, recovered a pair of fumbles, made 42 tackles, defended six passes and blocked a kick.

Troy’s Sherrod Martin appears to be physically ready for the next level, as he stands 6’1”, 198 lbs. and ran a 4.45 second 40-yard dash and registered a 37” vertical leap during his pro day. He has size to cover some of the bigger receivers, and could also potentially step in as a safety.

“For the most part, I’ve had teams talk to me about both,” Martin told Scout.com’s Ed Thompson when asked about playing both corner and safety. “They’ve been testing my knowledge and how I move at both positions.”

Unfortunately, Martin has had numerous injury issues that cost him to miss the entire 2006 season with shoulder surgery (both shoulders), and he missed four games in 2007 with a broken hand.

Scout.com NFL Draft Expert Chris Steuber had this to say about Martin—

Martin is a productive defensive back that’s viewed as a tweener. He has a big frame, a little lanky, but tough. He’s more quick than fast, although he has good timed speed. He stays low in his backpedal and transitions fluidly with receivers. He’s always around the ball and he looks to create turnovers. But he plays overly aggressive at times and gets caught out of position. He lacks upper body strength and struggles to get off blocks. He takes bad angles in pursuit and doesn’t consistently wrap up the opposition. Durability is an issue.

Martin could go as high as the second-round in next month’s draft where Carey projected as a late-round pick.

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